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Does your telecom provider have your back?

Your business should have a proper data backup solution—and so should your telecom provider.

Like any company, telecommunications providers need to expand their portfolios to remain competitive. More products and more services means more customers—and a lot more data. And with greater data comes greater responsibility. Telcos are supposed to meet stringent regulatory requirements regarding the protection of their customers’ data, which is why the backup measures/provider a telco has in place should be a make-or-break factor in deciding who to sign with.

So what should you look out for?

A backup solution that’s truly compatible with your telco provider’s IT infrastructure

To deliver services like automated billing, telcos have leveraged cloud computing, allowing them to create virtual versions of legacy hardware, such as servers, that require no physical maintenance and can be created and taken down in mere moments, maximizing IT flexibility and agility. Despite the virtualization of so much of their IT infrastructure, a lot of telcos still rely on data-backup measures that were designed for older, pre-virtualization architecture. That makes it difficult to achieve fast and frequent backups as well as other features, such as real-time monitoring and reporting. That’s why, when evaluating a potential telco provider, you should find out if they have a backup solution compatible with what is undoubtedly their highly virtualized infrastructure.

Simultaneous backup and replication

Proper backup measures are really only the first step in a telco properly protecting itself from the threats that are out there, particularly cybercrime. A ransomware attack, for instance, literally holds your data hostage until you literally pay a ransom for it—and of course there’s no guarantee that if you give into the cybercriminal’s demands that you’ll get your data back. To ensure they don’t lose your data, telecom providers should have a disaster recovery plan in place, ensuring that data isn’t just backed up, but also copied and stored at a secondary site for restoration in a worst-case scenario.

The flexibility to set up backup timelines for restoration when required

Speaking of recoverability, should your telecom provider need to restore applications you as a customer rely on—and they should be able to do so using the backup data directly. Some telecom providers don’t have a backup solution in place that allows them to do this, relying instead on you to copy the backup data into a production environment before you’re able to use that application again; definitely an inconvenience if the application in question is mission-critical for your business.

Real-time monitoring and reporting

As mentioned above, your telecom provider’s backup solution should be able to monitor, alert and report on any backup and performance issues as they happen, ensuring the avoidance of downtime.

Resource forecasting and recovery testing

Your telecom provider’s backup solution should be able to run tests forecasting and alerting them to when their backup resources are reaching capacity so they can adjust accordingly. Furthermore, the solution should also be able to test to ensure any recovery jobs will in fact be successful. These tests should be done routinely.

As telecom providers continue to expand the products they offer customers, it’s on them to ensure their customers’ data is properly backed up and recoverable. However, that doesn’t mean every telecom has taken the necessary steps to do so. If you can verify your current or prospective telecom provider has a backup solution in place that meets the above criteria, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to move forward with an agreement.