Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions are an ideal way for organizations to address their need to recover from a disaster. But DRaaS solutions can also help organizations with data center modernization – efforts like storage refreshes, server upgrades, software updates and even cloud migrations.
DRaaS solutions provide near continuous (every 15 minutes or so) protection of data to an on-premises appliance that then replicates that data to a public or private cloud. The solutions then enable organizations to spin-up a virtual instance of a workload in the cloud, leveraging the cloud’s compute process. But not all DRaaS solutions are created equal, some DRaaS solutions will also allow users to access the on-premises appliance as a failover point so applications can be failed over locally without having to do a complete failover to the cloud.
The near-continuous copying of data and the ability to start a virtual instance is an obvious advantage for disaster recovery situations, but it also brings value for organizations going through a modernization process. The key for DRaaS to play a role in modernization is if the solution provides an easy way to start a virtual instance of a workload. If the vendor makes recovery push-button simple, the customer won’t hesitate to use it for other situations as well.
When it comes to data center modernization, DRaaS provides backup capabilities. If anything in the modernization process goes wrong, a prior version of the application and its data can be restored. But potentially more valuable is that organizations can leverage the virtual instantiation capability to create a sandbox to test any application code or operating system updates prior to rolling those applications into production. Again, even if something is missed in the conversion to production, the frequent multi-version backup is available as a safety net.
DRaaS ability to instantiate workloads also provides value in hardware upgrades as well. For example, if the organization wants to add flash to a server, or even replace a server, that will mean some sort of server downtime. Considering hardware updates seem to occur more frequently than ever, this self-induced downtime is becoming more common.
DRaaS provides a remedy. Once again IT administrators can instantiate the applications on the hardware that is to be upgraded or replaced to the DRaaS appliance or cloud. Then they can perform the maintenance or complete the integration of the new hardware and then fail the application back.
Finally, the organization may decide some of its applications are better suited to run in the cloud. Typically running in the cloud requires a lift and shift process where data and the application are copied to the cloud, and then access to the application in the cloud is mapped into user access. DRaaS, as part of its DR testing, does this already. The data is already in the cloud, the network mapping is already worked out as part of the DR testing, and instantiation of the cloud instance is already integrated as part of the DRaaS solution.
At this point the organization has several options to consider. First, it can simply do a perpetual failover. Start the instance in the cloud and never failback. Here, once again, DRaaS has an advantage. Data can be replicated back to the on-premises appliance but the failover process never completed, which enables the original data center to be a DR site to the cloud.
The other option is to restore the application directly into the compute service within the cloud. This level of conversion may be considered for organizations wanting to transform to a cloud only application as well. The DRaaS solution can make sure the transformation process is always armed with the most recent copy of data.
DRaaS really is more than just a disaster recovery tool, which makes it unlike other disaster recovery approaches. Other approaches are single function, but multifunction DRaaS can provide a variety of benefits beyond DR. In fact, it can provide even more than data center modernization assistance too.
To learn all of the benefits that DRaaS brings to an organization, join us for our on demand webinar, “DRaaS: Not Just for Disasters Any More”, to learn how DRaaS can help you:
- Recover from ransomware, stolen user laptops and other end user errors.
- Modernize infrastructure by easing hardware upgrades, testing new or upgraded applications, and even assisting organizations migrate applications to the cloud.
- Protect from minor disasters like storage system or server failure.
- Protect from any major disaster as well as provide peace of mind with compliance adherence and DR testing.