Bandwidth concerns final hurdle for DRaaS adoption, says Datapac’s Kickham
While the numbers of organisations in Ireland currently using disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions to protect business applications in the cloud is still relatively low, there has been a noticeable increase in interest in DRaaS in recent months.
Certainly we have been talking to several customers about whether it is a good fit for them, and in many cases we have taken these conversations to the next step by providing cost analysis of traditional disaster recovery options versus DRaaS for their respective organisations over the next five years. Each customer is unique but in most cases the predicted costs involved would tend to favour the adoption of DRaaS.
You have to take into account that many companies have ageing equipment in their disaster recovery sites and will often see DRaaS as a better option than having to invest in new storage area networks (SANs). During business continuity planning for customers, it is important to look at recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) across a number of different disaster recovery solutions. DRaaS will typically provide the best option — if sufficient bandwidth is always available.
The main inhibitor to the adoption of DRaaS currently is bandwidth availability and speeds. As these continue to improve, particularly outside larger urban areas, so too will adoption of DRaaS. Also organisations that can identify and segment their most critical data will benefit by just replicating this data in the cloud. For example, an organisation might have 10 terabytes of data but only 2 terabytes is critical. In this case it only needs to replicate 20% of its data in the cloud and can therefore make considerable cost savings.
DRaaS provides customers with a more flexible subscription-based cost model meaning they only pay for what they need. This utility style of billing suits a lot of organisations today, particularly as they look to manage their IT budgets as effectively as possible. With predictable spend, and better and more targeted RPOs and RTOs, this method of disaster recovery can provide organisations with a very good return on their investment.
Fast recovery of critical data is another major benefit. For most businesses, downtime is not an option anymore as it causes productivity, customer service and reputational difficulties. With DRaaS, recovery time is usually measured in minutes rather than hours or even days with more traditional disaster recovery solutions.
Disaster recovery testing is also significantly improved with cloud-based models. Tests can be run in isolated sandboxes to ensure the data is replicated correctly, without causing any disruption to production systems. Organisations are able to quickly identify any problems with recovery plans to enable fast and uncomplicated resolution.
“Disaster recovery testing is significantly improved with cloud-based models”
Datapac can offer DRaaS solutions in conjunction with a number of our partners in this area. We will sit down with customers to understand their requirements and map out solutions which are the best fit for their unique set of needs. Often this will also include a review of their current and future data requirements, along with an audit of their existing server and DR infrastructures.
Once a solution is agreed upon, we can manage the implementation for the customer, ensuring any business disruption is minimised. We will also provide comprehensive monitoring, analytics, alerting and reporting to customers, ensuring a high quality of service is maintained at all times and all RPOs, RTOs and terms in the SLAs are fully adhered to.
Patrick Kickham is a director of Datapac.