While DRaaS is growing in popularity, so too is confusion about both its capabilities and its viability for organizations of different types and sizes. So how do you go about determining if DRaaS is the right choice for your organization? Start by making sure you know what’s real and what’s not when it comes to DRaaS capabilities.
May 29, 2018
Disaster Recovery as a Service Myths

By Alison Natali & Rob Engle 

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a solution that allows for the replication and hosting of servers by a third party to provide data recovery when needed.

As stated in the 2016 iteration of the Gartner Magic Quadrant, DRaaS is now a mainstream offering. In fact, Gartner estimates it to be a $2.02 billion business, and predicts that it will reach $3.73 billion by 2021.

Here are five common myths about DRaaS – debunked by OVHcloud disaster recovery (DR) experts:

Myth #1: DRaaS is Expensive

Reality: DRaaS Offers a “Pay-as-You-Grow” Consumption Model That can Scale Based on Budget

Many IT teams assume that implementing and managing a DRaaS solution will be a strain on their budgets. Some also worry that it will be too difficult to convince decision makers that the need for such a solution is just as important as revenue-generating investments. In reality, these concerns should not be a barrier to implementation.

With a “pay-as-you-grow” consumption model and an ability to provide near real time data center replication, DRaaS can provide a flexible yet comprehensive protection solution that can scale up or down based on needs and budget. Costs can vary based on factors such as recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) mandates, storage requirements, length of hosting, bandwidth, and licensing fees for backup software. Some DRaaS providers also have their own proprietary backup software, which can help to reduce costs even further.

Myth #2: All DRaaS Solutions are Similar

Reality: Not All DRaaS Solutions are Designed With the Same Technical Specifications  or Level of Protection

Here’s a short list of what to consider when considering cloud-based DR:

  • Availability: Ensuring high availability of all types of workloads in the event of a disaster or an outage can be cost-prohibitive. As a result, many organizations group their applications into ‘tiers’ based on business priority, and savvy IT leaders design unique strategies to meet the availability needs of each tier. This requires a DRaaS solution that can support tiering strategies for business-critical applications, commonly run applications, and occasional use applications. 
  • Networking: For some organizations, an IPSec connection is enough to meet their requirements. Many, however, require a direct connect circuit due to size, security and networking functionality, which not all DRaaS providers can support.
     
  • Security and Compliance:  Many DRaaS providers state what compliances they adhere to or support, but do not explain how they adhere to them. It’s important to understand if compliances are provided in their standard multi-tenant environment or if they are only available in a premium-level service offering.

Myth #3: All DRaaS Solutions are Fully Managed by the Provider

Reality:  Many DRaaS Solutions Share Responsibilities With Customers to Contain Costs

Unless you work with an all-inclusive DRaaS provider at the higher end of the cost spectrum, your internal team will have responsibilities should you need to leverage your failover environment.

Many of the moving parts are the responsibility of the solution provider,¾such as ensuring availability of the environment and guaranteeing data consistency and replication, but not all.

For example, you likely will need to build and test your Runbook, as well as manage in-the-moment technical tasks, such as updating IP/routing transfers after failover. There are other products that can be deployed to facilitate auto failovers, like Global IP Load Balancing, but these come at an extra cost.

Myth #4: DRaaS is Only for Enterprise Organizations

Reality: DRaaS is a Viable Solution for Organizations of All Types and Sizes

Disasters can happen to any organization,¾no matter its size. The good news is that DRaaS solutions can start small and scale accordingly to match evolving business needs, which is especially helpful for start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

DRaaS solutions also can be scoped to align with an organization’s tolerance for downtime. Keep in mind, however, that cost increases when downtime decreases. In other words, the closer to zero, the higher the cost. You can designate a mix of shorter and longer downtime requirements for mission critical and other applications and data to lower costs and get the recovery solution best suited to your organization.

Some DRaaS providers even enable organizations to leverage their recovery environment,¾which mirrors the organization’s production environment for other purposes, such as application development and testing. This can help with showing ROI.

Myth #5:  DRaaS Works for VMs or Physical Servers, But Not Both

Reality: Not All DRaaS Providers can Back Up Both Physical and Virtual Infrastructures, But There Are Those That Can and Do

Some providers only support virtual machine (VM) replication, while others support both VMs and physical machine replication from the production data center into the cloud. The more heterogeneous your data center environment, the more important it is that your provider offers either a platform-agnostic DRaaS solution, or multiple options to support both VMs and physical servers. Your provider should also support all operating systems, physical and virtual servers, storage systems and end-user devices.

Now that you are better informed about DRaaS and what it is and isn’t, ask yourself if a disaster recovery solution could be the right fit for your business. If you still aren’t sure, learn about how one of our e-Commerce customers has realized immense ROI from implementing an OVHcloud DRaaS solution.