Disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) encompasses the management of server image and production data replication to cloud storage by a service provider. This typically includes DR runbook (or plan documentation) creation, automated server recovery, and failback to and from the cloud. Unfortunately, choosing a DRaaS provider can be one of the most complex tasks in the entire enterprise storage market.
Some vendors are almost wholly self-service, while others manage the service for the user, either wholly or in part. The self-service providers still offer tools for recovery configuration, virtual machine replication, and the creation of recovery plans. But it’s the buyer’s responsibility to execute them.
The underlying method of provision also varies. In some cases, companies use DRaaS providers’ clouds to replicate on-premise data and systems. In other cases, the provider acts as a colocation provider as well as a DRaaS provider. And more than a few providers rely entirely on the vendor as a secondary site in the event of a disaster, or use the vendor to replicate their data between two or more clouds.
The complexities of DRaaS pricing
Disaster recovery has always been expensive. In the early stages of DR, companies had to erect a data center that was a mirror of their primary site. That meant the same servers, tape drives, storage arrays, networking equipment, software, in both locations. Colocation and hosting players came onto the scene as a way to reduce those costs by sharing resources with other users. But costs remained relatively high.
Once the cloud appeared, it was initially looked upon as an easy way to reduce DR costs. Simply dumping everything into a low-cost cloud seemed to be the answer. But all it took was one disaster to highlight the folly of that concept. The problem: it can take weeks to download huge quantities of data from the cloud.
DRaaS evolved as a way to use the cloud to get companies back online fast. It isn’t inexpensive, but it’s critical for resuming operations.
DRaaS vendors often choose to withhold pricing data from market experts. If a business plans to purchase software from one of these providers, they’ll contact the provider as a potential buyer to learn more about costs.
Top DRaaS Providers:
- Microsoft Azure Site Recovery
- Acronis Advanced Disaster Recovery
- Recovery Point
- C&W Business
- IBM DRaaS
- Sungard AS
Azure Site Recovery’s extensive global presence and integration with other Microsoft platforms make it a top candidate for low-complexity x86 environments. It tends to compete head-to-head with iland (see below) in the low-cost x86 DRaaS space. Microsoft is also beneficial for organizations committed to Microsoft platforms or the Azure cloud.
Users are able to recover data between multiple Azure regions automatically; this inter-regional site recovery allows Azure customers to be ISO 27001 compliant. Azure compute resources are pay-per-use. Consider Azure Site Recovery if your enterprise already uses Microsoft storage platforms.
Read our in-depth analysis of Microsoft Azure Site Recovery.
Acronis Advanced Disaster Recovery is a solution specifically designed for service providers. Offered through Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, the DR platform allows MSPs to quickly create new IT systems with site-to-site connectivity in case their client’s IT infrastructure goes down.
Service providers are able to run their DHCP services on recovery servers during failover procedures. This allows them to have more control over their IP address configurations. They also are able to develop custom DNS configurations for their clients’ DR cloud services. Acronis’s DR is ideal for service providers that already have other modules of the Cyber Protect Cloud.
Service provider Invervision acquired Bluelock, which has been known for its excellent customer support and consulting services. Though it’s not the largest DraaS provider, its approach brings it a loyal following and strong customer feedback. Intervision supports both AWS and Azure cloud environments. Intervision partners include Veeam, Zerto, and VMware.
Intervision’s approach appeals to some U.S.-based midsize and large companies, but those who have a lot of in-house staff might not be as interested. If you are new to the cloud, lack cloud-savvy IT resources, and need to take great care of heterogeneous workloads that require colocation integrated into a comprehensive recovery plan, Intervision might be a good bet.
Read our in-depth analysis of Bluelock.
Expedient offers fully managed DRaaS services in a limited area (certain cities spanning the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States). Its technology partners are Zerto, VMware, and Cohesity. Expedient’s disaster recovery services are compliant with regulatory standards like HIPAA, SOC2, and CSA.
Expedient’s On-Site Private Cloud with DRaaS is ideal for customers who want to modernize their IT operations without sacrificing the benefits or control of an on-premises environment. Expedient performs some of the IT tasks, lifting some of the manual burden from IT teams. Consider this solution if your enterprise plans to implement a hybrid IT infrastructure or wants to ease into the full Expedient infrastructure as a service — the On-Site Private Cloud serves as an introductory service before businesses implement Expedient IaaS.
Read our in-depth analysis of Expedient.
TierPoint provides fully managed DRaaS powered by Zerto, Nutanix, VMware vCloud, or Dell EMC RecoverPoint platforms. It also offers backup as a service, offered through Commvault; if your enterprise needs unified backup and DR services, consider Tierpoint.
TierPoint differentiates itself by appealing to medium-complexity environments that prioritize flexibility in technology choices and multiple tiers of services. It emphasizes power and infrastructure reliability via dedicated redundant elements. These are backed by an impressive array of generators, utility feeds, main electrical switchboards, and high-speed networks.
Read our in-depth analysis of Tierpoint.
CloudHPT serves Middle Eastern businesses as well as global organizations with the need for data residency requirements in the Middle East. It’s powered by Cisco technology. CloudHPT offers features like recovery within 15 minutes and click to failover. Customers receive a disaster recovery runbook to improve regulatory compliance management. CloudHPT also has a self-service management portal
CloudHPT’s DRaaS is fully managed through an in-country network operations center. For those with in-country requirements within Dubai and Saudi Arabia, it is a top contender. It also has some clients configured for recovery to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, within and outside the Middle East.
Read our in-depth analysis of CloudHPT.
iland is a DRaaS provider that offers a dedicated compliance team and an optional backup service. It has solid partnerships with VMware, Cisco, Zerto, and Veeam, and its service is built on VMware technology.
iland is a solution for organizations with heavy compliance requirements and network complexity that needs self-service VMware-based IaaS and DRaaS. Its runbook capabilities allow teams to create different recovery groups based on the specific applications or systems that need to be recovered. Its security features include role-based access control, vulnerability scanning, and virtual machine encryption. Consider iland if your organization needs a full-featured DRaaS platform with additional security and automation features.
Read our in-depth analysis of iland.
Recovery Point’s focus is complex heterogeneous environments that include physical systems and servers, such as IBM Z, IBM i, IBM Power Systems and Oracle SPARC. This broad approach supports its wide U.S. client base, consisting of commercial companies, federal agencies, and state and local governments.
While there are many choices for DRaaS on x86 systems, Recovery Point is one of few that is experienced with non-x86 workloads and mainframes. It is ideal for U.S.-based organizations, particularly IBM and Oracle shops. This includes those with complex recovery needs, those with U.S. Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) needs, and those that wish to leverage tape as a secondary recovery option to DRaaS.
Read our in-depth analysis of Recovery Point.
IBM is one of a small group of vendors with significant non-x86 workload and mainframe recovery experience. Unlike most companies in this guide, it has a long track record in DR that pre-dates the cloud. IBM has supported more than 1,000 recoveries since 1989.
It is a good candidate for organizations that desire fully managed DRaaS and global support for IBM hardware and software offerings. Its Resiliency Services portfolio offers enterprises both breadth and depth. This can well serve clients whose recovery options may need to evolve over a longer period of time as their business needs change. Related IBM solutions include business continuity services and cyber resilience services, which combine security, network resilience, and continuity for the security incident management process.
Read our in-depth analysis of IBM DRaaS.
Sungard Availability Services (AS) competes head-to-head with IBM in North American and EU on mixed environments that include high-value non-x86 infrastructure. Sungard gives businesses access to disaster recovery consultants, who help organizations define their data protection needs and implementing a comprehensive DR solution.
Sungard offers both virtual to virtual and physical to virtual replication. Sungard customers can schedule automated monthly testing for their recovery plans. Consider Sungard if your business has hybrid environments and non-x86 technology.
Read our in-depth analysis of Sungard AS.