Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Its Role In Business Security
In the era when data has become a valuable asset, even the simplest form of data loss may cause irreparable damage to businesses, resulting in the loss of reputation, productivity, revenue, and even customers. A disaster, natural or man-made, is the least predictable cause of data loss, but organizations can minimize its impact and increase their chance to successfully recover by controlling the way they respond to it. That is why disaster recovery plans are becoming critical for businesses.
What is DRaaS?
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is one of the most popular disaster recovery alternatives for today’s organizations. DRaaS refers to a cloud-based disaster recovery solution that allows organizations to back up their data and IT infrastructure in an environment which is owned, orchestrated, and managed by third party providers. The purpose of DRaaS is to help organizations quickly recover when a disaster happens, by ensuring they can protect their data, minimize downtime, and regain access and functionality to their IT infrastructure. The “as-a-service” model means that organizations don’t need to own the resources or handle the management as both are covered by the service provider. DRaaS is typically offered through a contract or as a pay-per-use model, with payment based on any combination of resources such as storage, bandwidth, RAM, and software.
There are three models of DRaaS: managed, assisted, and self-service. In a managed DraaS model, a service provider handles all disaster recovery responsibilities, making it the most suitable option for companies with minimum expertise or time to manage their own disaster recovery. In an assisted DRaaS model, a service provider offers its expertise for optimizing disaster recovery measures, but the user is still in charge of implementing some aspects of their disaster recovery plan which is unique and challenging for the service provider. Meanwhile, self-service DRaaS allows a user to handle the planning, testing, and management of their disaster recovery plan while remotely hosting their infrastructure backup on virtual machines, making it the best option for experienced organizations.
How does DRaaS work?
DRaaS is enabled by cloud computing through three main steps.
Data in a user’s primary site are duplicated and sent to an environment which is remotely hosted by a disaster recovery service provider. If the data are frequently modified or added, DRaaS should ensure regular data snapshots to avoid data loss during the failover step. Also, since most organizations have infrastructure that relies on virtual and physical servers, it is important that this step delivers a hybrid solution, combining both types of servers.
During a disaster, user access is moved to a secondary site hosted by the service provider. In this step, speed is vital for a DRaaS solution, as any downtime can harm the user’s business.
Data is moved from the DRaaS provider’s environment back to the user’s primary site. It is important to restart replication processes as soon as failback is complete to ensure continuous protection.
Why is DRaaS important for businesses?
Modern businesses, which rely heavily on technology, cannot tolerate downtime and data loss caused by various disasters that may strike their data centers — be it earthquake, flood, hurricane, fire, thunderstorm, tornado, human error, power outage, hardware failure, or file corruption. In the case of disasters, DRaaS allows businesses to operate remotely while the normal processes are being restored.
DRaaS is expected to shorten RPO (Recovery Point Objective or the maximum amount of time that an organization is willing to lose data on their systems due to an event). This means that the data restored will be as close to its current “now” state as possible. DRaaS also reduces RTO (Recovery Time Objectives or how fast an organization can recover and return to their normal operations) to a mere few hours.
Quick recovery is critical to avoid costly downtime – both in terms of financial and reputational damage – and ensures businesses stay competitive and compliant despite unfortunate events. By outsourcing disaster recovery to a DRaaS provider, organizations can also avoid complex, time-consuming disaster recovery orchestration so you can count on the solution to work fast.