Disaster recovery (DR) as-a-service (DRaaS) is the latest evolution of the DR market.
Many companies just don’t have the time, budget, or inclination to establish a DR site that is a mirror image of the corporate data center, which used to be modern, but it is rapidly becoming an expensive anachronism. In its place, many organizations are using the cloud as a place where they can store DR data in case of an incident.
But the cloud needs management. Those simply dumping data in the cloud and hoping to be able to recover it after a ransomware attack or weather event have often been disappointed. DRaaS has emerged as a service that provides IT with a managed way to ensure they can recover.
See below for some of the top trends in disaster recovery-as-a-service market:
1. Validated recovery
Greater attention is being placed on testing and validating the reality of recovery, according to Laura Shafer, senior director of product marketing, 11:11 Systems.
For a long time, it was enough for organizations to have a business continuity plan that included a DR solution. If a business tested the plan once a year, everyone said, “Great. It works.” That’s no longer enough.
“IT teams are needing to not only test more often, but they must also validate recovery,” Shafer said.
For some companies, that may mean providing application testing and end-user testing.
For others, it may involve scenario- or event-based testing where the IT team simulates a common situation and then validates recovery. For example, recovering from your latest point in time to simulate a power outage or hardware failure or from a previous point in time to simulate a ransomware or other security event.
2. Testing frequency
The attention being placed on testing has impacted testing frequency.
Organizations used to test once a year, when they made a major change in their DR strategy or after they suffered a disaster and found their data wasn’t fully recoverable.
But the presence of DRaaS makes testing far easier. As organizations have a provider available, they no longer have to distract internal personnel for lengthy testing drills.
“This is putting more pressure on IT teams to test DR more frequently,” said Shafer with 11:11 Systems.
“Which is another reason why, regardless of the DR solution you are using, it’s imperative to be able to prove that you can recover when you need to recover.”
3. Disaster expectancy
Disasters used to be rare events. Many organizations never suffered from them or only had to deal with a minor event, such as loss of power for a day or two.
These days, most organizations are likely to suffer a disaster courtesy of the increased frequency of weather events and the prevalence of malware and ransomware.
“Disasters are no longer once-in-a-lifetime events,” said Vasilii Zorin, senior project manager, Acronis.
“In recent years, cyber attacks have become the primary cause of unplanned outages. All companies, regardless of their size, industry, or location, are prone to cyber threats.”
Disaster recovery and DRaaS become a vital part of cyber-protection readiness, as it guarantees the continuity of business operations, even when ransomware manages to pass through traditional cybersecurity layers of defense.
4. Speed of recovery
Speed of recovery has always been an issue. Organizations want all their data recovered now.
They frequently specify recovery times of minutes in requests for quotes (RFQs). Dismay often follows when they see the price tag attached to almost instant recovery. Nevertheless, fast recovery is vital, and organizations are increasingly willing to spend more to shorten their recovery times.
“Companies need speedy recovery in case of disasters, as they heavily rely on IT systems to facilitate effective work of distributed teams in a hybrid environment,” said Zorin with Acronis.
“Organizations cannot tolerate hours or days of downtime. They should be able to restore operations in a matter of minutes.”
5. Multicloud and DRaaS
Modern organizations now have workloads on-premises, in the cloud, and in multiple clouds. Their infrastructure is complex.
Those trying to manage backup internally often run into this wall of complexity. If their backups are thorough, they typically take up far too much internal time. But many times, certain applications, databases, or systems are missed from the backup schedule.
DRaaS pushes this complexity to an external provider, and all the enterprise needs to do is spend a small amount of time to verify all data is covered.
“Hybrid/multicloud infrastructure with workloads hosted on-premise, in various private and public clouds, is the new norm for organizations,” said Zorin with Acronis.
“DRaaS products should support orchestration of DR scenarios in such environments, including complex network management and data migration between multiple hosts.”