Four top priorities when choosing a DRaaS solution
Not all disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions are created equal. So, how do you make a sensible choice?
Of course, as with choosing any aspect of your enterprise IT, it’s important to consider the nuances of your organisation – the particularities of your industry, premises, operations and scale which will have a bearing on the kind of solution you choose. However, there are also some general principles that all organisations should bear in mind when making a decision. Follow these themes and you can be confident of choosing a market-leading DRaaS solution that will give you the peace of mind you need.
1. Time is of the essence
Speed isn’t everything when it comes to DR. But let’s face it, it’s still pretty fundamental. If you’re waiting for days to regain access to your data and applications after an incident, the impact on your business bottom line could be substantial. The flexibility of cloud-based DRaaS solution means that most can offer replication and recovery of your estate in a matter of hours or even minutes. The two terms you should be checking when choosing your solution are: Recovery Point Objective, or RPO, which determines the amount of time that can lapse during an incident before the quantity of lost data exceeds your DR tolerance; and Recovery Time Objective, or RTO, which determines the time within which your processes must be restored. Your chosen supplier should offer flexibility and consultancy around these.
2. Flexible recovery options
Do you want to back up every element within your infrastructure at the same intervals, or do some change more frequently than others? Are some aspects of your infrastructure more business-critical than others, and therefore require faster replication and recovery in the event of a disaster? The answers to these questions are likely to be ‘yes’ – and that means that a flexible approach to disaster recovery is one of the most valuable things to look for when choosing a solution. Don’t forget, you don’t even need to back up your entire datacentre – you could look at backing up specific virtual machines.
3. Test and validation of recovery
Basic DRaaS solutions restore access to your lost data and applications at more or less the click of a button – but they don’t test those processes until they are needed, and they don’t validate that those processes have been completed when they are needed. More comprehensive DRaaS solutions incorporate both test and validation procedures into their basic processes, ensuring that you don’t just have the peace of mind of knowing your DR solution is there – you also know that it works properly.
4. The compliance question
Having suitable DR tools and procedures in place is a requirement for a great many industry-specific or geography-specific regulatory frameworks. Ensure you choose your DRaaS solution to fit the regulations, compliance and legal frameworks are subject to, and, if possible, select a solution which pays specific attention to the requirements of those frameworks. Remember that compliance often isn’t simply about undertaking an action, it’s about proving that you have undertaken that action, so DRaaS solutions with built-in audit trails and documentation are a top priority.
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When it comes to providing customers with cloud services, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure lead the pack—ranked as first and second respectively by Gartner in their list of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers.MORE
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