If caught unprepared, natural disasters can end small businesses. Studies show that 40% of small businesses close for good after a disaster.
Many natural disasters pose a threat to business operations. These include hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and pandemics like COVID-19. They can destroy infrastructure and goods or impede movement.
To minimize the impact of natural disasters, businesses need disaster recovery plans. This allows them to remain operational even in extreme situations.
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) secures a business’ data to allow for continuity. It offers workload replication so that there’s minimal disruption in the event of a disaster. Read on to know more about this feature of DRaaS.
What is Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)?
Disaster recovery allows businesses to execute plans designed to keep or resume functions after a disaster. Disasters can entail significant data loss or corruption. A plan for data backup and restoration is a basic need for businesses that use computers.
Disaster recovery as a service or DRaaS is a cloud-based service model. With DRaaS, organizations can back up their data and IT infrastructure.
This backup is in third-party cloud-based recovery sites. Full DR management is also provided as part of the SaaS solution. In the event of a disaster, businesses can still have access and functionality to their IT system.
Since it’s an as-a-service model, organizations don’t need to own all the resources. They don’t have to handle all the disaster recovery management either. Instead, they rely on the service provider.
Lower expenses have allowed for wider adoption of cloud-based disaster recovery services. DRaaS has made disaster recovery easier and more accessible. This means more organizations are better prepared without spending beyond their scope.
Workload replication using a physical IT system for disaster recovery is expensive. It’s hard even to justify the budget when the ideal outcome is not needing it at all.
DRaaS gives businesses a full DR system without the capital cost. Some providers can even take into account that a DRaaS platform won’t always be operating. This can further drive down the costs.
Having a DR plan is now crucial for businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic can attest to this need. Thanks to DR, disasters become more manageable.
Difference Between DRaaS and Backup as a Service (BaaS)
In DRaaS, a service provider moves a business’ computer processing to the cloud when a disaster happens. The business can then continue to operate. They’ll be able to do this even if their own IT infrastructure has been destroyed or taken hostage.
In backup as a service or BaaS, the third-party provider only copies the data and can’t process it. BaaS is usually less costly than DRaaS since they’re only protecting the data, not the IT system.
BaaS is reliable for businesses looking to archive data or records for legal reasons. However, if they’re only using BaaS, they’ll want to combine it with a disaster recovery tool. This ensures full business continuity and disaster site recovery.
How Does DRaaS Workload Replication Work?
DRaaS replicates and hosts servers in a service provider’s facilities. These facilities will be in a different physical location from the business that owns the workload.
The disaster recovery plan is also enacted on the service provider’s facilities. In case a disaster shuts down a customer’s site, workload replication allows for site recovery.
DRaaS platforms like Azure site recovery mirror a full infrastructure. They do this on virtual servers in fail-safe mode. Functions include compute, storage, and networking.
A business with DRaaS can continue to run its applications. Only these applications will run from the service provider’s cloud or hybrid environment. This eliminates the business’ reliance on disaster-affected servers to function.
In the event of a disaster, the business’ recovery time will be much faster or instantaneous. The business will have a better time to recover or replace its physical servers. Once they do, the service provider migrates processing and data back to them.
Customers running their applications from the cloud may experience higher latency. This is in contrast to running them on their on-site server. Yet this will be better than complete business disruption where the costs can be higher.
Businesses can buy a DRaaS plan in two ways. There’s a traditional subscription model or a pay-per-use model. With the latter, businesses will only pay when a disaster happens, and they need to make use of the service.
As-a-service solutions may have varying costs and scope. Businesses should assess service providers based on their own particular needs and budget.
Three Models of DRaaS
Businesses have various options for DRaaS. They can opt to hand over all or only part of their disaster recovery plan to a service provider, and there are three main models for DRaaS.
In this DRaaS model, the service provider will be completely responsible for disaster recovery. When a business chooses this option, it must be in constant close contact with the DRaaS provider.
This ensures that the provider is up to date on all systems, applications, and changes in services. This may be the best option for businesses that lack the expertise or time to handle their own DR plan.
Some businesses prefer to keep control over some aspects of their DR plan. They might also have special or custom applications that may be hard for a third party to handle. In these cases, assisted DRaaS may be most suitable.
In an assisted DRaaS model, service providers provide their expertise. This is to optimize disaster recovery plans. Yet, the customer will have partial responsibility for implementing the DR plan.
With self-service DRaaS, customers handle the planning, testing, and management of disaster recovery. They also host their own backup infrastructure on virtual machines in a separate location. Self-service DRaaS is the least expensive option.
Customers must ensure that processing can migrate to the virtual servers immediately. This means careful planning and testing are necessary. This model best suits organizations with experienced DR experts.
Benefits of DRaaS Workload Replication
Most businesses often have limited IT teams. They won’t afford the needed time to research, test, and install disaster recovery plans.
DRaaS takes the burden of disaster recovery planning from businesses. It puts it into the care of disaster recovery experts.
A disaster recovery infrastructure needs a remote location and its own IT staff. A DRaaS solution is much more affordable than having to host your own DR system.
While disasters do happen, they don’t happen all the time. This means a proprietary DR system and staff remains unused yet costs money. Here are the other benefits of DRaaS.
As with most software-as-a-service models, DRaaS lowers the costs for customers.
In some DRaaS models, customers pay per hour of use. This allows them to reduce resource use to only the level they need for workload replication. When disaster happens, and they need to migrate workloads to the backup server, they’ll have the necessary computing power to do it.
This model is sometimes referred to as the “pilot light” model. This is because most of the time, usage is low. It only turns on when the business actually needs it.
Compared to buying and maintaining your own backup servers, this model saves you a significant amount of money. A business won’t have to pay for new staff to manage the backup servers as well.
Resilient Geographical Distribution
Backup servers located in the same location as the main server are vulnerable to the same disaster. The backup servers may be safe from cyberattacks or issues on the main server. Yet, disasters like an earthquake or tsunami can also damage the co-located backup.
Lockdowns because of an outbreak or power outages can make server access hard. Some SMBs house their servers at their headquarters instead of in a data center. Lockdowns and power outages make it more difficult for them.
DRaaS allows business to have their backup servers in a different region. This placement protects them from disasters that affect larger areas. In fact, security compliance standards often require this.
Easy to Use
The service provider manages most of the DR process for the business. They handle the search for proper hardware, a data center, and keeping the backups.
Businesses who aren’t equipped with IT experts can rest assured that they’ll have a solid DR plan. The service provider handles most of the technical stuff for them.
Workload Replication Helps Your Business in Case of Disaster
Disasters pose an economic risk to businesses. They can cause data loss, IT system destruction, and total disruption of business. Having a solid disaster recovery plan is necessary for business continuity.
Yet having a proprietary DR system is expensive. Disaster recovery as a service outsources the infrastructure and staffing to a third party.
Businesses can have reliable workload replication in the event of a disaster. The backup servers with DRaaS are in a remote location. This makes businesses secure from regional disasters.
Interested in making a disaster recovery plan? Contact us today, and we can help you with your disaster recovery needs.