There is little question at this point that cloud-based Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions offer tremendous benefits when it comes to backing up, maintaining, and then restoring critical operating environments following a sudden and unexpected outage.
But the fact remains that not all DRaaS platforms are the same. Depending on the needs of the organization and the dependencies of legacy infrastructure and business applications, some DRaaS options are better suited than others—and some could even end up impairing recovery time, or at the very least cost far more than is necessary.
To choose the right architecture of DRaaS for your organization, it helps to understand the fundamentals of the technology and how they affect such critical attributes as security, reliability, operational flow, and cost structures.
The main value proposition that DRaaS brings to the table is the switch from Disaster Recovery (DR) as a capital expense to an operational expense. Cloud-enabled as-a-service-based technology, DRaaS allows businesses to maintain fully replicated secondary environments and production-level infrastructure without the cost of building a duplicate data center that could sit idle for years before serving its purpose. At the same time, DRaaS provides an even greater level of protection by being highly portable. If one support facility is taken down, DRaaS can be easily mirrored to another site. All the while, DRaaS providers have a vested interest to ensure that their services are at the head of the pack and will therefore invest heavily in the latest technologies, the best security, and other features.
Two critical elements in selecting a DRaaS provider are the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO is a measure of system downtime as it affects core business operations. An e-commerce site, for instance, would have a much shorter RTO than a B2B manufacturer, since every minute of downtime represents lost sales. RPO is a measurement of how far back in time data recovery should extend. Some enterprises might need to restore days or weeks of data, others might require minutes.
DRaaS service providers should also exhibit high proficiency in a number of attributes, among them:
- Design. A DRaaS partner should be highly adept at replicating your existing environment remotely and then responding quickly to an outage. This usually requires a holistic approach to match the recovery environment with all existing hardware, software, and related resources, as well as business processes and objectives.
- Testing and documentation. Business is evolving at the speed of data these days, so constant vigilance is needed to ensure changes, incompatibilities, and other detriments to a smooth recovery are quickly identified and eliminated. At the same time, it is important not to let test procedures interfere with ongoing production operations.
- Management and recovery. Top providers do more than just implement cutting-edge technology. They should also have the expertise and professionalism to ensure smooth data protection and recovery operations. This should encompass the skills needed to solve problems that are unique to every enterprise and provide real-time support when time is of the essence.
Getting all of this right is a huge challenge, which is why many organizations turn to seasoned service providers to ensure a successful DRaaS deployment. At CBTS, we work closely with all cloud providers to ensure clients receive a state-of-the-art solution that maintains deep ties to much of the leading business productivity software deployed in their existing production environments.
The CBTS way
We begin by conducting a complete assessment of all data recovery needs, including RTOs, RPOs, system dependencies, and the like. We also conduct walk-throughs of common DR scenarios and perform a thorough analysis of performance data.
From there, we design and implement an optimal solution featuring both physical and logical characteristics, including replication software at each site. This is backed up by a full complement of DR procedures, subject to regular review by stakeholders.
Finally, we validate and document the entire system by syncing and testing the primary and secondary environments, defining recovery and live test procedures, and creating the full run-book documentation.
Few enterprises have the in-house expertise to navigate this complicated process alone, and relying solely on a cloud provider can produce results that are more beneficial to the provider than the enterprise. With an experienced partner like CBTS on your side, however, you can be sure you’ll get the right DRaaS environment the first time, and that it will continue to evolve with your business needs rather than lock you into a digital ecosystem incapable of meeting the challenges of tomorrow.
Contact us for more information on how CBTS can help build your DRaaS environment.