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Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) has really caught on of late. Gartner cites a 77 percent increase in DRaaS-related inquiries over the past year and estimates the DRaaS market will reach $3.4B by 2019.
What’s driving this trend?
A survey by DRaaS provider Zetta found that confidence plays a big part in the ascendancy of cloud-based DR. Ninety percent of IT pros who are using DRaaS are confident in their DR strategy, while only 74 percent of IT pros who use on-premise DR feel that same confidence.
2. Growing Data Outages
In the past, DR was mostly about recovering from a natural disaster. Such events were not that common. But the reasons for downtime have multiplied, and the frequency of data outages has risen. Over the past five years, 54 percent of IT pros report having experienced a data outage of more than eight hours.
“While many think of DR as preparing for catastrophic natural events, most IT downtime can be caused by simple power outages, hardware and human errors and, increasingly, security vulnerabilities,” said Mike Grossman, CEO of Zetta.
He said the survey showed the most common causes of downtime to be
- Power outage (75 percent)
- Hardware error (53 percent)
- Human error (35 percent)
- Virus/malware attack (34 percent)
- Data corruption (26 percent)
- Unexpected updates and patches (24 percent)
- Natural disaster (20 percent)
- Expected updates and patches (20 percent)
- Onsite disaster (11 percent)
Zetta asked IT managers what they considered to be the most important factor in DR. Reliability came out top (54 percent) followed by usability and simplicity (16 percent), cost (16 percent), and speed of recovery (15 percent). It is clear from these results, therefore, that DR centralization appears to be going on. From everyone trying to figure out their own DR infrastructure and build their own, things have evolved to the point where most are willing to hand the function over to specialists. They believe that the function is better done by organizations who do DR for a living rather than businesses with a focus elsewhere.
Cost containment is obviously a significant driver of DRaaS. Who wants to spend millions building a duplicate data center? And who wants to recruit, train and try to hold onto top talent to man it?
“Building and managing one’s own data centers and recovery personnel that are well-versed in business continuity strategies, technologies and procedures can be an expensive proposition,” said Lisa Erickson, product management, resiliency solutions, Veritas Technologies. “As a result, many organizations prefer to outsource on-going resiliency requirements to service professionals that are dedicated to business resiliency day in and day out.”
5. ROI Considerations
Some organizations have invested a lot on their existing DR infrastructure. If that investment was recent, it is probably best to let it live out its useful life before turning to DRaaS. But most companies either lack a sufficient DR backbone or their existing one is showing its age. In those cases, the ROI for DRaaS should be carefully weighed. Erickson said to evaluate the total cost of ownership and ROI over time. If you look at your DR costs at a single point in time for a short period of time, it may be difficult to understand ROI over time.
“Weigh the ongoing facilities costs, hardware refresh and maintenance cycles and operational costs over a three- to five-year time increment,” she said.