By Marcus Doran – VP and GM at Rahi Systems, Europe

Even with increased awareness of the cost of downtime, the majority of North American businesses aren’t ready to deal with an IT-related disaster. In a recent survey of about 1,000 IT professionals and executives, 68.5 percent of respondents admitted to having an incomplete disaster recovery (DR) plan.

When asked if their DR plan had been formally implemented, just two-thirds said “yes.” In addition, 16 percent of DR plans had no documented recovery point objectives (RPOs), and 13.5 percent of respondents didn’t know the meaning of RPO. More than one-third (36.5 percent) said their company had at least one incident or outage that required DR, but fewer than half (48.5 percent) even bothered to test their DR plan at all in 2017.

More organizations are leveraging the cloud for Disaster Recovery, according to the latest Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) report from “Transparency Market Research,” DraaS is expected to grow exponentially at an annual rate of 35.7 percent through 2024.

What Is DRaaS?

DRaaS involves replicating and hosting physical or virtual servers in the cloud to provide failover in case of incidents such as technology or power failure, severe weather, fire, cyberattack or human error. Because the cloud service provider’s infrastructure is located offsite, it’s less likely to be directly impacted by many incidents. As a result, the DR plan can be immediately put into action to minimize costly downtime and business disruption and avoid data loss.

Benefits of DRaaS

With DRaaS, you can eliminate the time, cost and inefficiency of implementing and managing DR infrastructure. The cloud enables organizations to leverage the service provider’s infrastructure in the event that their primary infrastructure suffers an outage.

You only pay for the services you need and use, making the cloud more cost-efficient than traditional DR models. DRaaS is also highly reliable and easy to implement and scale.

How to Prepare for DRaaS Implementation

Although DRaaS removes much of the complexity from DR, you still have to do your homework. You have to establish acceptable but realistic RPOs and recovery time objectives (RTOs) based on data volume, acceptable data loss, how often data is accessed, the cost of not being able to access various types of data, and other factors. Then you have to vet cloud service providers to ensure that your RPOs and RTOs can be met.

You also have to identify application performance requirements and make sure the provider you choose is capable of meeting them. DRaaS testing, which is far simpler than traditional DR testing, should be performed frequently.

Choosing the Right DRaaS Solution

When choosing a DRaaS solution, you need to ensure that it can protect your data and applications and recover your environment according to your RPOs, RTOs, budget and compliance requirements. The solution should include DR plan development, fully managed testing and recovery, 24×7 failover, and recovery within minutes. Whether you choose self-service or Managed DRaaS, you should be able to access your DR resources from any location.

If you’re having trouble implementing, managing and testing a completed DR plan, your organization is at risk. Consider the DRaaS model and start the planning process now instead of waiting for a costly outage to occur. Remember, it’s a matter of “when,” not “if.”

About the Author

Marcus Doran is an experienced data center infrastructure sales professional with 20 years’ experience in sales growth, revenue generation and new business development. He joined Rahi Systems in April 2016. Through his two-decade career, Marcus has worked all over Ireland, the Middle East and the UK as a Sales Manager, a Channel Manager and a Major Account Manager.