The promise of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is that you’ll have the ability to nearly instantaneously recover data and applications after an outage—rapid recovery measured in minutes rather than hours. While that’s the basic premise, when you evaluate any DRaaS offering, you’ll want to find out exactly how rapidly you’ll be back in operation to make sure the service meets your objectives—both recovery time and recovery point. You should also evaluate the offering’s other features, including:
• Performance. DRaaS may get your applications back up, but are they usable? Make sure the backup storage and servers provide the performance your applications needed for employees and customers to be able to use them effectively.
• Coverage. Data centers today are a complex mix of platforms, on-premises, and cloud products. Understand the scope of the DRaaS offering and whether it will provide comprehensive protection or whether you’ll need to consider additional measures to protect some components.
• Management. Look for a management and orchestration interface that makes it easy for your team to control the server recovery sequence. Prefer solutions that require minimal command entry, relying on graphical interfaces instead, to reduce the ever-present risk of typos that cause failures.
• Flexibility. While you need comprehensive disaster recovery protection, not every disaster is big enough to require a complete failover to your secondary processing site. Your DRaaS selection should offer the flexibility to support a partial recovery process that addresses smaller issues.
• Fallback. At some point you’ll want to resume operations in your normal production environment. Explore the steps you’ll use to fallback from DRaaS to your data center and understand the time required and complexity of the process.
• Testing. One reason most companies don’t conduct disaster recovery tests is that performing a good test, that truly simulates a production failure, is complicated to plan and risky to execute. A good DRaaS product should make conducting DR tests much easier to perform.
• Support. Support from a DRaaS provider isn’t just about service level agreements. You should look for a provider that will work with you as your partner to ensure that your DRaaS strategy fully supports your needs and help you update your strategy as your information technology changes.