DRaaS is For More Than Just Disasters

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) enables organizations to improve the recovery response time and lower disaster plan costs. In our recent on demand webinar we not only discussed the value of DRaaS we also provided a live demo of on demand failover in action. Another subject that we touched on was DRaaS’ value beyond disaster recovery.

Watch On Demand

DRaaS as Backup

One of the more apparent benefits of DRaaS is that it also provides the organization with backup. Some DRaaS solutions can protect the environment every 15 minutes, which reduces both recovery point and recovery time objectives. It is critical that the DRaaS solution can preserve point-in-time versions of the data. Many replication-focused solutions don’t allow for file versioning, and only keep the latest version. The DRaaS solution then needs the ability to provide file-level restores of data.

DRaaS for Minor Disasters

Server failures, storage system failures, ransomware attacks and application crashes are all examples of minor disasters. However, these disasters are only minor if they are happening to someone else. For the IT professional that needs to recover from a minor disaster, the situation feels pretty major to them. A DRaaS solution with an on-premises appliance provides value in these situations by recovering the impacted applications locally instead of forcing all recovery to happen in the cloud. The cloud remains an option though if the appliance can’t handle the impacted workloads.

For example, if a physical server, which is host to a dozen virtual machines (VM), fails, IT can initiate the recovery of those VMs either on the DRaaS solution’s on-premises appliance or in the cloud. The process is very similar to a full data center recovery except that the option to recover locally exists and IT recovers only the impacted applications instead of all the organization’s applications. The local appliance speeds up failback operations since it copies data back to local production storage, avoiding WAN bandwidth limitations.

DRaaS for DR Testing

One of the most beneficial aspects of DRaaS is how easy it makes DR testing. The most common point of recovery failure is lack of testing. With DRaaS, IT can schedule test recoveries on a regular basis without impacting production resources or requiring a dedicated test environment. IT can use this testing time to identify potential challenges in the recovery process and makes it easier to train all IT personnel in recovery procedures.

DRaaS for Application Testing

Application teams can use DRaaS for testing changes to applications like new code releases or updates. Before the test, IT recovers the application in the provider’s cloud, implements the updates and then can place a load on the application to see if the updates cause a problem. IT can even direct users to the cloud version of the application to place a real-world workload on it, keeping the on-premises version as a fallback point. After a day of testing, and assuming everything worked well, IT can recover the cloud version of the application back on-premises. This DRaaS feature provides safe testing of the application. It also provides further training on the disaster recovery and failback process.

StorageSwiss Take

DRaaS does more than reduce disaster recovery costs. It is an investment that pays off for the organization in multiple ways. IT can use the DRaaS solution for backups, recovery from minor disasters like ransomware, and for application testing. To see DRaaS in action check out our on demand webinar “Live Demo: Disaster Recovery as a Service in Action.”

Watch On Demand

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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