Disaster Recovery (DR) is primarily concerned with empowering security backup plans designed to ensure the continuity of your business. Specifically, that means obtaining significant RPO (recovery point objective) and RTO (recovery time objective) service level agreements for restoring critical applications following a disaster.
To systematically achieve these critical goals, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions require partnering with third-party technology and DR management specialists. The question is, how do you choose that partner? In your opinion, what features and factors are important? What is the best way to identify the most suitable DRaaS solution?
An Introduction to DaaS
As a result of DRaaS, cloud environments and on-premises environments can failover and failback in response to critical incidents.
The ability to recover data on-premises and recover uncovered metal servers are certainly two of the features of failover. Depending on how extensive the disaster is, recovery of all applications can take a long time. Turning up priority applications on the cloud allows you to guarantee RPO and RTO.
Cloud-based DRaaS constantly replicates pictures based on virtual machines. During a disaster, applications may be moved to the cloud manually or automatically. A DRaaS provider is also responsible for conducting authentication checks on cloud servers and maintaining secure connections between cloud servers and end-users.
Restoration of the site, or the creation of a second site, causes the services to fail back the applications, configurations, and data. In addition, the on-premises system is no longer used for customer verification. Having this in place guarantees a smooth operation of your business, and in controlled enterprises, it ensures you do not run afoul of regulations.
The process of DRaaS is, regardless of its ease, a difficult one. Take, for example, a scenario where you had an application that was partitioned across several virtual servers and had its front end connected to a cloud-based database. In this system, restoration of levels is prioritized according to strict criteria.
In addition, end-user connections are approved and completed on the spot. A disaster recovery strategy cannot simply be planned for while the disaster is happening. Whatever the case may be, DRaaS was specifically built to deal with such tasks.
We should consider the following while choosing a DRaaS solution:
Finding the Right DRaaS for Your Company: 10 Tips
There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” DRaaS solution. Shop for DRaaS from more than one provider, rather than starting with the first listed managed service provider (MSP). You can find the best DRaaS providers by following these 10 tips.
1. Stay Flexible
The multi-cloud trend has helped many businesses optimize different workloads in different cloud environments. Backup and disaster recovery-optimized clouds are popular drivers of multi-cloud portfolios. MSPs and their software vendors, as well as cloud providers, should be able to work with you to customize your application availability SLA.
2. Integrate Backup and DRaaS
Investment in DRaaS and Backup as a Service (BaaS) should be considered best practices. Both integrated services are offered by most MSPs, and this optimized integration offers you the best of managed backup/restore and disaster recovery.
Deployment and management are simplified when you contract for both BaaS and DRaaS with the same MSP. For rapid data recovery in case of loss or corruption, you can quickly and easily back up data. You can also replicate images of your systems, applications, and data so that you can immediately fail over to the cloud for uninterrupted processing.
Choosing a highly reliable service is important. It’s the last thing anyone wants to find out that spinning up the failover service will take 24 hours before it works, or that the admin should have received the alert for manual failover but never did.
Furthermore, you want to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Make sure that your DRaaS provider is replicating your disaster recovery data in multiple geographic locations. If your DRaaS provider’s data center shuts down due to a similar disaster to your own, it won’t impact your provider’s other data centers. As soon as they receive your application, they will begin processing it.
4. Choose the Right MSP
Make sure the managed service provider has a long history, healthy financials, and happy customers, as well as experience with cloud-based infrastructure. You should also seek a Managed Service Provider who partners with leading backup/DR software vendors and cloud providers. (Hint: One public cloud storage partnership won’t give you the choice and flexibility you need to protect your critical applications.)
Find an MSP that understands how to non-disruptively replicate applications, infrastructure, and data to the failover environment in the cloud. It should be flexible enough to meet your organization’s specific service level agreements and provide excellent customer support. Your MSP should not insist that you use the only backup software provider or only cloud provider that your MSP works with.
5. Choose the Right Cloud Provider
It’s equally important to choose the right cloud. If an MSP insists on locking you into only one cloud provider, typically AWS or Azure, that’s because they have a special relationship with that particular cloud provider. It’s not necessarily the best choice for the customer, since none of the hyperscale public clouds, AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, make money from customizing SLAs for millions of customers. Once again, it is understandable. This is not the best choice for you.
The MSP and cloud provider you pick for your applications should be able to work with the priorities that you have. The Oracle financial database will have a higher priority than the legacy ERP that one department uses (and that you will replace in the next fiscal year). Monolithic systems that combine a single service plan with a single service level agreement won’t work well or last very long.
Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (BDR) that is highly customized helps customers optimize DR planning by application, workload type, vertical, geography, and compliance factors.
6. Choose the Right Software Vendor
In many cases, your DR software provider is the best choice for a partner. In addition to backup to the cloud, most major backup software offers disaster recovery replication. Your MSP must suggest backup partners who work closely with the MSP and cloud provider, as well as with you.
Make sure the software vendor replicates a wide range of clouds. When you add a cloud provider to your multi-cloud portfolio and want to use that cloud as a DR target, your software vendor should make it easy to identify the cloud as a target in the interface.
7. Rapid and Reliable Failover
Depending on the customer’s preference, failover may occur automatically or manually. The cost of an automatic is higher. When the environment is restored, your DRaaS provider should restore the applications, data, and configurations with minimal or no interruption.
You should look for offerings that let you prioritize failover and failback not just by application but also by operating system and hypervisor. Furthermore, you should want WAN acceleration with built-in caching, TCP/IP protocol optimization, and multicasting media.
8. High ROI
DRaaS is a premium service that will cost more than backup and recovery services.
For a true ROI, you should compare the cost of the service with the business losses from a significant disaster event. When an application needs to be continuously available for mission-critical functions, DRaaS is the service that can keep it running. If a critical application is unavailable for hours or days, this protects the organization from significant financial harm.
User authentication and data movement security are among the security concerns of DRaaS. To alleviate these concerns, look for MSPs and partners that offer secure DRaaS replication, failback, and failover features.
Hold out for data centers that are both physically and digitally secure, as well as ones that have the certifications to prove it. Ensure that your providers are compliant with regulations like HIPAA and SOX.
Choose key management systems that maintain security and give you control over key management, and ensure that your data is encrypted during transit and at rest. Also, learn how users from the virtual failover environment are authenticated by your DRaaS provider.
10. Expert customer service
DRaaS can be complex to deploy and manage, but you shouldn’t be hindered by that complexity. Make sure you get premium customer support at an affordable price. There should be access to expert engineer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and teams who will tailor your service level agreements to fit your needs.
Unresponsive or amateur support is never a good enough reason for customers to entrust their data to DRaaS providers.
Conclusion: Avoiding Disaster
DRaaS and managed disaster recovery solutions protect your computing environments from loss and disaster with tailored, cost-effective solutions. It will take a bit of time and energy to figure out what plan is best for you. However, once the plan is in place, you can rest assured: you will no longer be flirting with disaster.