Whitepaper. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): A DR solution for all

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1 Whitepaper Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): A DR solution for all

2 Disaster Recovery as a service: A DR solution for all Disaster Recovery (DR) is more important today than ever before. Why? Because data is more important than ever before and organisations are collecting more of it than ever before. Companies are increasingly relying on data as the lifeblood of their business. If the data or systems they use to access and process that data go down, so does the business. We ve all heard the saying, Time is money. When it comes to downtime, the cost is high. According to Asigra, in 2010, the average cost of an enterprise hour of downtime was US $110,000. In 2012 just two years later that amount nearly doubled to US $212,000 an hour. 74% of organisations are backing up more than 11 terabytes of data. So, why is disaster recovery important? Put simply: Businesses can t afford the cost of downtime. When a natural or manmade disaster strikes and systems go down, you must be able to get back up and running within a reasonable timeframe. That s what disaster recovery is about. Unfortunately, few companies actually believe they can successfully recover from a disaster. Disaster recovery requires strategic planning, continual updating and periodic testing all of which require resources lacking in many organisations. As a result, companies often have incomplete recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs), outdated policies, and procedures that go untested. The purpose of this white paper is to demonstrate how organisations can address disaster recovery even with limited resources so you can have the confidence that you can recover, with minimal downtime, should the inevitable occur. 77% of organisations report that their data is growing somewhere between 5% and 5% annually.

3 Barriers to disaster recovery For many large businesses, disaster recovery is a necessary evil. For small and midsized businesses,it s a luxury that until recently was simply out of reach. The challenges associated with traditional DR have prevented many companies from making the investment that could save their business in the case of a disaster. You ve probably experienced these challenges yourself. Maybe you can even cite them in your sleep. But let s take a good look at them, because later we ll show you why they no longer hold water. The No. 1 challenge facing most companies when it comes to DR is the cost: the hardware, software, staff, remote storage... it can all add up to hundreds of thousands of pounds. The cost of downtime may be high, but if you can t afford disaster recovery you just can t afford it. Plain and simple. The next challenge is lack of expertise. Traditional disaster recovery requires a full-time employee to manage backups. A backup admin must also maintain and monitor server hardware, monitor and research new backup technologies, communicate with vendors and technical support to solve system issues, and assist with business continuity and disaster recovery planning. Many organisations lack the resources to build this knowledge internally or to hire a full-time admin with the appropriate skillset. Organisations are becoming increasingly distributed, with employees working from home and on the road. Data is stored on mobile devices and various public clouds, as well as on premise. How can a company possibly back up all this distributed data for disaster recovery? Looking at these three challenges, it would seem that disaster recovery is only moving further out of reach. But nothing could be further from the truth. Disaster recovery technologies have evolved, and these challenges that SMB owners have come to cite in their sleep as excuses for not practicing disaster recovery have become just that: excuses. Introduction to DRaaS Businesses today have no excuse for not having a disaster recovery strategy. Yes, traditional disaster recovery has its challenges. But that was when organisations had no choice but to perform onsite backups using tapes or disks that were manually transferred to a remote site. Those challenges are eradicated when organisations use a solution that leverages the benefits of the cloud: disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). WhatIs.com defines DRaaS as the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. The replication and hosting can be in a private cloud, a public cloud or a combination of the two in a hybrid deployment.

4 Here s how DRaaS addresses the top three disaster recovery challenges: Cost. DRaaS eliminates the need to maintain a dedicated DR site. There s no hardware to maintain and no fees for resources you re not using. DRaaS allows you to build a solution at a very low cost, and you only pay for the service when you use it. Expertise. With DRaaS, the provider maintains and manages your backups, DR tests and recovery. Once DRaaS is set up, there is very little overhead. You don t need to hire a backup admin or make heavy investments in training. Support for a distributed and heterogeneous environment. DRaaS can support a diverse range of systems from your virtual machines to a variety of user endpoints, including smartphones and tablets and can scale to meet your changing requirements. With these three challenges addressed, any business can afford a disaster recovery solution. In fact, you can t afford not to have one. But none of this means anything if your data isn t available when you need it. The benefits of DRaaS DRaaS offers a number of other benefits in addition to addressing the barriers associated with traditional disaster recovery. These are benefits that you won t get from a traditional DR solution making DRaaS a better option for any business that needs cost-effective yet reliable disaster recovery services. Here are a few of those benefits: > Flexible recovery options With DRaaS, you can restore one virtual machine or your entire data center quickly and reliably. > Industry-leading application RTO and RPO Fast recovery times reduce data loss and exceed RPOs. Recover to the cloud There s no need to pay for and maintain a dedicated backup site that goes largely unused. The provider s cloud can serve as a recovery platform for invocation in the event of a disaster. (Look for a provider that has excellent communication links via MPLS or Internet connectivity to its data centres, and multiple carriers terminating services within the data centre.) > Managed services ensure business continuity Fully managed recovery services include a permanent engine running virtual data centre solution, fully configured as an extension of your existing network. This helps guarantee a fast recovery with minimal business disruption.

5 > Meet regulatory compliance requirements Tiered recovery allows you to recover applications and data based on regulatory compliance and business requirements. DRaaS not only makes disaster recovery a reality for businesses that previously lacked the required resources for a traditional solution, it also makes it a no-brainer for any business, large or small. The question then becomes how do you go about choosing a DRaaS provider one that you can trust with your data and applications, and that will deliver on all of the benefits above? How to choose a DRaaS provider Unfortunately, not all DRaaS providers are created equal. To reap the benefits of a cloudbased disaster recovery solution, you need a trusted partner that will ensure your data is recoverable, deliver on your RPOs and RTOs, and provide overall peace of mind. To that end, here are 10 questions to ask DRaaS providers: 1. Does the provider understand your business, your immediate priorities and your DR objectives? (Look for a provider that seeks to understand your current backup and recovery challenges, RTOs and RPOs, and data growth.) 2. Does the provider offer an exit strategy, enabling you to easily bring your backup and recovery in-house or transfer it to another provider? (If so, that indicates faith in their service and stability, and will effectively motivate their best efforts to keep your business.) 3. Can the DRaaS solution accommodate a hybrid approach, with some backups occurring onsite and some offsite (or public/private cloud)? 4. Does the provider offer flexible data retention policies, allowing you to address your business unique requirements? 5. Are restores bandwidth intensive? (Look for a vendor that considers the bandwidth limitations of your ISP.) 6. How personal is the service? (Look for a provider that is not so big as to not care about your company during a crisis but not so small as to be unable to quickly respond when you need them.) 7. Does the DR provider have a disaster recovery plan? (The provider you choose should have a second data centre with duplicate data that can be switched to immediately to prevent interruption of service. And, it should be far enough away from the first data centre so as not to be affected by the same disaster.)

6 8. How does the DRaaS provider ensure data security, and how do they demonstrate that? (Look for documentation that the service has been tested and sanctioned by credible third parties like government and standards organisations.) 9. Are the guarantees, penalties and recourse offered in the service-level agreement (SLA) sufficient? (Your provider should allow you to negotiate RTOs and RPOs, and help you set appropriate SLA benchmarks for your business.) 10. Is there any doubt that backups can be restored in the event of a crisis? With answers to these 10 questions, you should have a good feeling as to whether a DRaaS provider can be a trusted partner. And you ll feel good knowing that you ve not only overcome the traditional barriers to disaster recovery but are reaping its benefits as well. DRaaS from TIG At TIG, technology is our passion. But we know not everybody feels the same way. That s why we made technology our business: so that you can focus on yours. We take the guesswork out of server and data recovery. Our DRaaS solutions are rooted in best-of-class technology with the Asigra Enterprise class backup platform that restores exactly what you need from a virtual machine to a complete computing environment. Our solutions support a recovery plan that meets your availability and compliance requirements, while giving you the flexibility to recover where you want in your data centre, our cloud or both with the ability to scale as your organisation grows. And if you re not sure what you need, we can work with you to define a DR strategy and demonstrate a business case. For more information on how we can help you get started with DRaaS, contact us at +44 (0)

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