Is DRaaS a Panacea?

There are no panaceas, but DRaaS services are certainly starting to look very appealing if not close to being a panacea. They offer an ability to do disaster recovery in ways that simply weren’t possible for many companies. In our recent webinar, “DRaaS vs. DIY DR – Which is Best For Your Organization?”, 38 percent of the attendees of the webinar were using cloud services for their disaster recovery needs. Why would that be? Let’s take a look.

Without the cloud, you have a couple of different ways to accomplish disaster recovery. You can do it yourself with another colocation facility just for DR purposes. You can also contract with an “old school” disaster recovery services company that makes space available to you only in the case of a disaster.

Using your own data center space or leased space at a co-location facility has significant advantages, the biggest of which is access. If you have exclusive access to the resources you’re going to use in the case of a disaster, you’re not going to run into the problem of not being able to use it during a disaster. You simply have to go through the procedure that you put in place to enable the other site.

With great power comes great responsibility, and exclusive access comes with a great financial burden. Owning or leasing equipment and data center space solely for disaster recovery purposes is easily the most expensive way to accomplish disaster recovery. Since you are rarely going to use this equipment, paying for it to simply exist just in case you might need it is quite expensive.

It’s kind of like owning and parking a car in New York City when you don’t live there – just in case you might go one day. This analogy holds up well, because someone is going to need to maintain that car for you so that it is ready to drive if you ever go to New York. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to just grab an Uber if you ever go to New York? Indeed it would.

Old-school disaster recovery services companies charge you a lower fee than the previous option to make sure that equipment will be available for you if a disaster happens. Continuing the car analogy, instead of spending hundreds of dollars a month to have exclusive access to a car in New York City, using one of these services would be like paying hundreds of dollars a year for someone to make sure that there will be some type of car for you to drive if you are ever in New York. The downside to these services is what happens when a disaster occurs that takes out more than one company. You find yourself in-line with several other companies who have contracted to same service – all of which need the same thing. You might find yourself like Jerry Seinfeld at the rental car counter with no car.

Contrast these options with the concept of disaster recovery as a service (DRaas) and you’ll see why this option has become quite popular. Again, it’s like using Uber when you need a car instead of owning or leasing all or part of a car just in case you might need it. If you’ve never considered a DRaaS vendor, you should check out this webinar with my colleague George Crump from Storage Switzerland and Jason Earley from Carbonite. It’s available on-demand.

Watch On Demand

Watch On Demand

W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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