Disaster recovery as a service, also known as DRaaS, is an IT solution that ensures that critical data and systems remain accessible when the unexpected happens. Historically, ensuring that critical business systems are protected against threats has been expensive and complicated. However, new technology has introduced more affordable, simpler solutions that help businesses manage this process more easily.
The basic idea behind disaster recovery as a service is that the data and applications that make up an organization’s IT infrastructure are replicated to a remote cloud environment where they can be restored in the event of a disaster. In this way, the company can continue operating without disruption.
While this may seem straightforward, there are a number of issues associated with disaster recovery as a service that are worth keeping in mind. First and foremost, it is necessary to test the disaster recovery system on a regular basis in order to ensure that the backup data is functioning properly and that the failover process works as intended. This can be difficult to do for organizations that lack the time and technical expertise in-house.
Another challenge that many companies face when trying to implement disaster recovery as a service is that the process of synchronizing and replicating data can consume significant IT resources. This can result in performance slowdowns at the primary site, reducing productivity and preventing businesses from meeting key business objectives. The newer, more advanced DRaaS solutions now available on the market can significantly reduce this performance impact with WAN-optimized replication that doesn’t impact production workloads and uses global data deduplication.
With a managed DRaaS model, an expert third party handles the management of the entire process. This can be especially helpful for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) that lack the in-house staff to handle the planning, testing, and monitoring of their DR plans on their own. A managed DRaaS provider can also monitor and support the restoration of infrastructure and applications after a disaster occurs, further increasing an organization’s level of business resiliency.
Choosing the right DRaaS solution depends on the specific needs of each organization. The least expensive option is self-service DRaaS, which is offered by most DRaaS vendors. This type of DRaaS allows customers to retain responsibility for the planning and implementation of their own disaster recovery processes. The vendor provides the backup management software and hosts the customer’s infrastructure backup on virtual servers in a remote location. Careful planning and testing are required to ensure that processing can be switched over to the virtual servers instantly in the event of a disaster.
Assisted DRaaS is a more costly option than self-service DRaaS. With this model, the vendor offers its services and expertise for optimizing disaster recovery procedures, but the customer is responsible for implementing some or all of their own disaster recovery plans. This is an ideal option for organizations that would prefer to maintain responsibility for some aspects of their DRaaS process or for those with unique, custom applications that could be challenging for third parties to take over.