In the event of an unforeseen disaster where data is lost, a majority of businesses will lose a vast amount of money due to downtime. Some businesses may recover, but many, in particular SME’s, go out of business.
It is therefore extremely important for all businesses to have a robust and reliable disaster recovery and business continuity solution in place.
Traditionally, disaster recovery and business continuity involved replicating data and applications on-premise. However, Cloud technologies have enabled DR solutions to be provided as a service, which offers a compelling alternative to the traditional methods. This leaves IT decision makers with an important choice; do you create an in house solution or move to a DRaaS solution? In this article we will take a look at some of the positives and negatives associated with each of the options.
Traditional Disaster Recovery
Traditional DR is when a company owns and operates their own disaster recovery strategy. This could involve using tape, CD or DVD backup to duplicate data or replicating the production environment to an onsite DR hub.
However, there are a number of problems associated with this method. Costs can be high due to investment in equipment along with the operational costs of hiring staff to maintain the backups. Efficiency is also compromised as restoring data from backup devices can be slow and error prone, which increases RTOs and RPOs. But, by using this traditional approach, companies may feel more assured about the location and ownership of their data.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
As an alternative to traditional methods, DRaaS is a cloud based offering which replicates and hosts business critical data to virtual machines. A specialised third party vendor manages your snapshots and stores this information on a cloud, which can be restored back on to your machine in the event of a disaster.
This service based model offers a number of advantages over the traditional model. DRaaS offers substantial cost saving as organisations do not have to invest in the infrastructure required to carry out their own backup. Many providers also offer a PAYG pricing model which significantly lowers the cost, especially for smaller enterprises. Cloud sites are also automated, which reduces workload on internal staff, allowing them to concentrate on other projects. Cloud sites can also be made live within seconds or minutes, minimising data loss and reducing RTOs and RPOs. Geographic separation between the organisation and its remote backup site is also beneficial, as this enhances resilience.
However, one understandable concern for businesses is the security and privacy of their data, when held on a third party cloud. Whilst allowing a third party access to you data is always a risk, Stack recommend a number of actions to mitigate this risk. We suggest choosing a long established service provider, with a UK based data centre, who use encryption to secure your information. Checking accreditations and credentials such as ISO 27001 for Information Security Management and Cloud Industry Forum Certification, should add assurance and will demonstrate that you are working with a reliable and audited supplier.
The key take away point for any business is to choose a solution which best fits your business needs. For help or advice concerning disaster recovery and business continuity take a look at Insight's Backup & Disaster Recovery Solutions