In today’s industry, an IT disaster recovery plan is essential. It is not only essential to protect a business from catastrophic failure, but it is expected by customers, necessary against our competition and required by data protection regulations. Fortunately, for those who are looking right now, there is no better time than the present. With the adoption of cloud-based services, we are now able to achieve far greater disaster recovery objectives at far more affordable prices.
With this in mind, I have been analysing Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and comparing the managed/self-service options. Compared with other traditional disaster recovery options, DRaaS can provide a more flexible, efficient and cost-effective recovery platform. However, just like any DR strategy, DRaaS must be managed and maintained in the correct way, if it is to become reliable in the unfortunate event of disaster.
Like cloud-based services, utilising the benefits of a managed service provider (MSP) is a rapidly increasing trend within the IT industry. In many businesses MSPs are key in releasing precious IT time and improving efficiency. In the case of disaster recovery, a managed service provider will also remove the pressure and time of planning, configuring, monitoring, testing and executing a successful DR strategy.
For most organisations, a well-maintained and effective self-service DRaaS strategy weighs too heavily on internal resources. In these circumstances you are setting yourself up to fail. A neglected disaster recovery strategy will fall short and ultimately lead a business to ruin. To avoid disaster during a disaster, questions need to be asked.
When did you last test your DR strategy? Have your engineers executed a successful DR before? Can an effective recovery be guaranteed? Or, can recovery be guaranteed at all?
If your organisation has the internal DR expertise and bandwidth to manage a successful DRaaS strategy, then the self-service option would be appropriate. However, it is still worth remembering that the recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) can only be met when you can guarantee the reliability and availability of your designated DR experts.
A Managed DRaaS provider is set up to deliver business continuity through an effective and thorough disaster recovery strategy. A good managed service provider will also remove all the uncertainty surrounding DR and give your businesses confidence with a guaranteed service level agreement (SLA) that you can rely on 24/7/365.
Depending on your internal resource and reliance on IT, it will be a simple decision. The hard part will then be deciding on the right IT provider to protect your business. As a disaster will be one of the most difficult situations your business will ever face, you must consider the following points carefully.
Managed DRaaS Provider - Essential Check List
Knowledge and Experience
· Checking the industry-recognised certifications a provider has is a simple way to find out what their capabilities are. You must make sure you are in safe hands. Looking for a well-established partner with a diverse customer base is essential. This will ensure they have the desired range of expertise in tackling a variety of issues.
Value and Worth
· Look for a provider who will give your business the level of attention it deserves. You do not want to be a number on their system. Once you are engaged with the right provider it will become obvious that your business is valued. You will not be passed from pillar to post, the right provider will create and build upon a solid relationship that you can rely on.
Best of Breed Systems & Software
· Your IT service provider must have the right tools for the job. In this case they would provide best of breed cloud infrastructure and DR software backed up by expert testing, monitoring and replication systems. When disaster hits, you need to know that your environment is going to become instantly available in the cloud and perform exactly how you need it to.
Communication is Key
· It sounds simple, but communication is key. An IT service provider must be able to act as an extension of your IT team. They will provide clear, concise and honest communications. Businesses are constantly changing and developing, as such regular updates, reports, reviews and audits are necessary to ensure strategies are aligned.