When it comes to business backup solutions, selecting the right one can be a difficult choice with factors like reliability, scalability, performance, and automation that have to be clearly evaluated. In today’s review, we compare two MSP-focused backup solutions for small and mid-size MSPs – MSP360 Managed Backup and SolarWinds Backup.
MSP360 Managed Backup: It offers a software-based solution that provides a robust backup integration with public cloud storage providers and local storage. Support includes Windows, Linux, and Mac file-level backup, image-based backup (Windows-only), host-based backups for Hyper-V and VMware hosts, as well as Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange. Additional support is available for hosted Microsoft Office365 and Google G Suite backup. Managed Backup directly integrates with all public cloud storage providers and allows customers to use their own storage accounts. The interface is easy to use and offers a straightforward configuration for MSPs to manage backups across all their customers.
SolarWinds: It offers a complex web-based interface where the configuration is done in two steps. The backup solution offers archiving, continuous recovery, versioning, and offers both cloud and local backups. It also provides a dedicated solution for Microsoft office backup.
MSP360 vs. SolarWinds
We will compare both of these software-based solutions on various factors, including:
- Cloud Storage Support
- Automation and Monitoring
The importance of these factors will depend on your particular requirements.
1] Cloud Storage Support
MSP360 excels when it comes to cloud backup options, which are essential for MSPs which offer protection for customer data against accidental or malicious data loss by using off-site, cloud storage. Using the public cloud for backup storage allows MSPs to keep business data safe from disaster or malware, with local backups providing the fast restore performance that many customers demand. MSPs can easily tier their backup services for local and/or cloud storage use, based on customer needs and budgets. The various cloud storage options allow MSPs to design their backup service offerings with additional flexibility in cost vs features.
MSP360 supports Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Backblaze B2, and Wasabi, as well as S3-Compatible and local targets, making it a versatile solution. Since MSPs use their own cloud storage accounts, opened directly with the public cloud vendors, they own the storage and pay the lowest price for it.
SolarWinds offers its own private cloud platform, which is your only choice for saving backup data to the cloud. Private cloud storage is normally much more expensive than using the public cloud since vendors need to run their own data centers or co-locate on public cloud vendors’ platforms. Private clouds have the disadvantage that they cause “vendor lock-in”. Meaning, if you ever decide to switch backup services, your existing backups are locked into the vendor’s cloud platform, and moving old data becomes problematic.
MSP360 offers affordable licenses, starting at only $6 / Month before volume discounts, that support unlimited data backup and storage. MSPs pay for actual storage use directly with their preferred cloud vendors. Combined, the cost is very low for MSPs with cloud storage prices currently ranging from about $0.059 / GB (about $6 per TB) for solutions like Wasabi and Backblaze B2 to about $0.23 / GB (about $23 per TB) for services like Amazon S3.
SolarWinds is costly compared to MSP360 with its high-cost, pay-per-GB model. The software offers features like deduplication to help reduce storage costs, but deduplication support does not offset the high storage costs. MSPs may find monetizing SolarWinds difficult as a higher customer cost means less competitive pricing. Closing deals and is more risky – and profit margins reduced.
Both solutions are easily scalable with support for backing up thousands of endpoints and servers. Cloud storage (whether private or public) provides “unlimited” storage support without the need to provision new hard drives as you do when managing local storage.
MSP360 does not require physical or virtual backup servers to manage backups at each customer or the MSP. A single web-based console, hosted in the Amazon cloud, allows MSPs to configure and manage customers, backups, security, licensing, alerting, and reporting. Agent upgrades are automatically managed by the MSP from the management console. Public cloud storage options are available in every region, and this broadens MSP360’s appeal.
SolarWinds also provides a management interface for managing and monitoring endpoints & servers, but it’s not as much cost-effective than MSP360
4] Automation and Monitoring
Solarwinds backup uses its N-central monitoring services to provide a summary of backup progress for up to 50 jobs on a device with data transfer details, disk space status, and more. If any backup fails, it will connect with a technician to help address the issue.
MSP360 monitors all backup and restore activity and sends alerts to technicians when issues arise. MSP360 also integrates with ConnectWise Manage, Datto Autotask, OptiTune, SyncroMSP / RepairShopr for ticket creation.
Both MSP360 and SolarWinds offer incredible performance when taking backups.
MSP360 provides numerous configuration options to speed up backups or slow them down during business hours to better manage network and internet bandwidth use. Backup processing occurs exclusively through the agents installed on each endpoint and server, which provides unlimited scalability and performance. MSP360 supports block-level backup of file changes to minimize backup times by only backing up the portion of the file that has changed.
Solarwinds backup solution offers equally great benefits, which include fast and optimized movement to cloud storage. You can use Backup Accelerator in SolarWinds to decrease backup size similarly to MSP360’s block-level backup support.
6] Final Thoughts
MSP360 is an affordable, powerful, and easy-to-use alternative to more complex backup solutions for your MSP. With a broad platform and cloud storage options, MSP360 offers an affordable, powerful, and secure backup option that is easy for MSPs to manage and monetize. MSPs can offer lower, competitive prices to their customers while maintaining excellent profit margins.
Solarwinds offers a powerful solution, but at a much higher cost with their private cloud storage and without an option to use the public cloud.
For many MSPs, we think MSP360 offers a clear advantage.