Disaster Recovery as a Service: Tips and Best Practices

Today’s generation of IT and hardware infrastructure offers a complex array of hybrid solutions, some on premises and some remotely connected to a company’s operations. Consequently, Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS) is an asset helping to ensure business continuity, a challenge that has been daunting for companies at all scales.

A Nationwide Insurance study found that 52% of business owners admit that disaster recovery can stretch as far as 90 days. However, 75% of these same owners do not currently have a plan for disaster recovery. Of this group that does not have a plan in place, 25% of them never recover from a serious disaster. Investing in DRaaS is far from just a marketing strategy by disaster recovery service providers. It is now a quantifiable assertion.

Is All Disaster Recovery (DR) Good for Business?

It is not enough to have just any DR attached to your business. The upgrades in technology that have taken place in DR over the past few years fully separate the modern solution from their legacy counterparts. IT environments are becoming more diversified, meaning that a single failsafe solution or universal approach may not be adequate for today’s business environment. Legacy DR may leave huge backdoors for malicious users or hackers to come through.

Other risks that you assume with legacy solutions include the following:

  • Longer recovery time objectives(RTOs) – Modern DR gives a more agile response that creates a shorter recovery speed than antiquated DR solutions. Your RTOs can affect not only your day to day operations, but also your long term revenue and the reputation that you carry within your industry.
  • High costs of capital – Legacy DR is hardware intensive, which requires a huge investment of time and money that is not necessary. The costs for these legacy solutions are usually a barrier for most companies, especially when considering the financial risk of the investment.
  • Low ROI – The ROI for legacy DR is, as a rule, lower than that of modern virtual DR standards. Investing in hardware solutions can quickly drain the Opex for your IT, and you do not even optimize the use of the equipment that you buy in most cases.
  • Threats to your proximity – Without proper management, the distance of your DR solution from your primary workspace is less important. Solutions that are on site face the same risk of a disaster. Solutions that are off site reduce your RTOs and increase the challenges you face with bandwidth.

What is the primary takeaway? Not all DR is cut the same. Some legacy solutions may actually be bad for your business.

You can update your DR strategy by using DRaaS, which provides data protection from end-to-end. This includes backup along with disaster recovery and an infrastructure with the advantage of being always-on. Although these solutions include more components, they are actually made simpler through automation. There are many other capabilities in modern DR that help to handle the complex recovery scenarios that a business may face.

DR Best Practices

Support for the Virtual and Physical Environment

Any DR solution that you seriously consider should be able to integrate fully with modern virtualization platforms such as Hyper-V from Microsoft or VMWare. It should also be able to integrate with your physical servers. In most cases, your businesses will be using hybrid solutions that include capabilities like hypervisor replication and high-level storage. These features help businesses optimize the infrastructure they already have instead of having to change the structure around the disaster recovery solution.

Assessment Capabilities

Even the best disaster recovery solutions must have a robust assessment component in order to find and tweak weaknesses in the program. Disaster recovery testing should be able to easily occur within different environments without causing disruptions in day-to-day business. This is important because all disaster recovery requires frequent assessments in order to maintain the veracity of backup and disaster recovery plans. Assessments also help businesses avoid unexpected, last-minute surprises. Lastly, a paper trail of assessments also help a business to remain in compliance with BCDR audits.

Managing Capabilities

Disaster recovery service providers must be able to give end users the ability to define parameters including SLAs, RTOs and RPOs. They should also be able to regulate resources such as memory and processor allocation. The best solutions give all of these capabilities in an intuitive user interface that allows for fail back and failover solutions irrespective of the infrastructure that the recovery is taking place in.

Solutions That Keep

The best disaster recovery as a service solutions contain a level of resiliency that is simply not found in legacy DR solutions. Backups within this infrastructure are just as robust as primary devices, and they come from different regions for geographical protection. The resiliency is protected through support plans and SLAs that are precise and defined.

You can always count on Murphy’s Law to affect your business, especially if you do not have protection in place with the capabilities mentioned above. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and you need a partner that understands and can react to this physical truth about the world.

Your Next Move

Whether your business is an SMB or international enterprise, data safety should be a top priority for you. Proper preparation in the modern business landscape is more than implementing business cloud backup – this is only a first step in your DR. What would you do if your primary systems completely shut down? Is your current solution equipped to handle this kind of a disaster? If you can’t answer this question fully, then you can expect serious problems at some point in your future. Fortunately, you can use the Internet and the cloud for a cost effective solution that does protect you fully.

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