Global resilience as a service, from SureSkill’s Reid

Kevin Reid, SureSkills (Image: SureSkills)

3 August 2017

SureSkills has launched its Disaster Recovery as a Service offering, to provide customers with a managed service that delivers assurance they can quickly restore critical systems in the event of service disruption.

As organisations come to depend more than ever on their IT, and those systems grow in complexity, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to manage a resiliency strategy. The recent BA IT outage and the global WannaCry ransomware infection were stark reminders of how much businesses rely on IT, and the resulting risk when those systems are no longer available.

Such a scenario is becoming increasingly common. According to a business continuity survey by IBM, almost four out of ten organisations have had to execute their disaster recovery plan during the past two years, because of an interruption to their IT service.

Impacting performance
In addition to growing technology complexity, new regulations and increasing security threats also hinder the ability of a business to keep its IT systems constantly available. If the business doesn’t have a robust server recovery and data back-up solution, minor disruptions can significantly affect overall business performance. This has a real impact in terms of lost business opportunities, reduced customer satisfaction and lower staff productivity because they can’t access systems to do their work.

To address these needs, SureSkills has partnered with IBM and VMWare to help organisations safeguard critical data with virtually anytime server recovery, with server replication to a dedicated IBM cloud resiliency centre of their choosing.

Because IT is getting more complex, disaster recovery and back-up are getting equally more complex. More critical systems are coming into the business and it is becoming a challenge to maintain a back-up and recovery environment.

With the traditional model of maintaining back-up and DR systems in-house, organisations had to balance the ability to provide instant replication or high availability on critical data sets against the cost of doing so. The cloud computing model has changed this, he said.

Cloud economics
With the cloud economics that we’re seeing, and with the available technologies that we can access, we’re able to deliver high availability, replication, and real-time protection of critical systems at a much lower price point than we were ever able to deliver before. With IBM and VMWare, we can do this in a much more economic way.

DRaaS also addresses another key challenge for businesses: recruiting and retaining skilled IT staff. In a competitive IT market, it makes sense to use those resources where they can add most value: delivering high levels of service back to the business rather than on ‘maintenance’ tasks such as back-up that are best handled by an external provider.

People need to be moved into business relationship roles and vendor management roles, where they can deliver the best value for their organisations.

An added advantage of cloud technology is that it allows customers to avail of a flexible delivery model that ensures the cost and response times are aligned to their specific business needs.

It does not make sense to treat all applications and all data sources the same way. Some systems need to be back up in less than one hour, others require two or three days. You need to be able to apply a flexible model to ensure the cost and response times are aligned to what you need.

Maturing environments
Barry Brown, cloud technical leader for Europe with IBM, said the technology is no longer just about delivering cost, efficiency and speed of service. “Cloud is maturing into an environment for innovation, and moving towards the end goal of delivering business value,” he said.

Organisations can use their own dedicated infrastructure in the cloud, Brown added. This addresses some of the biggest perceived challenges many customers cite when they think about moving to the cloud. These are: perceived security and compliance requirements; moving from a capex to an OpEx cost model and questions over return on investment; and operational risk that comes from losing control by no longer having physical access to the IT systems.

“Our most popular way for cloud is dedicated infrastructure, where the client gets their own dedicated servers in our cloud, with a pay-monthly model. With that, they get absolute control: it’s their server,” Brown said.

The pay-monthly model is one of the most attractive elements of DRaaS. The flexible contract terms allow customers to scale up or down as their capacity needs dictate. By using the cloud for replicating and backing up critical data, organisations’ costs are always aligned to consumption, so they only pay for what they use.

Removing complexity, reducing cost or delivering value: what part of DRaaS appeals to you and your organisation the most? Contact SureSkills and let’s keep the conversation going.



Kevin Reid, CTO, SureSkills

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