Is the public cloud a suitable solution for disaster recovery?
The Public Cloud and DRaaS
Demand for disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) continues to increase rapidly. While implementation can be complicated, the concept is simple—“the cloud” provides offsite, remote resources for businesses to back up and replicate workloads and data to be brought online should the production site become unavailable.
VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V are the primary hypervisor platforms for virtual machines currently. These tools provide independence from specific hardware and allow flexibility for recovery, allowing service providers to use the public cloud as a remote repository for virtual workloads. Advancements in technology also allow the physical servers to be restored or recovered as virtual machines.
Based on our experience in this space, here are eleven things we believe are critical to DRaaS and differentiators between offerings of cloud service providers.
What Exactly is DRaaS?
DRaaS is the process of allowing a third party to handle the replication and storage of your business-critical information in the cloud. If disaster strikes and a catastrophe destroys your servers and any physical backups of your data, your third-party service provider will have your information and critical systems available. DRaaS is the ultimate failover plan for a company that can’t afford to lose their data or be inoperable, even for a couple of minutes, hours or days. DRaaS enables your organization to continue functioning during a disaster, making it extremely valuable to organizations. Your DRaaS system can kick in automatically when your systems go down, providing you with zero downtime or can be turned on manually which will take a bit longer. To decide what type of DRaaS is best for your organization consider your RPO and RTO.
Why is DRaaS Important for My Business?
DRaaS provides a wide variety of benefits for any business. First, and most importantly, it solidifies your data protection plan. By using off-site cloud hosting, you ensure your data is safe from being wiped out and accessible if your internal infrastructure becomes unavailable. DRaaS works the same, providing a back up cloud infrastructure for your operations to continue running even if your internal systems are down. Keeping your organization up and running. Having DRaaS can also function as a competitive advantage, if competitors in your region are impacted by the same disaster and are put out of service, their clients may be forced to turn to the organization who is in service. If you’re in service but other competitors aren’t this places you at an advantage.
Another benefit to DRaaS is you’ll dramatically reduce your off-site disaster recovery infrastructure costs. Many businesses create off-site disaster recovery sites in case their main site goes down, with DRaaS there’s no need for another site. You won’t need to invest in the additional physical space, physical servers and storage drives, staffing and cooling. Hosting can be affordable, no matter what size business you have. One of the biggest myths about DRaaS is that it is expensive and unaffordable for most businesses. This is simply not true.
Finally, DRaaS is extremely flexible. As your company grows, you’ll need to continuously expand IT infrastructure, adding servers and increasing storage capacity. Cloud storage is inherently scalable, the only thing you’ll need to update is your service agreement with your service provider. Cloud computing can help your organization create a disaster recovery plan that scales with you. Using DRaaS allows your organization to maximize cloud computing while protecting your organization assets and reputation.
How Can I Start Using DRaaS?
Getting started with DRaaS is as simple as finding a reputable, reliable service provider. Here are some key considerations when deciding to move towards DRaaS:
- What security measures does the service provider employ? You need to ensure your data is safe and secure at all times. Make sure your DRaaS provider encrypts your information and consider the various authentication methods required to access your data.
- What bandwidth is necessary? Keep in mind that you’ll need the bandwidth to upload your information to the cloud, and also to access it. Bandwidth will change your pricing, ensure you choose a bandwidth that works for you, and isn’t just the ‘cheapest’.
- What’s the restoration process? If disaster strikes, you need to be up and running as soon as possible. Talk to your provider about how quickly they’ll be able to restore your systems. Will your DRaaS solution kick in immediatly or will it take a few minutes?
This whitepaper explores the ramifications of public cloud as a DR solution, including monitoring, builds, service, running from the cloud, networking, SLAs, security, and other issues you might encounter with any disaster recovery solution.