Disaster recovery is a critical capability for enterprises in today’s environment, in which continuous uptime and always-available access to applications and processes are expected. Even the most prepared enterprise that has taken every possible step to avoid potential network interruptions will likely face a disaster or situation from which it must recover.
Enterprises may choose to deploy disaster recovery hardware and software within their premises to respond to unforeseen situations that may disrupt their networks. But an increasingly popular service model provides virtual disaster recovery services for companies that can’t or don’t want to house that capability on-site.
Development of DRaaS
Disaster recovery joins a growing list of critical functions that can now be offered as a service thanks to server virtualization technology. Infrastructure as as Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) are becoming familiar throughout data centers in enterprises of all sizes.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) has joined those offerings as a function that is scalable and flexibile and can save businesses money when offered virtually. DRaaS also allows for the development of greater capabilities and nearly immediate recovery from interruptions regardless of hardware and storage types.
Choosing a Service
When choosing a cloud-based disaster recovery service, several factors should be considered before making a final vendor choice.
- Availability of Resources. Perhaps the most important factor is whether the service guarantees the availability of resources when they are needed. If no guarantee is made, there is a possibility that recovery services won’t be available when they are needed most.
- Service Restoration Objectives. A plan that includes objectives about how quickly service can be restored is important. A recovery point objective should occur within seconds of an outage, and a recovery time objective should specify recovery within minutes. The number of servers that must be recovered will affect recovery time. Furthermore, the customer should be able to view the disaster recovery environment to verify that objectives and service level agreements (SLAs) are being met.
- Seamless Deployment. The service provider’s environment should interface with the company’s virtual environment without the need for software or hardware upgrades. Storage technology should be neutral, allowing the enterprise and DRaaS systems to interface whether or not the storage technology used is the same.
- Management. The DRaaS provider should have complete responsibility for managing the disaster recovery process. This includes providing and installing software, managing the replication process to make sure it occurs without error, and ensuring failover occurs seamlessly during a disaster.
- Server Replication. Continuous replication of servers is crucial to effective disaster recovery, and point in time restoration and recovery should be provided.
Benefits of DRaaS
In a time of crisis or during a disaster, an enterprise may have many areas to focus on and processes and systems to restore. Offloading recovery functions to a third party that specializes in disaster recovery can remove at least one burden during what could be a chaotic time.
Choosing the right disaster recovery provider is crucial to ensure the restoration process goes smoothly. It is important to take time to understand what the service provider offers, along with what guarantees and SLAs it provides. Making the right choice can be the difference between a quick recovery and a prolonged headache.