Disaster Recovery as a Service (or DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical and virtual servers to a second location, either to a second appliance or the cloud, which is usually located in a distant second site. In the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe, those replicated systems and data can be booted and accessed. Fundamentally, DRaaS lets you “instantly” boot a protected server or your entire site and immediately get back to business, whether you’re booting from the appliance or from the cloud. Since DRaaS solutions combine software and the cloud, they don’t require the huge upfront costs (hardware and IT resources) to create, manage, and test a secondary site.
How DRaaS works – Local and Cloud Failover
An enterprise-grade DRaaS solution solves complex recovery scenarios, including micro (i.e. server crash) and macro disasters (i.e. site wide). For example, suppose your server crashes. With DRaaS, you can boot systems and applications from your DRaaS appliance. In the case of a macro disaster, for example, your building catches on fire, taking out your primary storage and DRaaS appliance. With DRaaS, you can log into a cloud-based dashboard, navigate to the specific servers destroyed by the fire, and instantly “boot the servers” to bring applications and key files online in minutes. No need to setup a new server, download data from the cloud, or re-install applications.
Benefits of DRaaS
DRaaS is ideal for any business looking to improve uptime, lower the cost of DR, wants to refocus IT resources on other projects besides managing DR, or does not wish to provision, configure and test their own off-site DR environment.
DRaaS eliminates the expensive hardware and resources needed to create a secondary failover site. By taking a cloud-centric approach to disaster recovery companies can pay-as they grow, reducing the taxing burdens of provisioning additional hardware.
With the systems now virtualized within the appliance and the cloud, a DRaaS solution allows companies to conduct “business as usual” when a disaster occurs and redeploy IT resources to fix the server issue without compromising any data or incurring any downtime.
State of DRaaS: Industry Trends and DRaaS Adoption
What are your IT peer’s disaster recovery abilities? And what are IT buyer priorities for DRaaS in 2015?
According to a recent report from ActiveTech media, it was alarming to learn that 90 percent of businesses surveyed couldn’t failover critical business applications to a second site within 15 minutes or that 42% of companies don’t have any type of failover solution. You can read the full report. Or if you want the cliff’s notes, check out top findings in our DRaaS.
Why is 15 minute failover a critical benchmark?
Considering the rising cost of downtime and the competitive “always on” landscape, it should come as no surprise that application and site failover benchmarks are changing. IDC’s latest report, Dev Ops and The Cost of Downtime, revealed the following:
- For the Fortune 1000, the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion.
- The average hourly cost of an infrastructure failure is $100,000 per hour.
- The average cost of a critical application failure per hour is $500,000 to $1 million.
What would 4 hours of downtime cost your business?
Why is On-Demand Failover Out of Reach for Companies?
One of the primary deterrents to most business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) plans is that it requires a heavy architecture and hard money investment to create an off-site DR environment, and requires recurring cost to testing to ensure preparedness, as well as to prove compliance for organizations with regulatory mandates.
Testing is arduous due to the complexity of bringing replacement systems online, and if done without proper preparation may affect the original servers that are actively serving users. It also requires extra IT resources to manage and maintain an off-site DR environment, which can be taxing for most organizations. The other problem is that company’s current disaster recovery solution can’t scale with data sprawl.
The ActiveTech Media report echoes the above and reveals companies do not have on-demand failover for the following reasons:
- Perceived high cost of on-demand failover
- Lack of sufficient IT resources
- Not a key business priority
- Perceived High Cost: Traditionally, Disaster Recovery solutions have been prohibitively expensive, especially if you want rapid second site failover. This usually means setting up additional hardware, configuring a second site for redundancy, and architecting a complex replication solution across data centers. Resiliency solutions often require you to manually recover your data, making for an unreliable, time-consuming, and complex recovery process.
- Insufficient IT Resources: IT departments are increasingly being asked to do more for less. This is why most companies can’t spare their most valuable IT resources on managing, testing, and maintaining a secondary failover site.
- Not a Business Priority: This is a real head-scratcher, especially in light of the frequency of outages and the business impact of those outages (both financial and operational). How can something that can cost a company thousands of dollars per hour from either man-made or natural disasters not be a Top 3 business priority? If it’s not a priority, it absolutely has to become one…soon.
What IT Decision Makers Want from their DRaaS Providers
While DRaaS adoption is still nascent, IT buyers are clear about what they want from a DRaaS vendor. According to IDG’s report, “Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Emerging as a Top Priority”, these were the top DRaaS priorities for IT decision makers:
- 50 percent want reliability
- 47 percent want security
- 41 percent want compatibility with existing infrastructure
- 63 percent want desktop disaster recovery
- 77 percent want to reduce overall costs of Disaster Recovery solutions.
For more information, check out the top 25 DR statistics in our “Future of DR – Failover for Any Company” infographic.
Why All Companies Need Disaster Recovery
Every modern company depends on data and operational uptime for survival. However, according to Gartner, only 35% of small and medium businesses have backup plans and 70% aren’t confident with the following statement, ‘Our backup and disaster recovery operations are well managed and planned.’
This is problematic considering the impact downtime can have on your business. Ask yourself: what would happen if your business were down for a more than a day?
According to IDC research, the average cost of downtime, is at least $20,000 per hour or more for 80% of the companies surveyed. A significant minority (20%) put the cost per hour of data loss at $100,000 or more. And according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, an estimated 25% of businesses never reopen following a major disaster.
Remember that IT disasters come in all shapes and sizes, and it isn’t always a major catastrophic event like a flood or natural disaster. Sometimes it’s just hardware failure, failed Internet connection, or human error (check out this IT director’s tale that about how “all humans make mistakes”. The bottom line is that no one is immune. The days of thinking disaster recovery solutions are only for natural disasters are over.
How Data Growth Affects Disaster Recovery
Data explosion is impacting all IT departments. 75X is the projected growth of files over the next 10 years, according to IDC. But Industry forecasts for storage capacity is only growing at 2.6X – creating a significant capacity challenges for companies. In the context of disaster recovery, how do enterprises scale disaster recovery without creating a second site or adding a ton of appliances? More informed and innovative buyers are think about a DRaaS solution that deliver long-term scalability so they can reduce their ongoing DR costs with improved uptime.
Top Requirements in a DRaaS Solution
DRaaS needs to be built into your cloud backup solution
In today’s competitive market, companies can’t afford downtime. Their dependence on data and their vulnerability if they can’t access it has caused most companies to consider cloud backup and recovery solutions. When DRaaS is built directly into the cloud software running on your appliance, it delivers the most complete turnkey solution. With complete end-to-end protection, you reduce complexity, costs, and minimize risk.
Remember, every time you introduce another specialized appliance, you introduce complexity and risk. Gartner echoes this need in their recent report with this key recommendation: “Implement an end-to-end hybrid cloud recovery solution with backup built in that can protect many types of data and platforms in a variety of locales and at an attractive price point.” When backup is built into DRaaS, you are getting both data protection and business continuity.
Rapid Failover from Anywhere
Remember, when disaster strikes, whether it be micro or macro, your IT department is trying to recover systems and applications under pressure. Many disaster recovery solutions require manual and lengthy steps, which under pressure tend to result in additional errors or delays. Additionally, some require vendor intervention, which can also contribute to additional downtime. The best DRaaS solution is completely self-service and includes push-button simplicity, so that your IT department can failover a single virtual machine (VM), applications, server, or a whole network locally or in the cloud. No complex steps, just push a button and bring your business back to life. In terms of a failover bench mark, companies should be looking to failover in seconds for micro disaster and fifteen minutes or less for macro ones.
Companies spend so much money and resources securing the perimeter of their business, why leave your data unprotected during failover, backup, and archiving? Enterprise grade DRaaS solutions are going beyond basic encryption to deliver military grade security for your data. This includes encrypting data at the source, in transit, and at rest; and also includes optional private key encryption so that you are the only one that can view or decrypt your data in the cloud.
Transform your DR without disrupting your business – Supports Physical and Virtual Servers
It’s a different world for IT managers today and protecting their heterogeneous environment is more complex than ever. As data sizes and types increase, and servers and operating systems change, it’s become increasingly important for companies to select solutions that can protect physical and virtual environments.
Gartner echoed this sentiment in their recent “Cool Vendors in Business Continuity Management and IT Disaster Recovery Management, 2015 report”, by recommending that companies “Select a DRaaS providers that supports all of your IT service infrastructure components”. Most DRaaS offerings only support part of your environment. Also, boot capabilities should go beyond Windows Physical Server support and include VMware and Hyper V.
VM and Hyper V Aware
It’s a VMware world and you’ll want to choose a DRaaS solution that allows you to boot a large (think double digit range) amount of VMs concurrently, both locally on the appliance and the cloud. It’s important that your DRaaS solution is VMware ready.
Defining Enterprise-grade DraaS Solution
With so many vendors jumping into the DRaaS market, it’s hard to identify an enterprise-grade DRaaS Solution. For example, you’re probably hearing failover in seconds. Scratch the surface and you find out, that it really only means one application, or a few VMs. That’s not going to satisfy a company that needs to know it can failover an entire site in minutes. Here’s a checklist to help you navigate the crowded DRaaS market. An enterprise-grade DRaaS solution provides the following:
DR is ready for a Transformation
In this competitive landscape, business can’t afford downtime. No exceptions. It’s why 43% of businesses want DR, but think it is too expensive and complex.
Introducing the Cloud Failover Appliance – Failover for Every Company
We’re excited to announce the Cloud Failover Appliance, the industry’s most powerful failover solution. So remarkably easy and affordable you’ll wonder why someone hasn’t thought of this before.
Taking the best features from multi-million dollar solutions, and combining intelligent software and the power of the cloud, we erased expensive hardware and complexity from the DR equation so that every business could have push-button failover locally or in the cloud.
Available as a physical or virtual failover appliance, it’s simple, affordable and secure.
Top 3 Benefits of Infrascale DRaaS
The Cloud Failover Appliance (CFA) is an enterprise-grade disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution that recovers systems and applications in less than 15 minutes to a secondary site without all the hardware and complexity traditionally needed to achieve this level of failover.
With CFA you can:
- Increase uptime: Solves complex recovery with push-button failover: You know downtime comes in all shapes and sizes. Having the ability to failover, locally or in the cloud, increases uptime for your business.
- Reduce hardware costs: Intelligent software that will help you maximize every storage dollar. You know not all data needs expensive local storage, and now you’ll have software to automate this for you. Set the rule, and we’ll do the rest. We call it cloud spillover. Our customers call it more money in their pockets.
- Protect your business: Safeguard your business against Sony or Snowden like attacks without additional hardware, eliminating the vulnerability lost or stolen data creates for your business. We provide triple level encryption and offer private key encryption so that you are the only one that can view or decrypt your data in the cloud.
All in 15 minutes or less, locally or in the cloud. Boot up to 50 VMs concurrently on the CFA or up to 200 in the cloud. From VMs (including VMware and Hyper-V to physical environments such as Windows and Linux, the CFA has you covered.
Since CFA fits into any environment and meets any deployment requirement, you can transform your DR without disruption.
How does it work? Great question, you can watch the video here.
Getting Started with DRaaS
DRaaS eliminates the expensive hardware and complex steps from the DR equation, making DR simple and affordable for any company. With an enterprise grade DRaaS solution, companies can:
- Increase Uptime
- Reduce DR costs
- Protect your Business
The challenge will be choosing the right DRaaS solution. One that is enterprise-grade, simple, and affordable. To help you with your search, we’ve put together a DRaaS kit that includes:
- How DRaaS should simplify IT disaster recovery
- The 5 things to look for in a DRaaS Solution
- A 16 point checklist to help you evaluate DRaaS Solutions