You’ve heard many times that backing up your data, applications, and systems is mission-critical to your company’s ability to continue operating through a disaster. But what you’ve probably heard far fewer times, if at all, is that data backup itself is only half of the solution. The other half—equally important to your continued operations—is your ability to quickly recover and access your digital infrastructure if something goes wrong.
This is where Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) comes into play. The right DRaaS solution, supported by the right partner, can help you complete that second part of the equation: ensuring that if disaster strikes, you will always have quick access, from anywhere, to your backed-up data.
Dan Timko, Chief Strategy Officer for OffsiteDataSync’s parent company J2 Global, explained in a TechTarget article that the right DRaaS provider will “perform better when you do need to recover.”
And although the DRaaS industry is becoming more crowded each year, one way to narrow your search is to demand several must-have capabilities from whichever solution you choose. You’ll find few providers offer even a majority of the services we’ve outlined below, and almost none can offer you all of them. But because they’re all valuable components for your DR infrastructure, you’ll want a solution with as many of them as possible.
1. Offsite VM replication
Many DR services will offer VM (virtual machine) backup, which is ideal for long-term data storage. This is because VM backup uses tools such as compression and deduplication to shrink the overall footprint of your stored data.
But VM backup alone will probably not be sufficient to meet your Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) for your mission-critical data and systems if your site experiences a failure. Instead, you’ll want full VM replication—which essentially maintains an exact copy of your source VMs and can therefore enable much faster data recovery after a disaster.
2. One-click failover
Say your company’s main location suffered a power outage, and your staff needed quick access to mission-critical operating systems and applications to continue working. Even a well-documented disaster recovery plan might require your IT team to manually implement many steps and to execute multiple external scripts.
If your DRaaS solution offers, one-click failover, however, you’ll have the ability to implement your recovery plan instantly—with a single click—whether you need it only for specific VMs or for your entire site.
3. A hypervisor-agnostic infrastructure
Many DR companies can help you restore your data and systems only across the same type of virtual infrastructure (from VMware to a VMware recovery environment, or from a Hyper-V environment to Hyper-V recovery machines).
The right DRaaS solution won’t force you into a single environment for your primary digital infrastructure platform. Instead, it will have the ability to translate between these models and provide you with fast and reliable data restores across all of your virtual infrastructure platforms. Think of this as one more thing you won’t have to worry about in the event of a disaster.
4. Instant file-level recovery
Many backup and DR solutions are able to restore data only in bulk—at the system, machine, or folder levels. But what if the disaster your team is facing is simply the corruption or accidental deletion of a single, very important file?
Here, you’ll want a DRaaS system so flexible it will allow you to quickly isolate the file in question and restore it wherever you need—whether to its original folder or to different location for faster retrieval.
Note: As you’ll find with many of the other capabilities listed here, one of the few cloud solutions that offer this service is Veeam’s DRaaS platform, called Veeam Cloud Connect Replication.
5. Configurable WAN acceleration
Here is another capability you’ll find only with the best DRaaS providers. With configurable WAN acceleration, you’ll be able to move select data to your cloud backup location up to 50x faster while using as little as 1/20 the bandwidth of a typical backup transmission.
This will save your company money while protecting the operational performance of your staff’s other workflow applications and bandwidth needs.
6. Fully customizable RTOs and RPOs
Another must-have for any DRaaS solution is customizability. If disaster ever strikes, restoring some of your data and systems—for example, customers’ credit card details and your employees’ key workflow tools—will be mission-critical immediately. But you aren’t likely to need much of your archived data until long after the disaster has passed.
Your DRaaS service should give you the flexibility to subdivide your digital infrastructure according to urgency, so that you can set RTOs and RPOs that let you restore and access the mission-critical systems right away, and de-prioritizing—and paying less to maintain—the lower priority items.
7. Flexible payment options
Your DRaaS solution should also allow you to choose a pricing structure that makes sense specifically for your business, including:
- Fixed pricing—for dedicated compute resources.
- Pay-as-you go pricing—where you pay only for the bandwidth you use, and you can scale up or downtime anytime.
8. A proven third-party partner
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that regardless of your IT team’s knowledge of backup and disaster recovery, you almost certainly don’t have the time or resources to manage your company’s DR infrastructure entirely in-house.
Even if you deploy the industry’s best and most-trusted DRaaS solution—Veeam’s Cloud Connect Replication—you’ll still want the expertise and guidance of a trusted third-party partner to help you with:
- Proactive monitoring and alerts
- Support from the most highly trained and credentialed experts in the industry
All of which will lead you to OffsiteDataSync, a trusted Veeam partner for years.
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