Angry customers, negative media coverage, lost revenue, frustrated employees – these are all scenarios business owners and IT leaders would like to avoid. These unpleasant side effects could be a result of any number of disasters – natural, human-made, or pure accident. The real concern from these events comes from the operational downtime a company experiences during a disaster, which might include idle workers, operational stoppage, productivity loss, etc. Think about it: The average ‘cost of downtime’ for a ransomware attack is 10X higher than the actual ransom. (Source: Datto). And worse, those companies not adequately prepared for a disaster suffer even more. Datto also reports that organizations facing catastrophic data loss have a very high chance of going out of business — as high as 50%. (Source: Datto). In a world where cyber attacks or other disasters are around nearly every corner, how can companies protect themselves? It starts with having a smart IT disaster recovery plan in place.
The stakes (and costs) are higher than ever!
An IT disaster recovery plan should document processes to protect and preserve an organization’s IT infrastructure in the event of an unexpected event. DR solutions generally include the cost of purchasing space in the data center to regularly backup and secure data and the upkeep of that equipment. This DR model also provides failover protection for mission-critical IT infrastructure, including network equipment, network connectivity, maintenance costs, power, and additional IT personnel to set up and manage the redundant systems. All of these components compound the cost of DR solution
So knowing that both 1) the stakes are high and 2) the costs of traditional DR programs are expensive, what should businesses do to protect themselves? For many, the answer is Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS). While cloud-based disaster recovery solutions have been around for years – often referred to as back-up as a service (BaaS) – DRaaS solutions are now seen as a mature and stable technology, making them a much more attractive option for businesses that haven’t successfully implemented a disaster recovery plan yet, or for those that are looking to optimize their existing program.
Virtualizing resources, securing them in the cloud
Instead of replicating IT components, with DRaaS, cloud services are provided using virtualized resources. Managed service providers set up a virtualized environment which mimics a customer’s IT infrastructure. The systems use replication technology to duplicate the environment and data is sent to the cloud. The systems use cloud-based resources to create a complete recovery infrastructure. Then, in the case of a disaster, operations and end-user access are failed over to the virtual environment until the primary IT infrastructure is available again. If it’s a case where the customer already has a virtualized IT environment running in their own data center, a DRaaS provider can use virtualization technologies in the remote DR site to create the DR environment. Many organizations that have a hybrid environment, with some workloads running in the cloud and some on physical servers, choose to fail over physical machines to an alternative site of their own. Then, they failover virtual infrastructure to a DRaaS provider’s data center.
Saving money and securing the business
One of the most significant benefits of a cloud-based DRaaS solution is that it merges many of the costs of a traditional DR plan. Monthly DRaaS costs generally include continuous data replication and storage fees, disaster recovery software, computing infrastructure costs, and bandwidth costs. Managed DRaaS options are also available at different levels, including self-service, semi-managed, and fully managed. These options enable businesses to find a DRaaS solution that is right-sized to fit their needs and one that is cost-effective and scalable.
In addition to cost savings, DRaaS is an excellent way to reduce the amount of downtime experienced after a disaster. Instead of days, hours, or even minutes offered by some backup solutions today, DRaaS can ensure almost zero downtime, depending on the company’s needs and the DR SLA agreement. For growing organizations, DRaaS also opens up tremendous scalability and capacity to ensure new applications also have disaster recovery coverage.
Here to help
The good news is that with the right disaster recovery strategy and solutions in place, the odds of coming out of a disaster nearly unscathed are high. Disaster recovery-as-a-service offers a fully integrated and secure way to backup and replicate complex IT environments to a cloud repository, without the cost and complexity of building and maintaining an offsite infrastructure. If you want help evaluating DRaaS options, and building a disaster recovery plan that includes making the most of your IT investment dollars, Telapprise can help!