5 Key Backup and Disaster Recovery Questions to Ask Solution Providers

5 Key Backup and Disaster Recovery Questions to Ask Solution Providers for 2020Backup and disaster recovery questions to ask solution providers is an annual sneak peek at the top-of-mind concepts to consider during product evaluation. For five key backup and disaster recovery questions to ask yourself, consult our Buyer’s Guide for Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions.

Cue the process of seeking out, evaluating, choosing, purchasing, and deploying a backup and disaster recovery solution. Each features a particular set of capabilities, strengths, and drawbacks. Choosing the right vendor and solution is a complicated process — one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the solution and its technical capabilities.

To help you evaluate prospective backup and disaster recovery tools, these are five backup and disaster recovery questions to ask solution providers during product evaluation. If you find these questions helpful, check out our Buyer’s Guide, which features five more questions to ask yourself, a comprehensive overview of the market, and full, one-page profiles of the top-28 offerings, as well as our ‘Bottom Line’ analysis.

How does the solution perform?

A solution’s performance goes beyond the speed of data transfer and data durability. You should also assess ease of use, how protected physical backup sites are from various natural and man-made elements, and the types of data and devices the solution can handle. Those last three points should include the rest of the time you plan on having the solution in place. You can measure a solution’s performance based on how they improve the speed and accuracy of data transmission and disaster recovery.

How scalable is your solution?

Scalability brings flexibility, especially if your provider offers cloud capabilities. While scalability is often linked with backup, it is also important for disaster recovery. In fact, a lack of scalability can make deploying the solution to new environments more complex. Details can include additional licenses, increased functionality, and any limits on the amount of data that the solution can handle. Consider your organization’s projected growth when taking a solution’s scalability into account.

What is the total cost of ownership?

While one provider may headline a solution with a more inexpensive cost per gigabit of storage, it behooves you to read into the fine print to make sure they’re not charging you in other ways to make up the difference and then some. Total cost of ownership also means looking at the resources your company has to expend to run the solution, so that should be taken into account as well. Finally, a “cheaper” solution that leaves you more vulnerable to an event may not be cheaper in the long run. 

What kinds of support are offered as part of the package?

If it’s important that you be able to reach your provider at any time, look into solutions that offer 24/7 customer support. Other types of support can include technical, cloud, integration, heterogeneous OS, database, and file system support. Evaluate which support elements are necessities for your organization in order to see who matches up best with your needs for the best price, and you will be one step closer to choosing a winning product.

How do you approach data security?

Ask how and where data is encrypted, and avoid companies that don’t encrypt data on their own servers, or give many of their own workers access to the encryption key if they do encrypt. The best providers will offer end-to-end encryption while adopting data security best practices to ensure that any breaches that occur are dealt with swiftly before much damage can be inflicted. Cloud solutions may be cheaper on average once you get into the terabyte range of data storage, but they can be more vulnerable.

Tess Hanna
Follow Tess