Disaster recovery as a service has become a staple of the IT industry. One of the many reasons it has become so popular is that it’s very cost-effective. With that said, if you want to get the very best value from DRaaS, it helps to understand DRaaS pricing. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what influences the cost of DRaaS.
As with most “as a service” business types, DRaaS pricing is essentially based on usage. This means that it’s very much in each client’s best interests to think carefully about what services they really do need (and/or want). Here are some of the key points you should consider.
DRaaS comes in three main forms. These are self-service, assisted, and managed. With self-service DRaaS, the vendor supplies the infrastructure. The client supplies the necessary IT staff. If an unplanned incident occurs, the client’s own IT team will manage the process of switching to the disaster recovery infrastructure (and back again).
Assisted DRaaS is essentially self-service DRaaS but with some extra support from the vendor. Managed DRaaS is when the vendor takes full ownership of running the disaster recovery infrastructure.
Of these, managed DRaaS is the highest-priced option because it requires the highest level of input from the vendor.
This is one of the reasons why managed DRaaS is the most popular of the three options. Self-service DRaaS is quite niche. It tends to be used with companies that need a lot of in-house IT resources anyways. Assisted DRaaS is even more niche. It tends to be used by businesses that operate highly customized systems.
The whole point of DRaaS is to ensure that you have disaster recovery infrastructure available if you ever need it. This means that clients are typically looking for service level guarantees of close to 100% uptime. Clients also need to be clear on what rights they will have if the vendor does not (or cannot) make good on their guarantee.
As a rule of thumb, the shorter your recovery time objective (RTO) and/or your recovery point objective (RPO), the higher the price you can expect to pay for managed DRaaS. Your RTO and RPO are generally less important in self-service and assisted DRaaS. This is because you will be handling the switch yourself.
In a nutshell, disaster recovery is about protecting the core applications (and data) that you need to run your business. In some cases, that may be all a business’ applications. In many cases, however, it will only be a portion of them.
For example, there is unlikely to be a need to use disaster recovery for standard cloud-based applications. Your staff should already be able to log into these from any device with an up-to-date browser.
One of the key factors in determining DRaaS pricing is the level of technical infrastructure you need. A typical DRaaS vendor will need answers to questions such as:
In practical terms, the question “do you have any special requirements?”, usually translates as “do you have any special requirements for security or compliance?”. This is a question with major implications so it’s important to consider it carefully.
Generally, reputable DRaaS vendors will operate to very high standards of security. They are also likely to comply (or be able to comply) with the major U.S. and global data security programs.
If your business has to comply with data security programs run by other regions (e.g. the EU’s GDPR program), then you should definitely check if a vendor can support this. In many cases, they will be able to, albeit possibly at an extra cost.
In some cases, however, they may not be able to. This is usually because some regions (e.g. the EU) have rules about where data can be stored.
Operationally, it’s preferable for a DRaaS to have data centers that are fairly near to you but not too near to you. This minimizes the time to recovery while still ensuring that you stay protected from localized incidents such as natural disasters or power outages.
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