We live in uncertain times, and with the increasing number of business interruptions and security breaches hitting the headlines, only the most foolhardy of organisations will operate without having a disaster recovery solution in place.
Traditional disaster recovery solutions involved investing considerable sums in replicating computer servers on and off site to allow critical data and applications to be held on a secondary, or in some cases, a tertiary location, which made them resource-hungry and put them pretty much out of the reach of smaller enterprises.
The advent of cloud technology has dramatically changed the landscape, and cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is now available at a very reasonable cost, meaning organisations of all sizes can be ‘always ready’ should disaster strike.
Buying disaster recovery as a service means exactly what it says on the tin. You are buying into a service arrangement where your IT partner assumes responsibility for maintaining the computing, storage capacity and communications links necessary to replicate and restore your key data and applications, should you need them.
It may sound obvious, but to ensure its success you need to choose a provider who works with a range of carriers, invests in the maintenance of its own fast communications links, maintains a multiple data centre network and works with a range of carrier partners so a solution can be tailored exactly to your business requirements.
The key benefits of DRaaS include:
Flexibility: you can restore anything from a single server to a whole data centre, and within any scenario, from human error and server failure through to loss of power or a security breach.
Scaleability: your DRaaS solution can be instantly scaled up or down according to requirements at the time.
Real resilience: because using cloud allows data and applications to be held across multiple locations, the end result is a truly resilient solution that would be costly to create via a more traditional solution.
Faster recovery: with a DRaaS solution, your business can easily be back up and running within minutes, if that is your preferred scenario. The choice is yours – establish how much downtime is acceptable – and therefore your recovery point and recovery time objectives – by working out what each hour or even each minute will cost you, and base your solution requirements on that.
Security: DRaaS protects against ransomware and other cyber-threats by allowing users to quickly and easily revert back to the last clean replication point, if a threat or breach has been detected. With traditional disaster recovery solutions, your administrator would need to trawl back through historic backups to find the last clean data point, then invoke what could be a lengthy recovery process.
Meets regulatory requirements: applications and data can be structured to be recovered in tiers, to meet the compliance requirements from regulatory bodies governing organisations in the health or finance sectors.
Easy to test: regular testing is crucial and because you have computing capacity permanently on standby, your systems administrator can create a secure copy of your data and applications in the cloud for testing purposes, so there is no disruption to the business. Because it is deleted once the test is complete, you know you are only paying for it while you have invoked it.
Cost-effectiveness: as DRaaS uses virtual technology, you need less hardware and software held on standby for ‘just in case’ scenarios. Once you have paid licence and set up fees, your overall costs are lower because you only pay when you invoke it, either for testing or in a real scenario. You may even be able to claim back some of the cost of your DRaaS solution under the terms of your business insurance.
Using cloud technology to underpin DRaaS solutions simplifies and streamlines the whole process, making it more affordable than a traditional solution and putting SMBs on a par with bigger organisations.
It is an ideal solution to the worry of how you would cope should disaster strike your business IT. In today’s economic and political climate, can you afford not to do it?