Why Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service?
Data is the lifeblood of any organization, and its loss can be a serious blow to the business. If your systems and data are not adequately protected and supported by a well-tested disaster recovery plan, chances are that you are placing your organization at risk.
Forrester analyst Rachel Dines recently discussed DRaaS in an article for ComputerWorld UK. In it, she stated:
“DRaaS has the potential to make your DR implementations less expensive and more automated. Enterprises should be taking a close look at their open-systems business-critical (i.e., Tier II or mid-tier) applications to see if they would be a good candidate for DRaaS. DRaaS most likely won’t work for all of your applications, but it can be a powerful tool in your continuity portfolio.”
As Dines reported, DRaaS is a compelling approach for protecting your systems and data. It offers numerous benefits that far outweigh the earlier strategies mentioned.
For one, it is more dependable and easier to manage than a tape-based solution. If your tapes are near the disaster, they are subject to the same risks as your primary site. If they are far away, you’ll have RTO issues. On the other hand, DRaaS is usually based on infrastructure that leverages virtualization to protect systems and data across geographic risk zones. By leveraging the cloud as a remote recovery site, an organization is protected against disaster at home. You can reconstruct your network and keep the service running remotely as long as it takes you to rebuild your own facility.
Some DR alternatives require costly duplication of your entire infrastructure in a second location. This approach can also involve many servers, so time restraints typically cause IT technicians to test only a handful of them. On the other hand, virtualized environments have far fewer provisioning and hardware requirements, so IT can test the entire system to ensure every aspect is working optimally. However not all recovery in the cloud services are the same. If your organization lacks disaster recovery expertise in house, then look for a managed service offering that provides a team of disaster recovery experts to provision, configure and test the DR infrastructure with you. And if disaster strikes, a remote DR service team would be unaffected by your disaster, and can guide and manage the recovery process for you.
With DRaaS, you will likely recover more quickly too. A report from the Aberdeen Group (“Small and Mid-Sized Organizations Gain Disaster Recovery Advantages Using Cloud Storage”) revealed that organizations with a formal disaster recovery plan that used cloud storage in that plan found that they recovered from downtime events almost four times faster than those that did not use cloud storage in their disaster recovery plan.
That’s a pretty compelling time advantage.