Disasters can strike at any time and in any form. They can be as small as a single computer, crashing with a day's worth of unsaved work, to as large as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 which took out towns and cities. Regardless of their size, it's certainly seems that disasters are happening with increasing frequency, and this highlights the need for a disaster recovery and preparedness plan. To capitalize on this, some companies have introduced DRaaS. Bud do you know what this is?
DRaaS stands for Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, and is a cloud based service offered by an increasing number of tech companies. The concept is similar to other cloud based services like Software-as-a-Service, where the solution is delivered and managed by an IT partner.
DRaaS is a Disaster Recovery solution provided by a vendor that businesses can purchase. With most DRaaS solutions the vendor helps develop and implement a disaster recovery plan that fits the needs of the company that they will then manage to ensure that the systems are running properly.
When a disaster strikes, the vendor can work with you to help get your systems back online as fast as possible. Often this is quicker than other solutions, largely because the vendor's systems will likely not be affected by the disaster.
It is for this reason that many companies are becoming increasingly interested in this form of disaster recovery solution. Many smaller businesses also seem more open to it because it's a managed service. As these businesses likely don't have a disaster recovery specialist on staff, finding a solution that works and is affordable can be a challenge. Therefore, going with a managed service like this is a big draw.
What to look for when picking a DRaaS vendor If you are looking for a vendor to help you with your disaster recovery plans, or for a DRaaS solution, you should look for a solution that:
- Supports your existing infrastructure - The key to all disaster recovery efforts is that the plan needs to cover all aspects of your infrastructure. As you will be working in the cloud with this solution it should be compatible with existing systems, while also allowing for redundancy to ensure that should one system crash another is in place.
- Is secure - This is your information that the vendor will be working with. Some of it will be sensitive. Therefore, it is a good idea to look for a vendor who encrypts your data and can guarantee that it will remain as safe as possible.
- Offers service guarantees - For many small and medium businesses struck by a disaster, quickly getting your systems operational again is incredibly important. While DRaaS can speed up recovery, a vendor should have a guarantee as to how fast they can have your systems restored and how they will handle recovery. Beyond this, the vendor should be crystal clear with you as to how the planning process works and fits with your organization.
- Ensures the system works - An important part of any disaster recovery plan is that it needs to be tested and adapted on a regular basis. The vendor should communicate with you as to how often tests are carried out and what the results are, so you are more prepared for the next disaster.