Part two of our blog series reminds us why disaster recovery is critical to our business objectives. Your data is the most valuable asset to the organization (outside of your people), so as leaders in the field, we help companies recognize new technologies that can take what seemed to be a monumental task and make short work out of it.
So, let’s dive into the specific advantages Disaster Recovery as a Service offers and outline some scenarios where the technology shines.
Leveraging compute that exists in the cloud is just one way we can get you back up and running fast. When first analyzing your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO), you are essentially determining how long your business can standstill. When engaging your DRaaS partner’s cloud-storage and compute, you can spin-up company resources before your facility has been able to recover from an outage. Depending on the nature of the event, it could be days or weeks before critical resources are restored, or before your building becomes accessible again. It doesn’t stop there. When the lights are back on, the daunting task of failing back has been simplified through snapshots that can take a Live RPO and inject it right back into bare-metal servers or machines. The organization is usually unaware any of this has even taken place.
Let’s face it, in today’s COVID-19 world, offices are getting smaller; remote workspaces and home offices are the new norm. As this trend continues, businesses will begin to close down non-essential/non-production facilities, potentially shrinking their geo-diverse coverage. What once was a coast to coast operation might gain efficiency by consolidating operations on the left or right coast. If this is the case, chances are, checking the boxes in your organization’s Business Continuity Plan for surviving a coastal event is no longer an option.
Choosing a provider that has geo-redundancy built into its foundation, you are enabling one of the most challenging objectives to overcome in a backup strategy. How do I get all of this data across the country while not running into any recovery point objective errors due to bandwidth or systems availability?
A team of six skilled engineers made up my backup and disaster recovery team, each one costing northward of $100K a year (not including benefits and vacation). My production environment cost well north of seven figures to build and the idea of having to build like for like, install an SRM type manager, and ship the data cross-country…well, the costs started to add up. There had to be a better option, but I couldn’t leverage anything with standby resources. I was buying boxes and paying for their resources to sit idle as an insurance policy.
Cloud resources are elastic; you only use what you need when you need it, converting your capital expenditure into an operating expense, significantly reducing the strain on your technology budget. Most providers utilize this pay-as-you-go philosophy, providing you with the storage space to create the repository for your data, the compute resources don’t become an expense until you need to use them. DRaaS providers tend to include a block of hours to spin up your environment for testing purposes (usually 8-12 hours annually).
You have on-premises disaster recovery, taking backups every thirty minutes, replicating on the hour. All of a sudden a call comes in from accounting: “We haven’t been able to access the accounting folder for the last forty-five minutes.” Turn and look, it’s now 1:15 pm, you know the replication just finished and now not only are your on-premises files encrypted, the replication is encrypted too.
Most organizations don’t leverage technology that alerts on changes to large amounts of data; in this case, all the data in the repository. DRaaS providers leverage deduplication and incremental changes for efficiency and bandwidth preservation. In most cases built in a server>agent relationship and physically disconnected from your network, it’s able to alert and halt any further operation until the mass changes in data have been verified, saving days in recovery and keeping you within your recovery time objective.
I mentioned I had six employees managing DR as a full-time position, constantly responding to live alerts and sometimes missing them. Increased reliability comes in platforms designed from the ground-up to do one thing exceptionally well. When we first built our centers, we kept continuity and reliability in mind when planning our replication strategy. However, server sprawl, data bloat, and duplication is a real thing, and it outgrows replication strategies quickly.
When we first ventured down the DRaaS path, I breathed a sigh of relief when the word elasticity was uttered. All the planning, massive storage arrays (e.g. for compute and management) were no longer of concern to me. I could sleep again. Most technology executives share the same sentiment.
Cloud Resources, Real estate, Cap-ex/Op-ex, Attack Vulnerabilities, and Increased Reliability and Continuity are only a few of the benefits organizations are capitalizing on when switching to a Disaster Recovery as a Service provider.
The final installment of our series will discuss additional benefits and real-life scenarios where we were able to deliver real value to customers when it mattered most. So stay tuned. But if you can’t wait that long, feel free to reach out to us with any questions. We’d love to help you get started.
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