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Posted May 25, 2017 in Cloud

What You Need to Know About Disaster Recovery as a Service

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Take your disaster recovery processes to the cloud.

If you run a business, you need a disaster recovery plan – it’s just that simple. We’ve all heard the horror stories of businesses losing access to critical files, networks, systems, and databases following an unforeseen event. In some instances, those companies manage to get back on their feet – but others are not so lucky. An oft-repeated statistic, courtesy of the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency, holds that 40 per cent of businesses never recover from a disaster.

Are you prepared for disaster? It’s a question that can reveal some uncomfortable truths – not necessarily because your business is operating without the safety net of a disaster recovery plan, but because that plan is deeply flawed.

According to IDC Canada, 45 per cent of Canadian businesses are unable to comprehensively catalogue every threat to the systems and data that provide core business functionality and operability. Moreover, 81 per cent do not adequately test the DR plans they have in place, if they do at all.

There’s no time to delay when overhauling your DR strategy. Disaster can strike at any time, and once you’re in a position to urgently need better DR solutions, it’s already too late. So, what should you look for in a DR solution? Well, more businesses are embracing a managed service model and signing up with Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service providers so they can failover to the cloud whenever necessary.

Why DRaaS?

Business networks and assets are more diversified than ever. Organizations are rarely contained within a single location or ecosystem, so why should your disaster recovery solution? Redundancy is key, and that means having a mechanism to back up and restore systems across different environments and locations.

Hedge your bets against every threat out there.

Let’s say your current disaster recovery plan taps into backup servers situated at a remote site in a different city or province. That’s great for localized natural disasters like flooding. What happens when both your on-site servers and your remote DR site are hit by the same targeted cyber attack or network intrusion, though? With DRaaS, you’re hedging your bets against every manner of threat lurking out there today to ensure reliable failover, regardless what happens.

For smaller operations, the appeal of DRaaS isn’t just the added redundancy, but the opportunity to place the responsibilities of DR setup, configuration, and testing into the hands of highly skilled experts. You don’t need years of experience establishing ironclad DR plans, because you’ll have a managed services team to do it for you.

Choosing a DRaaS vendor

Once you’ve jumped onboard with DRaaS, there’s still the matter of selecting the right DRaaS provider to meet your needs. Speaking with TechTarget, analyst George Crump offered some key considerations to keep in mind when vetting DRaaS vendors:

  • How is availability defined? You need to be on the same page with your DRaaS provider and agree on what resources and assets can failover and what level of availability can be expected at any time. You will also want to determine how, in the event of a widespread disaster, finite resources will be allocated to the provider’s pool of clients.
  • What protections are built in? If the worst-case scenario rears its head and you’re unable to failover your assets and continue operations, what steps will the vendor take to rectify the situation? Go over the service-level agreement with a fine-toothed comb before signing anything to determine what compensation you stand to receive in the event that services cannot be delivered.
  • What support is available? From configuration to failover assistance, you may find yourself in need of expert advice during the disaster recovery process. Your DRaaS vendor should be able to provide that support whenever needed, even if it’s at an additional cost.

Above all else, when choosing a DRaaS provider, be sure that they have the expertise, skills, and resources to effectively manage your DR needs and guarantee seamless failover at any time. Your IT systems power your business. Don’t be left without them even for one moment.

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