What is DRaaS, or Disaster Recovery as a Service

What is DRaaS, or Disaster Recovery as a Service

Disaster events can severely damage a company's data assets and IT infrastructure. To avoid the worst, you can rely on Disaster Recovery as a Service
Disaster events can severely damage a company's data assets and IT infrastructure. To avoid the worst, you can rely on Disaster Recovery as a Service

The importance of Disaster Recovery as a Service ( DRaaS ) can be understood from the value that the cloud has today, which more and more companies rely on and the essential need to guarantee business continuity . This is why the “as a service” model has been developed, which allows companies to rely on plug-in services, which are scalable and inherent to need. With the same approach we speak of DRaaS, which contemplates the need to adopt a resilience criterion in anticipation of natural or man-made disasters. Just think, in the first case, of extreme events such as hurricanes and tornadoes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States experienced 18 weather / climate events in 2021, with losses in excess of $ 1 billion each. In Europe, the floods that occurred last July caused damage amounting to 13 billion dollars.

And then there are the disasters caused by cyber insecurity in the form of the disappearance of sensitive data, computer viruses, cybercrime … The government of Jackson County, Georgia (USA) was forced to pay 400 thousand dollars in cryptocurrencies to a group of cyber criminals that had taken over the network and encrypted the virtual environment, rendering it completely unusable.

The global Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) market is estimated to reach $ 17.87 billion by 2026 , according to Research Dive .

What is DRaaS and what does it mean

Behind the acronym DRaaS is Disaster Recovery as a Service , a term that outlines a cloud computing service model that allows an organization to back up its data and IT infrastructure in a cloud computing environment of third parties. It is a combination of hardware and cloud technology that provides real-time IT infrastructure backup and redundant capabilities to minimize service downtime during disaster recovery.

Gartner defines the DRaaS market as a productive service offering where the provider manages the server image and the replication of production data to the cloud, the creation of run books (collection of procedures and routine operations performed by the administrator) disaster recovery, automatic server recovery to the cloud, automatic server failback from the cloud, and configuring network elements and features as needed. Supported source servers must include a virtual and physical combination. Gartner adds that

to be considered DRaaS over other options that allow for do-it-yourself recovery, all elements of the service must be included in the service offer agreement between the provider and the customer, and offer a standardized service level agreement (SLA) to recovery

How data recovery as a service works

Disaster Recovery as a Service therefore allows an organization to recover the access and functionality of its IT infrastructure after a disastrous event. In addition, it allows companies to outsource liability related to the need to mitigate data loss.

DRaaS uses a combination of hardware and cloud-based infrastructure to provide more reliable disaster recovery solutions than typical internal specific procedures. It leverages the elasticity of the cloud to fully replicate a company’s critical IT infrastructure, including the services and server environment needed to keep running.

The goals underlying DRaaS are defined by RPO and RTO goals . Both have cost implications. For example, it is more expensive to back up your data every 30 minutes rather than every 30 seconds.

In house vs as a service

At this point it is important to try to clarify the difference – and the opportunity – of focusing on an in-house Disaster Recovery model compared to the “as a service” model.

In-house DR is based on the use of internal hardware and software infrastructure to manage data protection and recovery operations. The advantage is that companies can guarantee the complete security of their data and applications as there are no third parties involved.

However, the strength of DRaaS is that it allows for a complete recovery in the cloud, not having to totally depend on the capabilities of a company’s internal disaster recovery team. Traditional in-house solutions require competent staff to design, implement and maintain a disaster recovery plan: this is not an easy task, far from it. Furthermore, building a resilient infrastructure requires a significant investment in the purchase of servers, storage and IT equipment, and the development of a well-equipped, knowledgeable and dedicated maintenance team.

Therefore, compared to DRaas, the disadvantage of focusing on an in-house architecture is that it requires a large capital investment in hardware, software and human resources.

Today, companies can also think of other options – one of them is the hybrid cloud. It employs private cloud infrastructure for real-time replication and use public cloud storage for recovery. They can do this by making use of privately managed infrastructure and the public cloud. Or it is possible to think of multi-Cloud Disaster Recovery, which allows the customer to replicate resources to a second cloud provider in another geographic region. This ensures a limited risk of a major outage, due to a disaster, for both cloud providers at the same time.

BaaS vs DRaaS

Backup as a Service (BaaS) is a service that guarantees companies to back up files, folders and entire data archives in remote and secure data centers to ensure the highest protection. There are BaaS offers that allow you to store and synchronize backups online. These services ensure that data lost or redeemed from a primary site remains intact elsewhere and is accessible when needed. However, they do not help restore full operations after a disaster and ensure business continuity. DRaaS, on the other hand, moves the entire IT block, i.e. infrastructure, applications, data, etc. to the cloud. When disaster strikes, the business quickly switches to fully mirrored infrastructure to continue operating normally.

There are some substantial differences between BaaS and DRaaS. The former performs backup only, while the latter is responsible for both backup and infrastructure.

Backup as a Service can perform data recovery, but the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are typically measured in hours or days. This is because for large data sets, it can take a long time to transfer data from the Managed Service Provider to your on-premises data center. With DRaaS solutions, RPO and RTO are calculated in minutes or even seconds, because a minor version of the customer’s servers is ready to run on a remote site.

Admittedly, the costs of BaaS are significantly lower than those of DRaaS. But the latter model and service guarantees much more.

3 different types: managed, assisted and self service

There are three main models used by disaster recovery as a service providers: managed, assisted, and self-service.

Managed DRaaS is a model in which third parties take full responsibility for disaster recovery. Choosing this option requires organizations to work closely with DRaaS vendors to keep all changes to infrastructure, applications and services up to date. It is an ideal option for those who have neither the experience nor the time to manage their disaster recovery.

As for the assisted DRaaS , however, it provides that the service provider can optimize the disaster recovery process, but it is the customer who is responsible for the implementation of some or all of the DR plans. It is a model suitable for those who decide to take responsibility for some aspects of the DR plan, or if you have custom applications that are difficult to manage by a third party.

Finally, Self-Service DRaaS is the cheapest option: it requires customers to be responsible for planning, testing and managing disaster recovery, and the vendor provides the backup management software, and hosts the backups and machines. virtual in remote locations. This model is offered by all major cloud providers such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. When using this model, everything needs to be planned and tested to ensure that operations can be immediately moved to the vendor’s remote data center, and easily recovered when local resources are restored. This option is ideal for organizations that have in-house DR and cloud computing skills.

Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.