A Deep Dive into Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Disaster recovery planning is a very essential thing for every organization. Many disasters and calamities have the potential to wreck the entire IT organization to unrecoverable extents. These disasters and calamities include hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, equipment failures, power outages and cyberattacks. Taking measures to protect the IT infrastructure and data is known as disaster recovery. Many companies and cloud operators now provide disaster recovery management services for various companies regardless of their sizes.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), a raising Gartner trend, is a part of a cloud computing service model wherein organizations can back up their data and IT infrastructure in a third-party cloud computing environment. In simpler terms, DRaaS is the process of replicating the hosting of servers by a third-party cloud service provider to provide failover during of event of man-made or natural calamities. 93% of the companies without DRaaS who suffer data disaster run out of business within a year.

Types of DRaaS

There are various types of disaster recovery methods provided for organizations. Depending on the DRaaS provider, organizations can choose to either let the provider take care of the entire disaster management process or just a part of it. Below are some of the important types of disaster recovery services.

Managed DRaaS

A recovery services model where the third-party provider takes complete control over the disaster recovery plans is called managed DRaaS. In this method of recovery management, the companies have to stay connected with the third-party service provider to ensure that the infrastructure, applications and service changes are up to date. Managed DRaaS is the best option for small organizations like startups or SMEs.

Assisted DRaaS

Assisted DRaaS is a recovery model where the companies can outsource only particular services from their DRaaS provider. For instance, if there are any custom-built applications that can only be supported by the infrastructure of that particular company, then assisted DRaaS becomes the suitable solution. In this model, while the DRaaS provider offers expertise in disaster recovery procedures, it is the responsibility of the company to implement the recovery solution.

Self-service DRaaS

In the self-service DRaaS model, the company hosts its own infrastructure backup on virtual machines in remote locations. This model is also the cheapest one as the company takes full responsibility for planning, testing and managing recovery plans without the need for a third-party service provider. The self-service DRaaS model requires careful planning and testing to ensure that the failover happens to virtual servers in the event of a disaster.

Advantages of DRaaS

No hardware requirements

Traditional disaster recovery methods involved various hardware components such as hard disks, servers, etc for data backup. Along with the various hardware components, a huge amount of money had to be spent on maintaining these components.

With DRaaS, the data is stored in the third-party service provider’s environment, on private servers. Additionally, there is no upfront cost involved in setting up the physical infrastructure for the companies.

Secure backup

The DRaaS providers ensure that best security practices are being implemented to protect data centers to protect enterprise-grade data. The security practices include data encryption, regular security patches, audits, etc. Moreover, enterprise data are protected using multifactor authentications, making it much more secure.

Seamless configuration and testing

In earlier days, configuration, testing and data recovery used to be monotonous along with incompatibility and storage issues. DRaaS comes with an online dashboard and the necessary tools to automate most of the process. With the online dashboard, the backup process becomes much more efficient and easier because of automated scheduling. By using the online dashboard, companies can also ensure if the data has been backed up.

Immediate recovery

DRaaS regularly backs up data to the cloud server using the internet. Instead of having to go to other locations to recover backed-up data, the data can simply be downloaded. People with the right access credentials can access the data from anywhere at any time around the world.

How to select the right DRaaS provider?

Provides well-defined documentation

The contract between the service provider and the company must have all the details mentioned in a clear and transparent way. It should contain details on uptime, downtime, database location, deployment type – active or passive, throughput, data retrieval rate, etc.

Cost transparency

The DRaaS provider must not include any hidden cost when billing the company for additional services like storage. Any charge for additional services must be clearly stated in the contract.

Offer data protection

Though cloud services are naturally isolated from production data and protected against cyberattacks, it is still necessary to ensure that the provider constantly checks for any issues and is compliant with the necessary regulatory requirements.

Pay per use

The DRaaS provider must offer different recovery plans based on the type of application. The companies also have to ensure that the provider bills them only for the services used and not the other way around.

Provide automated test recovery

A recovery service provider should mandatorily offer automated tests at least once a month. This will ensure that the applications are readily recovered even after any changes in the infrastructure.

The tedious, age-old data recovery and disaster management processes cost a lot to the companies. The most faced issue was the downtime. According to Statista’s study in 2020, the average downtime costs around 301,000 to 400,000 USD per hour. This has now been replaced with fast and effective methods such as DRaaS. By implementing DRaaS solutions, organizations do not ever have to worry about backing up their data. The best part about DRaaS is that the lost data can be recovered almost instantly in the event of a disaster.

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