DRaaS –Taking the Cost and Complexity out of Cloud-based Disaster Recovery

By: Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software

When Downtime is Not an Option
Downtime saps the energy from organizations. Every minute of lost productivity drains revenue. Meanwhile, competitors get a head start, when they should be left far behind. Availability of applications and data have a direct impact on its top and bottom-line performance for modern businesses. The result? There is absolutely no tolerance for downtime today.

To reduce unplanned downtime to an absolute minimum and keep businesses operating smoothly, a secondary site for disaster recovery (DR) is vital. When disaster strikes, organizations need off-site, ready-to-go replicas of all critical apps and data, so they can get back up and running quickly.

But setting up and maintaining a separate disaster recovery site is expensive and time-consuming, which is why cloud based Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) presents such a compelling alternative.

Thus far, DRaaS has mainly been seen as a way for SMBs (small-to-medium sized businesses) to utilize real disaster recovery capabilities. Tight budgets and limited staff were constraining SMBs from maintaining their own remote sites, so DRaaS has helped them overcome this challenge. Now, industry trends confirm that enterprises start to enjoy DRaaS without extra complexity and high cost implementation. A recent report by MarketsandMarkets says that the DRaaS market size is estimated to grow from USD 1.68 Billion in 2016 to USD 11.11 Billion by 2021, at an estimated CAGR of 45.9% from 2016 to 2021.

What is DRaaS

While various forms, of subscription-based disaster recovery services have been around for quite a while, true DRaaS is still largely undefined. The Forrester Wave gives one of the clearest DRaaS definitions as "services that enable customers to failover their on-premises infrastructure to a multitenant, cloud environment that they purchase on a pay-per-use basis." The defining characteristic of DRaaS is when organizations rent an allocation of CPU, RAM, storage and networking resources at a shared facility to replicate and recover their data, rather than building and maintaining a dedicated, private disaster recovery site.

For SMBs and SMEs with moderate-sized IT environments and without the necessary in-house resources, DRaaS is an affordable way to benefit from an effective disaster recovery platform.

However, for larger enterprises with complex infrastructures and larger data volumes spread across disparate systems, DRaaS has often been too complicated and expensive to implement.

As the technology improves, choices increase and costs drop, DRaaS adoption is rising fast across organizations of all sizes.

It's not just that DRaaS is more cost effective than traditional disaster recovery. Now setting it up is much less complex, with minimal downtime and minimal impact on users. Bottom line, DRaaS offers a simple way to meet today's demand to deliver Always-on services.

With mature DRaaS offerings, smaller organizations no longer need to struggle without in-house disaster recovery expertise. Larger organizations no longer need to waste money on secondary disaster recovery sites that require expensive capital acquisition, with little return on investment when the site is not used.

As more and more customers are interested in DRaaS, service providers estimate that 56 percent of high interest is among their current customers and 72 percent is among their target market[1].

Why Choose DRaaS?

DRaaS adoption is speeding up, and the most popular reasons to consider DRaaS are a lack of disaster recovery site and lack of disaster recovery expertise.

For IT leaders challenged to increase resiliency without increasing costs, DRaaS could soon be seen as an essential piece of the modern data centre puzzle. By overcoming traditional cost and complexity issues, large IT organizations can start to realize the many benefits of DRaaS, including:

Fast recovery — If a disaster occurs, every second your system is down means you are losing money. DRaaS can enable you to restore normal operations in minutes, rather than hours or even days.
Cost control — Building and maintaining a remote disaster recovery site is expensive and complex. DRaaS eliminates the need to run your own disaster recovery site, reduces CapEx (capital expense) and provides predictable OpEx (operating expense) costs with pay-as-you go pricing models.
Flexibility — Rather than traditional disaster recovery’s rigidity, DRaaS allows you to activate virtual off-site resources on demand. And you can choose from a variety of recovery scopes, depending on the nature and severity of the disaster.
Simplicity — New technology advances allow you to quickly and simply implement DRaaS and manage backup and recovery far more easily.
Security and compliance — The best DRaaS solutions ensure that data is encrypted in transit and at rest. They also enable in-house, IT teams to maintain data residency control. Some industry solutions require failover tests periodically. A DRaaS solution with automated testing capabilities can greatly reduce expenses required to run those tests.
Bright Future for DRaaS

Networking is one of the biggest problems for any cloud-based, enterprise disaster recovery solution. Traditionally, service providers have had to wrestle with complex VPNs, custom rules, network overlaps and the painstaking task of reconfiguring network routing to redirect data to cloud recovery sites.

However, new technology is removing the pain points, making it easier for service providers to offer DRaaS and easier for enterprises to take advantage of it. DRaaS is set to surge in adoption and enterprises jumping on the bandwagon early on will reap the most benefits.