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What to Consider Before Implementing a DRaaS Model

Jul 14, 2016 1:56:27 PM

by Ken Cameron

IT Sourcing Consultants

As we move deeper into ‘the age of the customer’ organizations must possess the necessary business continuity to effectively serve and support customers, regardless of varied market conditions or unforeseen disastrous circumstances. Robust disaster recovery solutions play a vital role in safeguarding enterprises against the extensive downtime that can be caused in the event of a disaster. However, as the need for digital and agile transformation continues to rise, so too will the need for disaster recovery solutions to adapt to accommodate modern business demands.

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) has become an essential cloud application used to protect an organization’s digital assets. Facilitating the nimble and agile infrastructure environment that today’s marketplace calls for, DRaaS enables businesses to leverage the comprehensive recovery and risk mitigation of enterprise software while gaining the efficiencies, optimizations, and cost-effectiveness of SaaS solution. The evolution from traditional disaster recovery solutions to DRaaS has brought comprehensive recovery to a broader market, and has allowed small and medium sized businesses, that otherwise would not be able to support a replicated site due to a lack of capital and resources, to employ sufficient business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. 

Due to the nature of the cloud, DRaaS can offer innate data replication and redundancy for reliable backup and recovery. However, before implementing a DRaaS model it’s important for organizations to perform the necessary due diligence to ensure that it can support its data protection requirements while staying within budgetary constraints.

  1. Data Protection Requirements

Although it may seem somewhat obvious, the first step any organization should take when deciding whether or not to implement a DRaaS solution is to evaluate its needs and determine its most critical business applications. While the costs of DRaaS are fractional in comparison to traditional DR solutions, many organizations will have to prioritize certain resources and applications above others in order to employ a sufficient, yet affordable DRaaS solution. Among the most important are choosing cold site recovery vs. a hot site recovery, data center location, and the recovery time objective and recovery point objective.

Through this evaluation, enterprises will be able to identify what parts of its infrastructure are absolutely critical to keeping their business running, and better determine the infrastructure and configuration needed to facilitate effective cloud-based data protection.

  1. Tolerance for Downtime

Today’s competitive landscape offers little tolerance for downtime. With the vast majority of consumer interactions and transactions occurring thru digital channels, organizations can’t afford to be ‘down’ for too long. While DRaaS solutions offer the cloud-based agility, flexibility, and affordability needed for quick recovery in the event of a disaster, it is important for an enterprise to establish its tolerance for downtime prior to implementing a DRaaS solution.

Transaction velocity is often a key factor when determining an organization’s tolerance for downtime. With a lower velocity of transactions it is more feasible to sustain longer periods of downtime and catch up once that data has been restored. However, in high transaction environments every second lost increases the risk of losing business critical data such as customer billing information, inventory data, and competitive intelligence.

Simply put, the faster the recovery time – the more expensive the solution. So, although it’s easy to say ‘I need to be up and running as soon as possible in the event of a disaster’, it’s not always that easy to afford. Finding the right balance between downtime and budget can be a challenge, but it is essential to ensuring the proper alignment of an organization’s business needs with its chosen DR solution.

Traditionally, it was only those organizations with the capital and resources that were able to implement robust DR solutions. However, with the ability to replicate infrastructure, applications, and data to the cloud, DRaaS enables modern enterprises to employ affordable, full environmental recovery solutions.

Although it’s still in the early stages, IT sourcing consultants are well-versed on the value that can be gained from leveraging a DRaaS solution, and can help to identify the most critical aspects of an organization’s IT to protect them in the most efficient and effective was possible.

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