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 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
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
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:
A backup destination such as Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage.
Selecting the files/folders you want to backup.
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.
Enabling encryption of the data and deciding on the password you want to use.
Setting ad data retention policies, such as delete versions older than 30 days.
Define the backup schedule, i.e. recurring, real-time, etc.
Compression & Encryption
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.
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.
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.