The advent and rapid growth of cloud computing in the past 2-3 years has bought a vast array of services, that could previously only be considered by the big players with deep pockets, into view of small and medium businesses.
Robust and practical Disaster Recovery options are one of these services. DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) offerings mean that it is now possible and practical for even the smallest business to ensure that they can pick up and carry on in the face of disaster, whether that be earthquake, fire or a complete meltdown of your IT systems due to a viral attack or catastrophic hardware failure.
Ten years ago I was involved in a team that was looking at disaster recovery options for a medium sized business with total reliance on IT systems to function. The ideal would have been to have a 'hot' backup site in a seperate geographic location ready to kick off with a short initiation time. The company was running around 30 servers and had 12 IT services that were considered critical to the business's survival, even in the short term. The cost of setting up a facility to house the necessary servers, set up real time data transfer and regularly test the service to ensure it was functioning correctly was, to say the least, astronomical.
Obviously, that was the 'Rolls Royce' option, but finding a solution that gave the company the security it needed to recover from disaster while not crippling them financially was a tall order and when I left the project 3 years later an acceptable answer had still not been found and fortunately, during that time it was never needed. But I am pretty certain that, with the technology that is now available, a robust and cost effective solution is now within their grasp.
So what is DRaaS? A Disaster Recovery as a Service option will allow you to save a full image of your IT services, as often as you need. These will be maintained by your provider in a non-production state, they will be tested in accordance with your SLA to ensure that they will be immediately available should you need them.
While life and business are ticking on smoothly, you simply pay a storage fee for your current image to be securely stored, normally in at least two geographic locations. In the event of disaster, whether that be a natural event or an IT failure, you simply activate your image remotely and carry on with business as usual from wherever you are. The normal practice is that the main cost of the DRaaS comes in to play if and when you need to activate your Disaster Recovery Plan and bring the image into a production state.
So, for a long as you remain disaster free, your ongoing costs are minimal, a higher service charge will be made if and when the image is needed in production, but these costs will still be a very small fraction of the legacy DR solutions of the fairly recent past.
If DRaaS sounds like a solution that would work for your business, contact us at email@example.com for more information.