What is DRaaS—and why would you want it?

What is DRaaS—and why would you want it?

Disaster recovery, or DR, has a deserved reputation for being both complex and expensive. It’s also vital. That’s why getting it as a service is a no-brainer.


By Sasha Malic, Head: Availability Services, ContinuitySA

Having a proper disaster recovery solution in place—one that is guaranteed to work when the chips are down—used to be the preserve of banks and big corporations with deep pockets and regulatory obligations. Now, in the wake of King III and similar codes, the critical importance of IT for a business’s sustainability has made DR a board responsibility.

No company, big or small, can afford for its IT systems to go down for an extended period. Customers and business partners simply will not tolerate the unavailability of a company or its applications due to system failure, however good the reason. If a company can’t trade even for a short time, it risks losing customers to competitors who are up.

But setting up an alternate recovery site, with hardware and office space, is expensive not only in terms of capital and operational costs, but also in terms of management focus. It’s a highly specialised discipline to scope, implement and test a DR solution, and then to manage it when a disaster is invoked.

The “aas” revolution

The notion of purchasing DR as a service—DraaS—is revolutionising the industry, and making true DR a reality for companies who had long considered DR to be outside their reach. It works on the cloud computing model, which means that instead of buying or renting an alternate site, and the necessary kit, companies can now obtain the necessary processing and storage capacity from the cloud to set up a virtual DR site, just as they would purchase infrastructure, software or even platforms in the same way. The “as a service” model has matured to the extent that providers now have the software to make the process of getting and then scaling these types of services very simple.

However, while DRaaS makes economic sense, but it should not be seen as a new way to access the necessary hardware and software. To get it genuinely as a service means partnering with a specialist DR provider who can deliver the advantages of the “as a service” model combined with the best practices and experience to make sure it works.

We’ll explore what this means in the next blog, when we consider what steps make up a true DRaaS solution.

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