Traditional IT Disaster Recovery (DR) is both expensive and brittle. Today, however, inexpensive and robust disaster protection is available to all organizations through the emergence of Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), such as that offered by CenturyLink Cloud. The DRaaS market is exploding. In their Global Forecast Report, the research firm MarketsandMarkets estimates that today the DRaaS markets is $1.42BN, and that by 2020 the DRaaS market will be $11.92BN.

Cloud has driven this growth along with new technologies that allow companies to leverage their existing data center while also using the Cloud for DR. Some customers have begun using the Cloud for both their production data center as well as their recovery data center. In both cases, companies have been able to leverage the cloud to meet GRC (Governance, Regulatory and Compliance) requirements.

Today, in a global economy that runs 24x7x365, it is critical to have a DR plan that can be modified and tested as required. Unfortunately, many times these tests fail for one reason or another (e.g., modification to applications that depend on other applications, undocumented processes, issues with encryption keys, etc.). Let’s take a look at six primary benefits of DRaaS:

Key Benefits

1. Cost Savings

  • Compute (CPU and Memory) – cost incurred only when the recovery systems are activated (i.e., in an actual disaster or in a recovery test).
  • Storage – only the storage costs associated with the data replicated in the recovery site is paid for.
  • Recovery Data Center – physical costs of the recovery data center are lower due to cost sharing across the cloud subscriber base.
  • Staffing – cloud providers have a great deal of expertise. Leveraging the cloud provider’s personnel allows DRaaS subscribers to avoid having to add new in-house staff.

2. Leverage the Cloud to Provide Data Center Locations

  • A company can leverage multiple DR locations, if desired.
  • Easily migrate from one location to another to meet business or audit requirements.
  • Load balance applications across multiple data centers offered by the cloud provider to minimize the impact of a single data center outage.

3. Dynamically Adjust Applications You Want to Place under Near Real-time DR Protection

  • Add or remove DR applications, as business requirements change.
  • Quickly modify protected applications. For example, some applications may require a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of 30 seconds while others require 15 minutes or an hour.

4. Leverage New Technology

  • Cloud providers continuously upgrade their environment.
  • Match the CPU and disk requirements to your application needs.
  • You incur no CapEx costs or depreciation from buying DR site equipment that may never get used.

5. SLA Requirements

  • Ensure Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by application(s) versus a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Supply the business unit and executive management with tested and validated DR RPO and RTO as required.

6. Ease of Use with Orchestration and Automation

  • GUI based failover – allows for step-by-step DR failover.
  • Failback – normally a planned process, but now it is also orchestrated and automated.
  • Testing – the ability to conduct testing in an orchestrated and automated way is key. Testing has to be done without interruption to production systems.

Disasters can be man made or caused by mother nature. Disasters can be unexpected (i.e., 2003 power outage in the NorthEast), or worse than expected (SuperStorm Sandy or the massive flooding in South Carolina). Leveraging DRaaS ensures that you are prepared to continue your business regardless of how the event started and its duration.

Will your disaster recovery plan stand up to the test of a disaster? Take the DR Readiness Quiz to find out.