Beyond The Basics of Disaster Recovery as a Service

By: Josh Rhine

November 20, 2017

A few key considerations can help you get more value from your DR solution.


Disaster recovery strategies are often treated as a known quantities. The issue is frequently approached as if businesses have a few options regarding how they want to segregate backup, recovery, continuity and restoring operations. Beyond that, the conversation tends to only focus on emphasizing the importance of disaster recovery (“Hey, we need a DR solution.”) – a key consideration when talking with business leaders.

However, this approach underestimates just how valuable sophisticated disaster recovery solutions can be. This reality is particularly evident as Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service solutions take hold in the market, redefining how organizations access recovery solutions.

Gartner found that the use of DRaaS and Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions for production failover processes will increase by more than 200 percent from 2016 through 2020. With many organizations embracing the technology, IT leaders want to gain the value needed to make sure they maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their cloud infrastructure.

It’s common for companies to think all DRaaS solutions are pretty much the same, and the focus is getting a solution in place in a cost-efficient way. In practice, the situation is far more complicated. Your company’s IT decision makers must carefully analyze disaster recovery best practices beyond the surface level to ensure you get the type of solution you need when you establish your cloud disaster recovery strategy.

Location

Disaster recovery 101 comes with a basic best practice: Make sure you have your apps and data are being backed up or replicated to a secondary data center in a location far enough away from your primary/production environment to keep them safe in the event of a disaster.

While this is a key concern, that simple location consideration is only part of the issue. How data moves between locations is also critical.

Network routing between data centers: Physical distance matters as data moves between facilities, but literal distance doesn’t necessarily account for how data travels. For example, two cities may be 100 miles apart, but the network links that you’re a service provider has access to may have to send your data through an indirect route, forcing it to travel 300 miles and possibly move through an area impacted by a disaster.

Strategically located edge data centers with proper connectivity and interconnects can optimize routing and performance within the network that allows for quicker and more reliable recovery or failover to a DR environment.

Environment Types

Proper DRaaS solutions can replicate your primary or production environment in multiple locations, allowing your business to meet your RTO and RPO objectives. However, an Enterprise Storage Forum report explained that organizations must choose between virtual-to-virtual, physical-to-physical or physical-to-virtual configurations.

The news source pointed out that virtual-to-virtual is ideal when businesses have virtualized almost 100 percent of their systems. Conversely, companies with some mission-critical physical server assets (dedicated hosts, colocation, on-premise hardware, etc.) need to consider a physical-to-virtual replication. The alternative would be to have a 1:1 ratio of the same physical hardware in the DR location to failover to in the event of a disaster.

While this type of configuration is required in some instances, it can be expensive and often inefficient.

This may seem obvious and simple, but many providers do not offer DRaaS solutions that can meet specific requirements.  Instead, they provide one-size-fits-all solutions and put the burden on the company to accept and adapt to their capabilities. Vendors that can offer flexible disaster recovery service models, and help engineer your solution, can prove incredibly beneficial when deploying your DR solution.

Differentiating Between Providers

DRaaS solutions could seem like a commoditized service, with minimal difference between vendors. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.  A Network World report detailing one expert’s interviews with 20 different vendors showed that the backend processes and nuanced service options, such as colocation, hybrid cloud availability, customization, and more, can vary substantially between vendors, making each service unique.

Not all DRaaS solutions are created equally. Designing, deploying, and managing a solution that meets your business’s specific RTO/RPO objectives isn’t always easy.  At Lume, we simplify disaster recovery by offering a comprehensive and customizable suite of DRaaS solutions that are tailored to meet our client’s individual RTO/RPO requirements. Furthermore, we provide free upfront solution engineering and design services to ensure that you, not only, get the solution that is right for you but one that is also easy on your wallet.

Leave a Comment