If your enterprise is of small to medium size, effective disaster recovery solutions may have seemed out of reach. While you could back up your data (and your configuration files, mailboxes and what have you) and send everything off to the cloud for safekeeping, real DR was still a step or two further away. If you wanted to know for sure that you could recover in the face of IT disaster, you had to arrange for your own duplicate systems, download your backup data, start up your applications and check it all worked again. This kind of heavy lifting was out of range for SMBs. However, DRaaS looks set to change all of that.

DRaaS or Disaster Recovery as a Service offers organisations significant reduction in effort, time and money. It also offers a significant increase in the speed of recovery. In simple terms, your primary computing resources are replicated in the cloud. If your primary assets fail, your replicated cloud infrastructure kicks in. You, your employees and your customers work via the web and downtime is minimized. Your DRaaS solution already has all the hardware, software, data and configuration elements available that made your primary setup work.

It’s no wonder that vendors such as Microsoft and VMware are moving into the DRaaS market, now filling up with potential clients, who see a real disaster recovery solution that is now affordable and workable. DRaaS promises the cloud advantages of resilience, scalability and pay-as-you-go tariffing, not to mention ease of testing. That doesn’t mean that DRaaS is completely push-button, however. To get the ongoing benefits requires upfront work to set up the configuration in the cloud and train staff on its care and feeding. There is also the delicate question of switching back to the original systems once they come back online. But the potential is there for SMBs to make real improvement in their DR if they accept the DRaaS forward planning.