disaster recovery as a service or DRaaS, allows organizations to back up and recover critical applications in the cloud. It helps minimize the costs of downtime and restores business operations faster after a system failure. DRaaS uses virtualization technology to reduce the cost of backup and recovery, while increasing the speed of disaster recovery. It is also a way to reduce the time and effort it takes to test DR plans and keep them up to date.
In the cheapest model, self-service DRaaS, customers take responsibility for planning, testing and management of the DR plan while using the vendor’s services for backup and hosting. This is ideal for organizations with skilled workers who can handle the process themselves.
Using a DRaaS solution eliminates the need to establish and equip a secondary data center for DR purposes. This saves a significant amount of money for the organization. It is especially useful for SMBs that do not have the expertise or time to create an effective DR plan. It also eliminates the need for like-for-like duplication of storage hardware between the primary and DR sites.
The DRaaS solution mirrors the entire infrastructure in fail-safe mode to virtual servers, so that an organization can continue to run its applications, regardless of whether the physical servers are impacted by a disaster. This approach enables businesses to return to production within minutes of a disaster occurring and avoids the costly downtime and lost revenue that can occur when physical servers are not available.
This type of DR solution is an alternative to traditional business continuity (BC) solutions, which require a dedicated team to monitor and manage the onsite disaster recovery infrastructure. These solutions typically use point-in-time snapshots to back up and restore data, but they require the organization to be able to manage multiple instances of a server at a time. This is not feasible for many applications that organizations rely on.
The most expensive DRaaS model is fully managed DRaaS, in which the third-party provider takes over all aspects of disaster recovery and DR orchestration. This option is best for organizations that do not have the resources or IT staff to manage a comprehensive DR plan in-house.
To ensure that DRaaS works as intended, the third party must be familiar with the specific infrastructure and applications that an organization depends on for its daily operations. For this reason, a DRaaS provider should be able to perform a thorough risk assessment of the infrastructure and applications that are essential for the organization’s operations. This information should be used to create a DR plan that is ideally suited to the unique requirements of each application. In addition, the DRaaS provider should be ideally positioned to offer support and maintenance for the application in the event of a disaster. This will enable the DRaaS solution to provide maximum business value and protection for an organization.