What Is Disaster Recovery As A Service (DRaaS)?

Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

By: Michael Gargiulo, CEO at VPN.com

Updated: 6:32 PM ET Fri, November 13th 2020

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In recent years, the importance of data and the dangers that data faces have grown consistently. It’s simultaneously more difficult to preserve data and much more important. One study found that a single minute of data center downtime costs the afflicted organization thousands of dollars each minute. Traditional workarounds have become entirely obsolete for anything but the smallest organization. However, an IT subdiscipline has risen up to tackle this challenge. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) providers can save your data and get your business operational within hours.

What Is DRaaS?

Disaster recovery is a field of services that empower businesses to secure their data from disaster events. The exact character of these services is as varied as the many disasters which can necessitate them, such as:

  • Natural disasters
  • Extortive ransomware attacks
  • Cyber attacks by state and non-state actors
  • Outages and complications afflicting servers

In general, disaster recovery services aim to protect, duplicate, and/or recover data as quickly as possible. There are two main variables for a customer to consider. The first is how quick the services are, the recovery time objective, and how recent the replacement data will be, the recovery point objective. The DRaaS provider should define their recovery time and recovery point objectives in the plan that you purchase.

How Does DRaaS Work?

When a physical server is under threat due to a natural disaster, disaster recovery providers can immediately resolve the issue. They do this by shifting the data and essential functions from one location to another which hosts live mirrored servers. For instance, an earthquake in California might prompt movement from a data center outside San Diego to one in Florida.

If your extant data is corrupt or if a virus has infected it, this capability allows for instant recovery. The redundant copies that your provider holds also serve as a backup in case of any such event. Instead of fighting to get rid of the virus or caving in to ransomware demands, you can replace your current data with fresh copies. While this does not eliminate the threat of data theft, it does preserve the integrity of your organization.

Why Is DRaaS Needed?

DRaaS is vital due to the central role of data in modern business and the inadequacy of traditional alternatives. Various factors are all working together to make disaster recovery more and more of a non-negotiable element of any business plan.

Traditional Solutions No Longer Work

The era when businesses could simply go offline or utilize physical replacements for digital assets seems like a lifetime ago. Today, the scale of data a business uses to operate is sufficient to make this solution a fantasy. Furthermore, there’s no way to replace the efficiency and capability of digital assets.

Increasing Frequency of Natural Disasters

Natural disasters and weather events are a leading cause of all sorts of business losses, and they’re on the rise. If a business suffers a major data loss event without a disaster recovery plan, it can be extremely difficult just to resume operations. Even after the initial catastrophe, there’s a heightened risk of failure in the following years due to losses and reputational damage.

The Digital Frontier Is Becoming A Frontline

There are all sorts of grim predictions about the future of cyberspace as ground zero for conflict between state and non-state actors. The Department of Homeland Security published a study on this particular matter, including case studies and predictions for the future.

With the proliferation of virtual arms, it will become increasingly common for ill-intentioned individuals and organizations to utilize cyber attacks for their ends. As it stands, cyber-attacks are already on the rise. Disaster recovery services will prevent such an attack from crippling your business and enable a quick return to operations.

DRaaS Features To Look For

When choosing between DRaaS providers, there are a few key factors you should look for.

Automatic Testing

In the aftermath of a disaster event, frequent testing can secure peace of mind and ensure a smooth recovery. While weekly automated tests are ideal, monthly testing is also a good solution for many businesses.

Powerful Service Level Agreements (SLA)

You’ll find guarantees on recovery time and recovery points in your service level agreement. Shorter times are preferable, and the arithmetic guiding a business towards a more powerful plan is simple. With the terribly high expense of a single minute of downtime, you can calculate the value of a shorter recovery time by multiplying the by-minute losses you’d suffer otherwise. Although, this math may also guide businesses with more modest data requirements in the opposite direction.

Practical Choices Of Plans

The VMWare Cloud Foundation suite makes it much easier to run the technical side of your business. In particular, the SDDC Manager includes a great deal of built-in guidance that makes for simple use. From the initial easy deployment to the intuitive, powerful tools that you can use to shape your virtual space, VCF may be the most accessible cloud service on the market.

Transparent Pricing

It’s hard to nail down pricing on DRaaS, as the quality and quantity of services involved are highly variable. If you aren’t careful, your business may bear far greater disaster recovery expenses than expected due to mounting costs such as per-gigabyte fees. A plan including such fees doesn’t necessarily indicate that it’s a poor choice, but it is something that you’ll need to understand and factor in.

Learn More About Disaster Recovery

If you’re still uncertain as to just what is DRaaS or are looking to learn more, follow VPN.com for more content on the world of information technology. We consist of a team of experts who strive to help managers, decision-makers, and interested parties learn about IT.

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