What do you consider a disaster? Often, the mention of Disaster Recovery produces thoughts of monsoons and hurricanes, complete chaos, no power, etc. In reality, your customer defines it simply as an event that creates an inability for the business to function. Disasters come in many shapes and sizes – the natural disasters we all think about, but also chemical spills, building fires, broken water pipes, and, on a much smaller scale, a virus-infested server.
When you ask a company about their IT disaster recovery plans, you’ll inevitably hear about backups of data and servers, use of server virtualization, even hot or cold disaster sites. But rarely do you hear about workstations. And that’s odd, because while it’s great that a company can get all their IT infrastructure back up and running, but if there are no client machines to connect to the infrastructure, what good is it? At best, workstations are an afterthought. But the reality is without them, a business simply cannot operate.
Even MSPs are guilty of being ill-prepared when it comes to workstations. Many of you may lean back on the “we have a workstation image” line of thinking, but it’s worth considering that, while an image may serve as the basis for a workstation, a given machine usually has been modified from the image by either managed changes, such as Group Policies, scripts, manual updates, etc. or by unmanaged changes – a.k.a., the user of that workstation customizing it to their liking.
For a user to be productive, they need a workstation recovered to as close to the last known state as is possible. The issue for MSPs really comes down to what your SLA dictates you need to provide in the wake of a disaster as it pertains to workstations. It is merely a simple image or are you supposed to reestablish each workstation back to a place where the user can be productive? If it’s more the latter, the image simply won’t cut it. And, for the MSP, that’s actually a good thing – as you will see in this whitepaper, it means you have an opportunity to make more revenue while providing better service for your customers.