What is DRaaS?
DRaaS or Disaster Recovery as a Service refers to a cloud computing and backup service model that utilizes the cloud resources for protecting the applications and data from any kind of loss or disruption in case of a disaster. DRaaS can give an organization a complete system backup allowing the business continuity in case of a system failure. DRaaS is often used with a disaster recovery plan (DRP) or a business continuity plan (BCP). DRaaS is often referred as business continuity as a service or BCaaS.
With a proper DRaaS plan in place, it enables the complete replication and backup of all cloud data and applications when serving as a secondary infrastructure. However, it acts as a new environment allowing the organization and the users to resume their daily processes when the primary infrastructure has undergone repairing and recovery. DRaaS can allow the applications to run over a virtual machine (VM) even in the absence of a real disaster.
How DRaaS Works
Step 1: Creating Backups
Cloud backup solutions are a good option for protecting user data as they cover a wide range of operating systems and applications. The backups in cloud solutions can be performed frequently as they are optimized to move only changed or altered data. Cloud backup solutions could use a local appliance in order to act as a platform where backups can be deduplicated before they’re transferred to the cloud.
Step 2: Getting Recovery
Once the data has been protected on a regular basis, then the organizations have an insight of what recovery seems like. There can be at times when the organization is going to face disaster in terms of server, storage or site-wide and this is when DRaaS can be used. Here, the system administrator needs to start the affected applications present over the appliance. An important consideration to keep in mind when going for a DRaaS provider is regarding what exactly should be the solution.
Types of DRaaS
- Self-Service DRaaS:
In this model, you receive all the tools and equipment needed for performing DR backups and replication on your own. Thus, you’re responsible for monitoring the status of your recovery and deciding how often you’re going to test whether each of the solutions works properly.
In this DRaaS model, your business is responsible for every aspect related to recovery planning, testing, and management process. This means in case of a disaster, your in-house IT team is completely responsible for executing the recovery task.
Self-Serviced DRaaS: Getting the tools yourself for assembling your DR plan yourself
- Assisted DRaaS
In the assisted DRaaS model, the provider acts as an advisor as you look to implement, manage and test your solutions. You are responsible for all the aspects related to your company’s DR plan. Your DRaaS provider can step in for help with failover and failback in case of a disaster occurrence and your in-house IT team members are not available.
Assisted DRaaS: Assembling the tools with your DR plan with DR experts for assistance
- Managed DRaaS
In a managed DRaaS, the DRaaS provider is responsible for carrying out planning, testing, and management of your recovery strategy. A managed DRaaS provider needs to manage all the aspects related to your delivery, such that your iT team can focus on other top-business priorities. In case of a disaster, your DRaaS provider is responsible for carrying out the recovery process. It is important to note that a managed DRaaS requires a higher investment as compared to other DRaaS alternates, providing the highest level of support and assurance to meet your unique business needs.
Managed DRaaS: Your DRaaS provider is responsible for building and managing your DR
Benefits of DRaaS for Your Business
DRaaS helps in providing a wide array of benefits to your business, irrespective of their size. Some of the benefits that DRaaS include-
- DRaaS helps in solidifying your data protection plan. Using an off-site cloud hosting ensures that the data of your business remains safe from any disaster and remains accessible in case an internal infrastructure is absent. DRaaS helps your business by providing a backup cloud infrastructure to keep the operations running even if the internal systems are down.
- By having a DRaaS in place, your business can gain a competitive edge. In case of a disaster occurrence, if the DRaaS providers are impacted and go out of service, then the business clients always look upon a provider that is in service.
- With DRaaS in place, you can reduce your off-site disaster recovery infrastructure costs. Many businesses look to create an off-site disaster recovery sites in case the main site suffers a downtime failure. With DRaaS, you don’t need to have another off-site. Also, you don’t need to invest in additional physical space and storage drivers.
- Lastly, DRaaS is highly flexible. As your organization grows, there is a need to constantly expand the IT infrastructure, adding servers and increased storage capacity. Cloud is highly scalable and all you have to do is update your service agreement. With DRaaS, your business can maximize cloud computing while protecting your business’s assets and reputation.
DRaaS has been a game-changer for several business organizations as it significantly eliminates the cost of a second site and the required equipment for the same. However, it is important to understand how these solutions work so that there are various differentiating options available. In an ideal case, the DRaaS solutions need to provide the ability to provide regular backups of the entire environment. These backups need to be stored both- locally and on the cloud, thus, providing an automated recovery in case of a disaster.