Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) was an inevitable development. 20 years ago, IT budgeting might have been able to encompass the building of mirror data centers for DR purposes: just take your existing data center and build an exact replica in another city or state and Viola! Your DR needs are cared for.
Such concepts were technically sound, but few could afford them. Larger operations tried to reduce costs by using their own regional data centers as failover sites. Each data center was replicated elsewhere so that if one went down, the others could cope. But again, this one only appealed to those with deep pockets. Others figured out some kind of DR plan using colocation services or simply made a few tape copies and shipped them off to Iron Mountain.
DRaaS is a way to take the infrastructure and financial pain out of DR. You pay a monthly fee to a provider who keeps your data safe and available in case of an outage or event. It is often bundled with online backup of colo services.
DRaaS Market Variants and Features
This market covers a variety of different approaches, platforms, and capabilities. These days, it generally deals with server images and production data replication to the cloud by a service provider. As vendor sophistication increases, providers add in features such as the creation of DR run books, automation of server recovery, failback to and from the cloud, support for virtual and physical servers, and guaranteed Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). The more you pay, the better the level of service. At its most basic level, DRaaS is largely self-service and little more than an online repository should you ever need it.
DRaaS Evaluation Tips
Here are a few tips in vendor selection:
- Match providers to the type of workloads and recovery locations you need. Obviously, someone operating on your cloud platform would be a good fit. But beyond that, providers need to offer the protection you need such as being familiar with your applications, and offering locations outside of your area, etc.
- Do a thorough cost analysis. Compare all the costs involved in keeping DR in-house with both the setup costs for DRaaS, monthly subscriptions, and any additional charges if recovery is necessary. View this over a 5-year or 10-year period and include scenarios such as two minor and one major disaster.
- Ask plenty of questions. Research the vendor’s ability to recover, their experience in doing so, and the results/timelines of any recent recoveries.
- Ask what DR and failover plans the provider has to protect their own services.
- Determine HOW data is going to be retrieved by you and how long it will take in the event of a disaster. Large amounts of data moving across a standard network can take a long time. Some providers offer premium services for recovery or will ship a box to you containing all your data to cut down delays.
- Choose DRaaS solutions that have built-in data deduplication and WAN optimization to reduce storage footprint and bandwidth utilization.
Here, then, are the top ten DRaaS providers, in no particular order:
iland is regularly highly rated by Gartner as a top DRaaS provider. iland Secure DRaaS, like all iland services, is built on VMware-based technology. It operates globally to provide protection for critical applications from unplanned downtime and ensure the long-term viability of any business. The iland cloud platform has built-in multi-layer security, compliance credentials, visibility and management through the console and 24 x7 support. The company also has a Cloud Backup offering facilitated by Veeam Cloud Connect. Its recovery service can offer a RTO/RPO of up to 24 hours.
- Secure Cloud Console provides management, control, and visibility across all iland services including public and private clouds, data protection, and disaster recovery
- A dedicated compliance team helps make the transition to th cloud easier from a compliance standpoint, and tackles geographic and/or industry-specific concerns
- Network Support services and multi-cloud connectivity offer the flexibility to maintain and preserve existing network policies and investments to ensure workloads can communicate
- A dedicated project manager and cloud services engineers ensure that data is migrated safely and securely to the iland Cloud Platform
- Replicate all IT workloads and applications from public or private clouds, and for both virtual and physical environments
- iland Secure DRaaS includes managed security across the recovery environment
- Can includes built-in data protection services
- iland provides cloud planning and design services leveraging iland Catalyst, an environment assessment tool to model and ensure application performance requirements are met prior to DRaaS deployment.
Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) Cloud Recovery product suite delivers a fully managed, financial penalty-backed RTO service level agreement (SLA) for physical, virtual, and IBM iSeries platforms. Fully managed service includes design, deployment, maintenance, updates, test and recovery execution. Cloud Recovery’s backend is built on hardened cloud infrastructure with a 99.99% availability SLA and encrypted performance storage that delivers recovery for customers in an easily scalable model and a usage driven architecture.
- Business applications vary in criticality, so not all applications must be recovered at the same time. Sungard AS Cloud Recovery offers three tiers of validated RTO SLA, ranging from two hours to eight hours to align RTOs to business requirements and optimize recovery design and spend.
- Tiered RTO SLA paired with DRVerify Automated Testing helps customers achieve an optimal DR solution aligned to business objectives and lower spend on recovery solutions.
- Built on a cloud consumption model, Sungard AS offers flexibility in contract term and subscription models.
- Broad platform support includes physical and virtual machines, as well as IBM i Servers.
Infrascale Backup & Disaster Recovery (IBDR) is a hybrid cloud disaster recovery solution that helps mitigate the downtime caused by server crashes, ransomware attacks, or natural disasters. IBDR does this through backup and restore of files and folders, or full server and virtual machine failover and failback
- Cloud-based data protection for MSPs and VARs who service SMB and mid-market customers
- Quick setup and use of all of the data protection solutions in one unified console
- Encrypted data and data transport
- Boot-ready time for failover in under two minutes
- Choice of local or in-cloud DR
- No additional fees for testing or for spin-up on appliances or in the cloud
- One-stop-shop for all backup and recovery needs and includes the ability to set backup settings and schedules and configure your recovery network
IBM is one of the few vendors offering non-x86 workload and mainframe recovery. Like Sungard AS, it has a long track record in DR and has supported thousands of companies in their recovery efforts. IBM DRaaS reliably helps recover critical IT business processes and data to support business resiliency. It also provides comprehensive disaster recovery services, including health monitoring as well as continuous replication of applications, infrastructure, data and cloud systems.
- Scores high in Gartner and Forrester DRaaS comparisons
- Reliable DR orchestration with automation and quick provisioning in a software-defined recovery environment that helps reduce errors, risks, and resources for testing and documentation
- Optimized resiliency and a risk-based approach to protecting critical IT services
- Cloud testing and DR process validation offers insight and scenarios to help organizations bolster resiliency and recovery time
- Setup and implement DRaaS on IBM Cloud in under an hour without causing disruption
- Provides disaster recovery services such as monitoring, reporting, testing and workflow automation capabilities
Intervision acquired DRaaS provider Bluelock in 2018. Its DRaaS simplifies the failover and failback process. It boasts high client satisfaction scores and SLA guarantees. Its Recovery Assurance process means the DR service is up to date and ready for any disruption. To guarantee successful recovery, it is backed by the strong service level agreements (SLAs).
- Solutions tested on a regular basis
- Guarantees a 100% success rate for client DR testing
- DR procedures are developed and documented during implementation into a customized playbook, which is updated regularly
- AWS Premier Consulting Partner
- Partnerships with Carbonite, Zerto, and VMware
- As replication traffic is already be running, a recovery point objective (RPO) doesn’t change.
Expedient offers a suite of DRaaS solutions for both virtual and physical environments, with RPOs and RTOs that ensure your critical applications are protected and available when you need them. It partners with Zerto, Cohesity, and VMware to provide a variety of services, price points, and recovery rates. It is designed to ease the transition to the cloud through dedicated on-premises cloud resources coupled with managed disaster recovery from your location to any one of Expedient’s 11 data centers.
- Push Button DR service offers rapid, total network failover between disparate locations at the push of a button, without IP or DNS changes.
- Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) are measured in minutes.
- Testing of DR plans with dedicated infrastructure and unlimited self-service or supported tests.
- If disaster strikes, 24x7x365 Operations Support Center is available.
- Hyper-granular journaling
- Push Button DR powered by Zerto offers a 15-minute RTO and protection against ransomware.
- Push Button DR powered by VMware offers a 5-minute RPO and 15-minute RTO for workloads that need to be replicated between your on-premises VMware environment and the cloud.
- Recognized in Gartner MQ’s for DRaaS.
TierPoint’s Hypervisor-based replication protects virtualized production environments in any cloud. With recovery times measured in minutes, it partners with the likes of VMware, Microsoft Zerto, Nutanix and Dell to be able to replicate from anywhere and meet any RPO or automated failover requirements.
- In the event of an outage, TierPoint coordinates and automates the orderly replication and recovery of the environment to Microsoft Azure using Azure Site Recovery to bring critical systems back online with speed.
- Enable business continuity quickly and securely with replication to a secondary location.
- Protect non-virtualized physical servers on your premises or colocated in a TierPoint facility, as well as multiple types of virtual servers.
- TierPoint protects Hyper-V and VMware VMs, as well as physical environments, regardless of underlying hardware
Recovery Point DRaaS delivers orchestration, automation, and rapid provisioning of end-to-end software-defined resilience solutions. In addition to protecting against the impact of disaster events, hardware failure, human error, cyber-attacks or even planned outages, it can help drive down RTOs and RPOs and align a resilience posture with regulatory and compliance requirements.
- Enhanced dashboards and reporting tools to validate readiness continuously with real-time reporting at the server level.
- On-demand, nonintrusive recovery exercising
- Offline sandbox environments to test upgrades in isolation
- Application resilience through workflow automation across heterogeneous environments
- As well as virtualized x86 environments, Recovery Point has decades of experience supporting complex, heterogeneous environments including IBM Z mainframe and IBM i, AIX, HP-UX, and Oracle
- Software and technology agnostic
- A frequent leader in Gartner DRaaS MQs