Managed DRaaS is one of the fastest-growing sectors, not just in IT but in business. It’s easy to understand why. Done well, managed DRaaS gives businesses a service they need in a simple and economical but effective way. If you’re thinking of implementing managed DRaaS, here are the key points you need to know.
Disaster recovery is essentially about ensuring that your business can continue to operate no matter what happens. Ideally, it should predict and prevent any form of disruption. Realistically, it should minimize the impact of disruptions.
The two pillars of disaster recovery are the recovery point objective (RPO) and the recovery time objective (RTO). The RPO is the point from which you want to restore (in other words, how much data you need). The RTO is the time it takes for your restoration. It’s now quite common to have different RPOs and/or RTOs for different types of data.
Managed DRaaS is shorthand for managed disaster recovery as a service. Essentially, it’s when a specialist third-party vendor manages some, or all, of a business’ disaster-recovery solution, using the cloud. As such it combines the benefits of managed services with the benefits of the cloud.
The main benefit of managed services is that businesses can secure key needs without having to devote in-house resources to them. This leaves them better able to focus on their core activities. There are many benefits to using the cloud both in general and for DRaaS. In the context of DRaaS, probably the main ones are reliability, speed, and flexibility.
Of course, for managed DRaaS to deliver these benefits, it has to be set up effectively. With that in mind, here are the key points you should consider.
With managed DRaaS, you need to choose a managed service provider (MSP) and a cloud service provider (CSP). In principle, you can choose these in either order. In practice, it probably makes sense to choose your CSP first. You can then check if a potential MSP supports the CSP that you want to use.
Ideally, your MSP should not only support that CSP but its alternatives (at least its main competitors). Likewise, your CSP should ideally have support from a broad range of MSPs. This will limit your potential vulnerability to vendor lock-in on both sides.
Realistically, cost is very likely to be a factor in selecting a vendor. Just be wary of focusing too much on it. Keep in mind that the best overall deal may not come at the very lowest price. Also, remember that vendors who offer very low prices may struggle to keep themselves solvent. This could have major repercussions for your business.
In short, therefore, you should prioritize vendors who have stable financials, happy customers, and a solid track record of reliability. These three factors tend to go hand in hand for a reason. You should also look for vendors with representation in your country. That massively strengthens your hand if you do end up in a legal dispute with them.
Check if your CSP supports major compliance programs
Even if you do not come within the scope of compliance programs at present, it can be useful to work with a CSP that supports them. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it can open up your options for new business (and potentially for retaining current business). Secondly, it indicates that your CSP has strong overall security credentials.
Any incident that triggers a disaster-recovery protocol is almost certainly going to require you to restore from a backup. It’s therefore vital to ensure that your managed DRaaS solution works with your backup solution.
For completeness, you do not have to back up to the cloud to use managed DRaaS. With that said, there are many advantages to doing so. If you are not doing so already, therefore, you may wish to consider it.
One of the few certainties in business is that your IT needs are going to change as time goes by. This reality has been a key driver behind the adoption of the cloud in general and the public cloud in particular.
With the cloud, you have massive opportunities to optimize how different workloads are processed. Used astutely, this can both save you money and improve your business processes.
For example, you could choose to put non-critical data into slow storage and critical data into fast storage. This could both lower your overall cost and cut the time needed to recover your most important data.
To make the most of these opportunities, however, you need to work with vendors who genuinely embrace flexibility as a selling point. You should therefore check this thoroughly during the process of selecting a vendor.
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