Open or software defined solutions promise flexibility and prevent organizations from falling into vendor lock-in. That is until it comes to disaster recovery (DR); especially DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service). Many DRaaS solutions lock the organization into a single cloud provider, replace current data protection software and in some cases require organizations to purchase hardware from the vendor providing the software.
However, there are options available for organizations looking to avoid DRaaS lock-in and build their own service.
Understand your DR Targets
Typically the DR target should be far enough away from the main location so there won’t be an impact from the same disaster. But the DR target should be close enough that personnel can get to it. The organization should look for maximum flexibility because requirements and economics change over time. The good news is the number of DR targets increased dramatically over the past few years.
The first choice is a facility owned by the organization, but that location needs to be data center class. Not all organizations have two data center class facilities. They were forced to rough it with a remote office and hope for the best.
Now though there are service providers and public cloud providers to choose from. While both groups serve a variety of IT use cases both are focused on DRaaS as one of their primary offerings.
Each type of target has its advantages, and we detail what those are and how to pick the one that makes the most sense for your environment in our article “Build your DRaaS“.
Flexibility is Key
According to several recent studies most data centers have at least three different storage systems. And now they have at least three different types of DR location choices. The problem is many data centers are using a different type of DR tool for each storage system and each location. Not only does this create a management problem it also opens the door for either a failed or slow recovery in a disaster.
Data centers should look for a replication tool that works with any storage system and hypervisor. It should be able to replicate data to a variety of targets, including a secondary site owned by the organization, a service provider and a public cloud provider. The ability to shift DR target or have multiple DR targets at IT’s disposal enables the organization to keep DR costs under control and to provide maximum availability in the event of a disaster.
Multiple storage systems, multiple DR locations and ever decreasing service level objectives time commitments are the new normal for the modern data center. Instead of picking one, organizations should look for software that can support all their storage systems, as well as multiple cloud destinations. DR flexibility gives them the ability to keep DR costs under control and continue to meet the organization’s availability expectations.
To learn more about replication and the hybrid cloud check out our video, “The Next Best Steps for Hybrid Cloud”.