Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service: Cloud-Based Solutions for Effective Business Continuity

May 05, 2016

IT leaders continue to struggle with BCDR investments. On the one hand, it is absolutely essential to protect the business in the event of an outage. On the other hand, it is difficult to justify investments that may rarely or never pay off. As such, disaster recovery solutions remain difficult to justify because return on investment (ROI) can be delayed for months, or even years, after the initial purchase decision is made. Hence, more pressing IT demands, like driving productivity, efficiency, and innovation, take higher priority when creating IT budgets.

Cloud-based disaster recovery promises a simple and cost-effective solution to the struggle. Cloud options are quick and easy to deploy, budget-friendly, and flexible, in that they offer customization capabilities to balance a business’s fault tolerance against its budget. As such, cloud-based business continuity and disaster recovery solutions are more palatable options than physical or on-premises services.

There are many ways in which a business can use cloud for business continuity and disaster recovery. It can manually back up data to a cloud-based storage service; though, this can be time consuming for staff, and unreliable in terms of regular adherence to backup policies. It can subscribe to a SaaS service, which automates the backup process into a cloud based environment, so that data can be retrieved at the push of a button in the event of a failure. While this option may provide far more consistency in terms of regularly scheduled, automated replication of data, it puts the onus on the enterprise to reconfigure applications and the environment interface in the aftermath of a server or site outage.

DRaaS provides a higher level of automation for both backup and recovery processes. Beyond replicating data and applications on a consistent schedule, DRaaS also automates the recovery process, enabling customers to log in to an online portal and push a button in order to restore the environment. For many businesses—especially those in the small- to mid-sized space, DRaaS is an easier service to implement than manual backups to the cloud, and is a more cost-effective alternative to leasing or building a secondary disaster recovery site.

DRaaS remains an effective and cost-efficient means for businesses—particularly those in the small and mid-sized spaces—to back up their IT environments and have them available, in relatively short order, in the case of an outage. As providers increase the types of environments that their DRaaS services can protect, it becomes easier for businesses to protect their complete hybrid environment—physical and virtual, cloud and traditional—through a single DRaaS solution.

DRaaS adoption appears greatest in the mid-market to small enterprise segment. DRaaS is an excellent choice, as it levels the playing field with larger providers who have greater ability to deploy larger, physical or on-premises solutions. Providers should seek to leverage the cloud-buying habits of these segments, and tailor DRaaS offers to meet their needs.

DRaaS is also a strong service for channel partners to include in their service portfolio. Many DRaaS providers are marketing through channel partners, with some doing more than 80% of their business through partners.

Cloud service providers and channel partners should seek to leverage DRaaS to help drive disaster preparation as well as cloud adoption among their customers. Frost & Sullivan research shows that companies of all sizes expect to adopt cloud computing for disaster recovery within the next two years, with mid-market and small enterprise companies leading the charge.

For more information on DRaaS and a market landscape of several providers offering solutions in the DRaaS space, visit: http://www.frost.com/q296615746. 

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Karyn Price


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