I have met with dozens (hundreds maybe?) of companies that have been burned by bad MSPs before.

Here are some of the red flags I've have found:

***Do you rely on “trust” to keep your system maintained?

Do you have access to the database/code/runbook/documentation in any way or is it hidden from easy access?

When customers or users start complaining about performance how quickly is it diagnosed and resolved? Can you see for yourself the diagnostic tools being used, or are they hidden from you? Are you able to see metrics for CPU, IO, Disk space, at all?

If it is hard for you to review the health of your database, you are relying on “trust” instead of “facts.”


TRUST your Database MSP, but make sure you can VERIFY that trust.



AI chatbots are a common way for MSPs to cut costs and pass the savings on to no one. Especially in IT MSPs where techs can be hard to find, retain, train, and manage.



  1. The most important issue when hiring an MSP is INTEGRITY. If your MSP has integrity, they will not mind showing what is behind the curtain. As a matter of fact, they should be proud to show their skills in taking care of your environment. You should insist on knowing the needs, vs the costs. Is your CPU or IO set to high to save them time but costs you money that you don’t need to spend? Is it set too low and not being watched well?


  1. What security standards are they using to lock down your environment. Are they properly using encryption? Are those encryption keys properly hidden and controlled? Did you know any administrator on the server could decrypt your columns.



  1. Do you have full insight into your environment. Now some of you don’t care because you think that the provider should oversee keeping your environment running smoothly and protected. But what happens when they are not paying attention or not doing the work properly. What happens if you have a data issue whether caused by internal human errors or external hacks.
  2. Does your MSP share a plan for improving performance, upgrades for out of data software, security updates, capacity planning so you can review, the data storage and archiving of data, compressing backups, instead of buying more space in an emergency situation?


In short: your MSP should be issuing regular reports on it’s findings, diagnostics, remedies, and of course tickets. It should not be hard to discover what your database MSP is doing to proactively manage and tune your environment to keep things running smoothly.


More tidbits:

You should always have a backup/disaster recovery plan that you can use to move your environment. Take control of things when you need to and understand what the MSP will do in case of any data loss issues. If your MSP or data colocation center does not share their policies and procedures with you about every situation then I suggest that you look for another MSP.


Try a database msp with integrity, one that builds your runbooks and considers them to be your property, helps develop and share a disaster recovery plan with your team.

Lastly an MSP should have a human technical person ready to support your team 24 x 7/365. Your data is your gold, IT is no longer an arm of the business your IT environment controls your business. Don’t let your MSP limit your business.