In today’s technology-focused world, experiencing total network failure is a business leader’s worst nightmare. It’s an alarmingly common problem when ransomware strikes without warning or a disaster renders hardware useless. Regardless of the cause, the effects are often the same, and the aftermath can be devastating for any business that relies on its data and computing systems to function.
Fortunately, almost all threats out there can be mitigated by a robust backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan. Before, this plan followed the 3-2-1 model, whereby businesses would keep three backup copies of their data with two local ones on different storage mediums and one stored remotely. Originally, the remote backup took the form of tape drives moved to off-site facilities. But in the age of the cloud, that kind of physical backup is largely obsolete.
What is Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)?
It’s a cloud-based solution wherein your entire IT system is replicated in the cloud. It’s more than just a backup; it functions as your secondary infrastructure.
Should your primary system crash, you can immediately use your secondary system while the primary is being repaired. And because DRaaS allows your applications to run on virtual machines at any time, even without a real disaster, you can use your secondary system as a sandbox to test cloud computing.
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DRaaS is especially valuable to small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). Most SMBs have limited IT resources, and they usually can’t afford the six-figure salaries demanded by the IT specialists needed to oversee a sufficiently robust business continuity plan. But if SMBs partner with the right managed IT services provider (MSP) with the experience and expertise in DRaaS, these companies can reap the benefits of a disaster recovery plan for a reasonable fixed monthly fee.
What you should look for in a DRaaS provider
If you’re seriously considering DRaaS, there are many solutions and providers in the market today. To help you choose, here are several questions you should ask yourself first:
- How long can you be without data, and how up to date does your data need to be? These two are important considerations, because the longer the downtime, the greater your business losses. These two considerations are known as the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO).
The recovery time objective (RTO) is the maximum tolerable length of time it should take systems to come back online from an outage due to disaster or system failure. An RTO is measured in seconds, minutes, or hours.
The recovery point objective (RPO) is the age of files in backup storage required to resume normal operations in the event of a computer system or network failure. For example, if the RPO is set to one hour, then backups must be done once every hour.
Once you determine what your RTO and RPO are, these should be specified in the service level agreement (SLA) between you and your service provider.
- Is the DRaaS solution customizable? Your solution should be customized to your specific needs. And as your business becomes more data-reliant and the demands for data storage increases, your solution should also be scalable to adjust to your changing needs.
- Is your MSP always on call and readily available? Their customer service should be available 24/7, ready to address any problems that may crop up at any time.
- Can your MSP guarantee that the solution will really work? This is where regular testing is essential. Tests should be conducted at least twice a year to make sure your DRaaS performs as needed should a failover (your primary system fails or goes down) occur.
You need a reliable DRaaS provider like Online Computers that will help ensure you meet your RTOs and RPOs. We offer multiple contingencies across separate networks that can’t be compromised through a single point of failure. With our business continuity plans, we’ll help you eliminate IT downtime for good. If your business is in and around Hanover, Morristown, and Madison, you should partner with us. Contact our IT experts today to learn more.
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