Disaster Recovery as a Service Is More Than Backups

September 11 2017, by Pierre Lintzer | Category: Cloud Services


Disaster recovery used to be out-of-this-world expensive. Every business has a need for business continuity. But, it was only the largest enterprises that could afford it.
For most businesses, tape backups were the best stopgap between a full-fledged DR plan and nothing at all.

But the problems with tape backups? 

Let me count the ways:

  • Tapes are unreliable. They can often fail and it’s often not noticed until you need to recover data from them. 
  • Tapes can be lost. ‘Nuff said. 
  • Tapes are slow to recover. It can take weeks. Your IT team has to recreate the information on your server before it’s business as usual again. 
  • Tapes are updated infrequently. How often are you saving a copy of your data onto a tape backup? Once a week? Even if you’re doing it once a day, you could lose an entire day’s worth of data during a disaster.

Backups are one piece of a larger disaster recovery umbrella.

That’s not to say that backup isn’t an integral part of a disaster recovery plan, but a disaster recovery plan is all encompassing. A backup alone cannot maintain business continuity. But a disaster recovery plan can.

For business continuity to happen you need to be able to failover to a working system.

The cloud makes this possible even for small businesses.

With the cloud, a company can have a mirrored system to failover to when something happens. Of course, disaster recovery as a service is more expensive than backup as a service. But the value can be incalculable.

The Three Ways Cloud Can Save Your Data

It’s important to know the different ways that you can protect data in the cloud.

Backup as a service is the virtual equivalent of saving data to tape backups (but with a few upgrades). A third-party service provider handles backup data and ensures that that data is recoverable. You can save data on cloud backups much more often than with tapes. They can be set to save and upload data to the cloud in minutes rather than days.

Recovery as a service is the next step up. With tape backups, this is the step that can take ages if you need to restore data. When you move this step to the cloud, a third-party provider offers downloads to restore physical servers. This includes copies of operating systems, software patches, and anything else needed.

Disaster recovery as a service is the last step. This is for businesses that need 100% uptime. Backup as a service and recovery as a service have inherent service delays. The data restoration is not instant. It takes time to rebuild a server. With disaster recovery as a service, there is a virtual server built into the cloud. It mirrors the primary server. This server is available to failover to when a problem arises. Users don’t even know that service was disrupted.

Disaster recovery as a service is more expensive than the other two options. But for many organisations, the business continuity is worth the price.



What to look for in a Disaster Recovery as a Service Provider

Not all disaster recovery plans are equal. In the same fashion, not all service providers offer the same services.

  • The right Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Can they offer you want you need? If not, it’s not the right fit.
  • Geographic diversity. You’ll want to find a provider that hosts its data centre in a city where you’re not located.
  • Tried and tested. Look for a provider that’s has a proven track record. You don’t want to pick a provider that’s going to go out of business in the next few years.
  • Killer customer service. When something goes wrong, the last thing you want to do is go hunting for someone to help.

Disaster recovery is personal.

What one organisation needs from a disaster recovery plan will not be what another does. Be realistic about what your needs are and find the service provider that can fill them. If you do that, you won’t need to worry, because you’ll know.

If you don’t have a disaster recovery as a service partner, consider Macquarie Cloud Services. If you want to know how we can protect you, contact us today.