As businesses move toward more demanding, high-performance, networked storage configurations, they face numerous challenges in planning, integrating, managing, and supporting backup infrastructures. Many businesses today outsource the data backup function to experts who offer dedicated backup and recovery. An outsourced backup solution can reduce the cost of supporting your backup systems while improving network and data accessibility. You may have enough capacity to back up all your key data. However, an outsourced solution will not only address your backup system maintenance needs but can also facilitate quick recovery during a crisis. The Outsourced Data Backup Solutions Pack contains four tools that will help you determine what capabilities you need, calculate the cost of adopting an outsourced solution, and assess which vendors offer the products and services that will meet your requirements. The pack consists of a Gap Analysis Tool, a Financial Scenario Planner, a Vendor Selection Checklist, and a Vendor Reference Questionnaire.

A look at the tools
The Gap Analysis Tool allows you to identify any gaps in your current solution. By comparing your present capabilities with those offered by an outsourced data backup solution, you can pinpoint where those gaps may exist. This tool lists solution requirements, such as reporting facilities for the administrator and data center managers, password-protected user authentication and authorization for remote management, and a comprehensive virus scanning and protection mechanism. The tool also generates a gap report identifying areas where your current solution may fall short and provides an explanation of the benefits the solution might offer.

The Financial Scenario Planner includes three worksheets you can use to perform financial calculations that will help you decide which option is best for your organization—buy, stay, or outsource your data backup function. Each sheet allows you to account for indirect cost savings and revenue enhancements, which will offset your costs. You can also factor in revenue curtailment if you think your IT initiative might hurt a source of revenue.

The Vendor Selection Checklist will help you identify which features of an outsourced backup solution are important to you, and it lets you rate how well particular vendors meet your criteria. Based on your responses, it generates an overall score for each vendor you’re considering.

The Vendor Reference Questionnaire provides both standard and solution-specific questions you can ask your references to find out how well the service has met their needs and how well the vendor delivered on its promises. The tool collects the answers you obtain from as many as six references and presents them on a comparison sheet for a side-by-side look.

Selecting the right outsourced backup solution requires you to consider a number of factors—from reporting functionality to management features to remote data recovery capabilities. The Outsourced Data Backup Solutions Pack can help you collect, organize, and evaluate the data you need to make an optimum purchase decision for your organization.