Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) outsources the typical DR process to a cloud provider so when a data center loss event occurs an organization can re-start their critical applications in the provider’s cloud. DRaaS saves an organization the cost of equipping a secondary site and makes access to the DR location ubiquitous. While invaluable in a true disaster, there are some negatives to cloud recovery and organizations should not count on it for all situations.
Cloud DR – What Could Go Wrong (even if everything goes right)?
A successful cloud recovery requires proper seeding and updating of a cloud data store with the organization’s data. It also requires that, when triggered, all the networking changes are made so users and applications can seamlessly get to data. Finally, a successful recovery requires the provider have enough available compute and a good storage infrastructure to deliver performance the organization expects.
Assuming that data movement, networking changes and recovered performance all work according to plan, there are still challenges. The first being is the inherent latency between a local and cloud-hosted application. For a fully cloud-hosted application, the latency should be negligible but if parts of the user or application experience is still local in some way, performance could be impacted.
The big challenge is how to get back. At some point the organization will want to resume operations back in their own data center. The less severe the disaster, the sooner the organization will be able to, and want to, return to normal operations. The longer operations are in the cloud the more data has to be returned to the data center and depending on the provider the more expensive the DRaaS bill is.
Disasters come in different forms. They range from a server outage to a storage system failure to a site failure. There is also a time variable to consider. For example, how long will it take to identify and resolve the cause of the failure? In the case of a server down, planned or unplanned may only take a few hours for operations to return to that server. But a data center flood may force the organization to operate out of the recovery location for months. DRaaS is perfect for a complete data center wipe out, but a server blip, not so much.
The reality is most organizations will experience minor disaster far more frequently than they will ever experience major disasters. The bad news is most DRaaS solutions treat major and minor disasters the same, everything has to fail to their cloud even if it is a temporary outage.
It is important for IT professionals to identify DRaaS solutions that offer a hybrid recovery model. Hybrid recovery means having an on-premises appliance that not only serves as a replication engine to the cloud but also as a potential recovery point. In the event of a minor disaster, applications are hosted there, instead of failing over to the cloud. To perform the recovery task the on-prem appliance has to have a complete set of the latest version of data and has to have enough processing power to host the temporarily failed applications or services.
Hybrid DRaaS provides the organization flexibility. The cloud is available to them in the event of a major disaster but they are not forced to use it when less severe disasters occur. In fact it allows the backup and recovery use case to aid in navigating through routine maintenance or migrations. Without a hybrid recovery capability, organizations would need to fail their operations to the cloud and then carefully manage their return.
Sponsored by Quorum
QuorumLabs, Inc. is headquartered in San Jose CA with offices all around the world. Quorum “Disaster Recovery as a Service” (DRaaS) solutions provide organizations with both local and remote instant recovery capabilities for their servers, applications and data. Quorum onQ provides the fastest on premises backup and recovery appliance combined with the most flexible DRaaS in the industry. This hybrid approach allows Quorum customers to enjoy high performance and cloud scale in a single product. To learn more, visit www.quorum.com/product for details.