A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a third party organization that helps businesses manage their IT infrastructure. With the help of MSP software, MSPs can prevent cybersecurity issues, fix IT-related system errors, and run administrative tasks. In this post, we are going to discuss various types of MSP tools and give examples of the best MSP software available on the market.
Managed Service Provider Software
MSP software can be described as a system or platform that provides services to clients and enables them to run their business infrastructure efficiently. With the help of the MSP platform, users can manage their B2B operations, supply chain jobs, and perform end-user business-related tasks. Examples of popular 2021 MSP platforms are:
- ConnectWise Automate
Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions for MSPs
A ransomware attack or natural disaster could be devastating to a business. Some businesses that fall victim to those unfortunate events suffer unbearable data loss and can even close down for good. MSPs can use modern backup tools to provide their clientele — small, medium, and large businesses — with continuous data protection. Backups insure that business data is recoverable 24/7, no matter the data loss situation. An efficient backup solution should focus on rendering top-notch recovery services, retaining clientele, and building trust. Ideally, the solution should have a user-friendly interface to run administrative tasks with ease. A backup solution for MSPs should meet the latest data protection demands, such as low Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs), cloud storage, transparent processing, ransomware protection, prevention of personal data breaches, etc. A modern backup solution for MSPs offers a cloud disaster recovery option that enables the user to recover lost data from any location. MSP cloud backup services include:
- Backup as a Service (BaaS) – allows the user to create and store backups taking into account such variables as storage space, retention, RTOs, RPOs, and bandwidth.
- Replication as a Service (RaaS) – enables the user to restore business operations in seconds and avoid downtime. Replication is a method that can reduce data loss to a minimum by relying on short RPOs.
- Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaS) – disaster recovery orchestration is an integral part of MSP services. Disaster recovery incorporates a failover method that ensures immediate recovery and continuous data protection.
A solid backup solution for MSPs should provide the following disaster recovery (DR) features.
- Replication: Involves keeping a copy of a production VM at a disaster recovery site. This ensures instant recovery of the affected VM during an incident. With network mapping and re-IP ability, a disaster recovery site can connect to the production site during a system failure. Replication is required to enable an automatic VM failover.
- Failover:Restores production in a matter of seconds by restoring the information from the replicas kept at the disaster recovery site. During any disruption, the user can switch from the damaged production site to the disaster recovery location with minimum downtime. During the failover job, the user can specify which VMs should be powered on and set up configurations for VM networking. A good backup solution will allow the user to initiate the disaster recovery process in a single click, by creating one failover job and then connecting multiple VM replication jobs to it. In addition, the user can set up network mapping rules, which allows switching replicas from one network to another after failover is complete. A re-IP rule can change the IP address of a VM to a different IP address upon failover.
- Multitenancy: Multi-tenant mode makes the MSP service more practical. Every instance of a backup solution can contain multiple tenants that are completely separated from one another. The tenants can use the resources of the backup solution without interacting with other tenants or having access to their environments. By using the multi-tenant mode, the user can access the service provider via a self-service portal to obtain backup, replication, and recovery tasks.
- Backup to cloud. MSP security can be addressed by following the right data protection practices. A 3-2-1 approach suggests having at least 3 copies of your data – your production data and 2 backup copies that can be used for recovery after any type of data loss scenario. The approach advises keeping 2 copies on different storage media, with 1 copy offsite, for example in the cloud or on tape. The cloud is a secure place for keeping VM data safe. If the on-premises backups become compromised, a backup kept in the cloud can be used for recovery.
The best 2021 backup and disaster recovery tools for MSPs are:
- NAKIVO Backup & Replication
- MSP 360
Antivirus Protection Software
When selecting antivirus protection MSP software, it’s critical to consider the individual peculiarities of every MSP — the type of business the MSP runs and its overall IT infrastructure. A smart antivirus solution should be able to detect simple, advanced, common, and rare threats. In addition, an efficient antivirus solution should have a convenient user interface, easy administration, fast speed, and quick scans. Finally, the antivirus solution should have a cost-saving billing model. Here are the top three affordable antivirus MSP solutions that offer first-class data protection:
- Bitdefender Anti-Ransomware Tool
- Trend Micro RansomBuster
- Check Point ZoneAlarm
Remote Monitoring and Management Tools
Monitoring and management is a two-fold approach that involves customer monitoring and addressing any identified issues. A remote-monitoring tool tracks activity and customer-related performance remotely, including:
- Careful monitoring of the customer’s IT infrastructure
- Identifying the source of the problem
- Monitoring the resources, such as CPU, disk load, network activity (increased CPU load or high network activity may indicate malware infection), and storage space
- Monitoring network speed and bandwidth and watching out for possible bottlenecks
- Checking CPU and network stats in real-time
- Running continuous automatic checks and sending automatic notifications about security alerts, such as:
- Low disk space or CPU overload
- Insufficient memory on a server
- Low ink level in a printer
- A server-related issue (like going offline)
In addition, remote monitoring MSP solutions can run certain commands automatically. For example, the user can set up a remote automated system to restart the server after an indicated period following a server failure.
Patch Management Tools
If you have identified an issue as described above, you know what needs to be fixed. If the website goes down or there is an infected machine putting extra load on your network, it may be a small bug in the application or a security issue that requires proper handling. Whatever the issue is, once it’s identified, it can be easily fixed with the help of automatic patch management tools. Remote monitoring and patch management tools go hand-in-hand. The following 2021 best MSPsoftware solutions allow you to monitor your neworks and deliver patches from a single dashboard:
- SixSens Manage
MSP tools are useful when it comes to project management, remote monitoring, patch management, backup and disaster orchestration, and antivirus protection. MSP technology helps service providers protect the working environments of their clients by addressing data security concerns such as ransomware detection and recovery from data loss. In addition, MSPs can use the tools to monitor the infrastructure of their clients and fix technical, administrative and security-related issues remotely as they arise.
To learn more about data security and MSP tools, click here.
Last Updated: October 28, 2021