Questions When Considering a DRaaS Solution
I recently sat down with our very own Tim Ferris—Solutions Architect, Yankees fan (don’t hold that against him :) and DRaaS Guru. We talked about some of the common questions customers ask when considering DRaaS and the common themes Tim sees when helping customers plan and implement DRaaS solutions. Check out our conversation below about the key questions when considering a DRaaS solution.
- Does your company really need a DRaaS solution?
There are a variety of reasons why a DRaaS solution isn’t always the best fit for an organization. Depending on the type of business, an offsite disaster recovery strategy might not be a great match if the business is site dependent. Another factor is the cost consideration. Companies need to make the business determination if disaster recovery is something that’s strategic for the company to invest in vs. putting the cost into purchasing a powerful insurance policy.
- How are DRaaS solutions priced?
Traditionally a huge barrier to offsite DR adoption has been price, however, DRaaS makes DR and the supporting infrastructure much more affordable and attractive to companies. DRaaS cloud billing and pricing is still a challenge though because pricing models vary widely across different companies. This can be a huge point of contention and another reason to use a solution provider who can model out true cost comparisons and estimates across various cloud partners.
- Is your company ready to embrace a modern DRaaS strategy?
For many traditional IT organizations, the move to DRaaS can be intimidating since you’re moving your DR environment off-site to a third party. You may also be concerned about losing data stewardship and need to understand the differences that living on a shared infrastructure can pose. In addition, there are some applications that require physical dependencies and can’t be handled by virtual DRaaS, so evaluating your application portfolio is crucial. Finally, eliminating most of your capex cost and turning it into a monthly recurring cost can be valuable to many companies.
- How simple is it to implement a DRaaS solution?
There’s a lot of marketing hype around this idea that DRaaS solutions are very simple: “Buy our DRaaS solution and we’ll have you up in an hour!” While many providers can technically get the DRaaS framework up quickly, there are a lot of variables that are unique to each company. (See #5) Because DRaaS is not one-size-fits-all, many companies work with IT solution providers (like GreenPages) to help create and implement a DR migration plan and implementation strategy. Compounding the issue is that the DRaaS solution provider market is very crowded so it can be challenging to navigate the options—it’s important to choose based on your company’s specific requirements.
- What sorts of barriers or common problems will I encounter?
You must make sure as an organization that you have created a business impact analysis and overarching disaster requirements before someone can come in and implement the technical solution. Another prerequisite is understanding the interdependencies of all your applications so that you aren’t just replicating VMs, but are protecting business solutions and applications critical to the company. While ongoing management isn’t a barrier to DRaaS, the testing can be challenging no matter what DR solution you implement. (See #6).
- Can’t I just have a backup solution rather than a DRaaS solution?
Most companies do have a backup solution but not always a practical DR plan. Restoring from backup tape could take from days to weeks to restore. A true DRaaS system would provide you with recovery within minutes to hours. Backup is vitally important, but you may need the combination of backup with DRaaS to restore your systems properly as these systems can complement each other. Another important thing to keep in mind is that many companies do have a DR plan but have never tested it. Without testing, it’s not a plan, it’s just a theory. In addition, you will learn plenty of helpful and interesting information when you test your plan. Most important, you don’t want to learn that your DRaaS plan was faulty on the day you push the DR button due to an actual emergency.
Thanks for checking out our blog post! If you have any more questions about implementing DRaaS or would like to speak to a technologist, please reach out to us or click below.
By Jake Cryan, Digital Marketing Specialist