SoCo Systems

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The customer handed Scott three, 80 gigabyte, Maxtor IDE internal hard drives. “My data is backed up on one of these drives,” he said. Scott brushed the dust from the drives, at least he had something, he thought.

This was not that unusual. Many of Scott’s current customers came to him using an existing data backup setup of some type. Trouble was, quite often the data backups they had were incomplete, or were weeks or months old. In one case, Scott discovered that a customer’s old backup system had never actually backed up anything. With these stories in mind, Scott and his company, SoCo Systems, decided to offer their own managed data backup service, one that was reliable, predictable, and affordable.
SoCo Logo
SoCo Systems is a Managed Service Provider (MSP) headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, with satellite offices in Austin, Texas and Greenwood, Indiana. They offer a wide range of computer and networking set-up and support services for both homes and small businesses throughout their service areas. Scott Haverstick is the owner of SoCo Systems and responsible for selecting the technologies used by SoCo Systems to provide their services.
SoCo Systems customers range in size from a couple of computers in a person’s home to companies with fifty or more computers. Their customers operate in diverse industries ranging from mortgage brokers and real estate offices to construction suppliers and golf courses. These companies hire SoCo Systems to be their IT department, taking care of everything from individual computer setup to server and network management.

From experience, SoCo Systems has learned that the needs of every customer they service are unique, so they craft each customer’s IT solution to fit that customer. This means the products and services SoCo Systems uses in providing their solutions must be incredibly flexible, easy-to-use, and still be affordable.

To provide managed data backup services to their clients, SoCo Systems has combined CloudBerry Managed Backup Service, Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, and in some cases, QNAP NAS devices to meet their needs.

CloudBerry Managed Backup Service

CloudBerry MBS and SoCo Systems

The CloudBerry Managed Backup Service (MBS) allows SoCo Systems to create and manage the backup plans of their customers from a single web interface. With one look, they can tell the status of all the companies they manage and quickly drill down to explore any issues
It takes SoCo Systems on average 10 minutes to add a new customer to their CloudBerry service. The process starts with a backup plan, which has the following elements:

  1. A backup destination such as Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
  2. Selecting the files/folders you want to backup.
  3. Setting any advanced options such as: not backing up files of a specific type (e.g. .exe or .dmg files), or not backing up files over a certain size.
  4. Enabling encryption of the data and deciding on the password you want to use.
  5. Setting ad data retention policies, such as delete versions older than 30 days.
  6. Define the backup schedule, i.e. recurring, real-time, etc.
Selecting files/folders
Selecting files/folders
Compression & Encryption
Compression & Encryption
Retention Policy
Retention Policy
Backup plan templates can be saved and reused to speed up the setup, but if needed, the service is flexible enough to allow them to create and easily manage backup plans that address the uniqueness of a given company — for example, only backing up once a week versus once a day.

The online control panel also comes with a set of tools to remotely assist new customers during their initial setup and to provide ongoing support once they are operational and being backed up.
Working over shoulder

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

Customer data is backed up from CloudBerry to Backblaze B2. The connection is set up one time when the data backup plan is originally defined. Data is encrypted by CloudBerry and then sent to B2 where it is stored for only $0.005/GB/month. There is no minimum charge for data storage as customers are only charged for the actual data they have stored. In addition, there is no minimum amount of time a file is required to be stored – you are not paying extra for deleted files.

For SoCo Systems, this means they can bring clients on board without having to worry about being overcharged if they don’t store enough data or delete data too quickly. Backblaze B2 gives SoCo Systems the ability to better predict their cloud storage expense as there are no surprises.

QNAP Networked Attached Storage

For some larger customers, SoCo Systems will add a QNAP NAS device to the environment. With this setup, they can drop a full system image from a customer system to the QNAP once a week or more often if needed. Regular backups to Backblaze B2 are typically done daily, but depending on the customer’s need can be done more often — every 4 hours for example. Regardless, the end goal is to be able to go from bare metal to full recovery as quickly as possible. The most recent system image can be downloaded from the QNAP system and the needed incremental data updates can come from the B2 cloud.

Restoring Data

The true value of any backup system is measured by data restoration. On multiple occasions, SoCo Systems has restored customer data directly from the local QNAP system, and additionally from B2 Cloud Storage using CloudBerry to manage the process. In each case, the data was restored within minutes with the entire process was done remotely by SoCo Systems personnel. The ability to respond quickly to a customer in distress without the additional cost of an onsite visit was exactly what Scott envisioned when he launched the data backup service.

By combining CloudBerry, Backblaze, and QNAP into a powerful managed backup solution, Scott can see at any given moment that his customer’s data is backed up, secure, and ready to be restored when needed. The solution is reliable, predictable, and affordable, and that peace of mind is what Scott wanted and his customers deserve.