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The goal of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is relatively simple; place and run a copy of some or all of your production at a remote location in your time of need. But there are so many ways to accomplish this.  Proactive vs. reactive, cloud vs on-prem, public vs private cloud, image vs. file-based, and managed vs. DIY are just some of the considerations that need to be taken to determine your organization’s DRaaS needs.

With so many options – each one with a software vendor or solution provider telling you their way is the right way to do it – it’s reasonable to become confused around what the correct choice is.

So, let us attempt to help you decipher how your organization should approach DRaaS, let’s start by asking (and answering) the question “Is there a wrong way?” Rather than assessing all of the DRaaS options and making a choice, let’s work to eliminate the possibilities to derive an answer.

Proactive vs. Reactive

Is there a wrong way?  We’re going to assume that the reason you want not just DR capabilities – but DRaaS specifically – is so that you can have the environment up and running as quickly as possible. That being the case, reactive must be out. The time it would take to reactively recover data, applications, systems, and dependencies after a disaster simply won’t have you operational quickly.

Cloud vs. On-Premises

Is there a wrong way? Sort of.  Both are viable options for DR, but you should keep in mind that on-prem recovery assumes there is a physical location – with hardware – when it comes to DRaaS, most organizations are looking for an ability to recover operations the same way, no matter what the cause of outage. Doing so increases the success rate and reduces the cost of recovery. Sticking with an on-prem strategy limits the scope of how DRaaS can be utilized.

Private vs. Public Cloud

Is there a wrong way? It depends. If you’re DR needs are very general and have no tailored needs, public is an option.  But most organizations have some degree of specific recovery needs around applications, their dependencies, require automation, or even expert assistance – none of which are addressed by the public cloud.

Image vs. File-Based

Is there a wrong way? On this one, we’re going to say definitively yes. File-based backups are a legacy methodology that no longer provides organizations with a fast means of recovery.  With an ability to retrieve files directly from even image-based backups, there is no reason today to rely on file-based backups.  Image-based backups provide organizations with the ability to both backup, replicate, and even immediately recover entire systems to the cloud much faster and with better overall system recoverability than with file-based backups.

Managed vs. DIY

Is there a wrong way? This entirely depends on whether you a) have internal expertise on both every part of your environment and its’ recovery needs, b) have internal expertise on the cloud-based environment you’ll be recovering to, and c) have enough staffing to devote to proactive recovery operations. If your organization is made up of a relatively simple set of internal services, DIY is probably an option.  But most organizations haven’t even begun to dig into the dependencies, requirements, and orchestration needed to properly recover, and need help just defining – let alone implementing – their DRaaS plans.

Getting DRaaS Right

Part of maintaining operations depends on how good your DRaaS strategy is. Lots of noise about how every vendor’s way is the best choice only distracts organizations from carefully considering their options and choosing the right DRaaS strategy for them. The best DRaaS strategy is one that begins with the organization’s recovery needs and looks for the most aligning DRaaS option.

The guidance provided above should help you better understand – even if only at a high level – and navigate DRaaS in an effort to find a strategy that will best meet your needs. Your next step is to find a Cloud Service Provider that offers what you’re looking for in a DRaaS solution.  If applicable, we’re here to help.