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    Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): A New Way To Solve An Old Problem

    December 23, 2014

    By Sungard AS

    Disaster recovery, downtime, data loss. Not words many people like to hear. Sure, you understand that a disaster recovery (DR) plan is important, even critical to your company's business. But building a disaster recovery plan is expensive, time consuming, and requires skills most IT departments don't have. Besides, how often do disasters really happen, and what are the chances it is going to happen to my company?

    A common misconception is that DR is all about natural disasters. While natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes get the most attention, industry research shows power failures, IT hardware, software and network outages, and human error are much more likely to cause business disruptions. Many studies quote that as much as 75% of downtime is caused by human error. According to a recent survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute and Emerson Network Power, unplanned downtime costs organizations an average of $7,900 per minute in 2013.

    The lesson here is that disasters can happen to you and probably will – so you need to be prepared for all potential causes of business disruption.

    I was catching up with Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst at ESG, a couple of days ago and we started reminiscing about how long we have been in "the industry" of data protection and disaster recovery. Now, I don't want to get in hot water with Jason, so let's just say it's been a long time and leave it at that.

    It's interesting how much the challenges around disaster recovery have grown over the years, yet many companies are approaching it in much the same way they did back in the old days. Every day, we speak to companies that claim to have a DR solution because they are moving tape backups offsite or replicating data to a vault somewhere. But in today's modern data center, backup and data replication do not equal disaster recovery.

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    DR is so much more than recovering your data: it’s about IT resiliency. It's about keeping your business running in the event of a disaster, and guaranteeing connection to networks, servers, storage, and key applications like your CRM software, payroll, human resources, and SAP … all those critical operations that keep your business in business. For disaster recovery, you need an IT recovery plan that includes the technology, processes, and expertise to resume your business, not just resume IT operations.

    But here's the challenge: developing and implementing a disaster recovery plan requires a significant investment in cost, time, and technical expertise.

    Meanwhile, my conversation with Jason turned to DR and Disaster Recovery as a Service. Companies have been moving to Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to provide the IT resiliency and business continuity they need in the event of a disaster. DRaaS has been gaining popularity in part due to its pay-as-you-go pricing model that can lower costs and automated virtual platforms that can minimize recovery time after a failure.

    But what is DRaaS and how does it help companies recover in the event of a disaster? Put very simply, DRaaS is IT resiliency, making sure your business is back in business after a disaster. Guaranteed.

    For many companies, DRaaS provides a cost-effective disaster recovery solution that is flexible and scalable enough to get their business operations up and running in the event of a disaster.

    Is DRaaS right for your organization?

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