In today’s era of digital transformation, online data and online applications don’t just support a business: they are the business. That means that calling a computer outage or data loss a “disaster” isn’t hyperbole; the consequences can truly be disastrous. Many statistics claim that a significant percentage of businesses, as many as 93 percent, shutter their operations within a few years of a major outage.

While that 93 percent number might well be hyperbole, it isn’t exaggeration to say that an effective disaster recovery process is critical to get the business back in operation as soon as possible. Today, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offers companies a reliable DR process that’s often more cost-effective than other approaches to DR.

The Cloud Is Always There

DRaaS takes advantage of the cloud’s always-on, accessible-anywhere nature. By backing up company data to the cloud, companies rely on the expertise of the cloud provider as well as their storage and servers to quickly bring data and processing back online after an outage.

Through relying on a cloud provider, companies eliminate the need to maintain their own secondary storage and processing sites, reduce their capital costs, reduce the complexity of recovery processes, and free up their own staff to focus on other issues.

Backup Machines as Well as Data

A full DRaaS process focuses on backing up your virtual machines (VMs) as well as your data. While details of the processes differ depending on configurations at company sites and at the cloud provider, data is typically replicated in near real-time to the cloud. VM copies are also stored in the cloud, enabling recovery servers to simply boot up and come online. Automated processes bring servers up in the order you’ve specified.

The underlying process is reliable, supported by the expertise of the cloud provider. Because testing recovery in the cloud is often easier than testing at an on-site facility, you can also ensure the reliability of your specific recovery sequences through running a DR test.

Selecting a DRaaS Service

If you’ve already migrated to a cloud provider as the production site for some of your applications, it may make sense to use them as your DRaaS provider, too. If you’re starting from scratch, make sure you define your objectives before beginning to evaluate DRaaS offerings. In one survey, the top goals of a DR process were reliability, ease of use, cost, and speed.

Technical factors, of course, are key to the success of your DR process. The cloud is virtualized by definition, and making sure their hypervisor is compatible with your own is vital. Another critical factor is how easy it is to add capacity in the DRaaS service. It’s common for company-owned DR sites to get out-of-sync with the production site, but on-demand capacity in the cloud can mitigate this. Self-service admin options that let you add resources through a portal make this easier for you to manage.

Want to learn more about the benefits of DRaaS? dcVAST offers Disaster Recovery as a Service along with 24×7 support to get your company back online whenever disaster strikes. Contact us to find out what you can gain by using DRaaS to help protect against data loss.