On the face of it, cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a dream come true for many organisations. Cloud computing services are reliable, scalable and pay-as-you-go; rather than the traditional solution of committing large amounts of capital to purchase additional servers and software licenses of your own. Yet businesses still need to make sure of at least three points before signing up for monthly DRaaS.
- Does the DRaaS provider meet required storage standards?
Depending on your industry sector, you may be obliged to keep your data in a certain way (regulatory security or auditing measures) or within certain boundaries (like national borders). That means first checking your DRaaS provider’s specifications, and then verifying that they also match reality.
- Does the DRaaS provider look after your backups as well as your current data?
If you do not ask beforehand, you may find that the DRaaS service you use only guarantees the failover of current data and systems to standby facilities. Disaster recovery is not necessarily the same as the replication of backup data, even if the cloud has great potential for both. Make sure your backup data stores and systems are in the list of items to be recovered, if this is important to you.
- Does the DRaaS provider make it easy to get back to square one?
A disaster happens and your data and systems are successfully moved over to the standby systems. But after you have sorted out the disaster, you’ll want your IT assets back on your own platform. The written agreement you have with your DRaaS provider has to specify how and when that will happen, what help the DRaaS provider will give you, or both.
DRaaS has a lot to offer, especially to smaller companies with enough important data to make or break their business, but limited funds for putting the right DR measures in place. But it’s still not as simple as buying sugar by the pound or office PCs by their processor speeds. A few well-chosen questions upfront can help narrow the search and avoid disappointment later.