February 19, 2020
How Disaster Recovery Outsourcing Works: A Full Overview
Businesses strive to maintain high customer satisfaction so as to earn their trust and loyalty. But what if a disaster occurs, putting your normal business operations at risk and leading to the loss of your critical data? Failed disaster recovery can cause irreversible damage, such as loss of customers, revenue, productivity, and, potentially, the whole business. To guarantee your business survival after an unexpected data-loss event, you need to build a solid disaster recovery (DR) strategy. One of the factors worth considering when developing a DR strategy is whether disaster recovery should be provided in-house or outsourced.
This blog post lists the reasons why disaster recovery outsourcing is the best option for protecting business data before, during, and after a disaster. What’s more, let’s discuss why NAKIVO Backup & Replication is the right disaster recovery solution for your business.
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How Traditional Disaster Recovery Works
There are two approaches to disaster recovery: traditional disaster recovery (or in-house) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (or outsourced). To better understand what Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offers, let’s first define traditional disaster recovery.
With traditional disaster recovery (DR), the organization relies on its own infrastructure and available resources to handle data protection and recovery operations. Thus, you can have full control over disaster recovery processes and make sure that your data and applications are perfectly secure without the involvement of third parties.
The success of in-house DR mainly hinges on the expertise of your in-house IT team. You need to be sure that the designated staff are competent enough to design, implement, and maintain a disaster recovery plan.
In-house DR costs largely depend on the complexity and sophistication of your data protection strategy. To build a resilient infrastructure, you need to invest heavily in purchasing servers, storage, and IT equipment, which would require ongoing support and maintenance. Thus, in-house disaster recovery works best for small and medium-sized businesses, which have fewer DR requirements to meet than larger enterprises.
The Basics of Disaster Recovery Outsourcing
Disaster recovery outsourcing (more commonly known as Disaster Recovery as a Service) is a third-party service that leverages cloud computing and on-premise resources for handling data protection activities. A comprehensive DRaaS solution can perform a variety of data protection activities, including backup, replication, failover, and failback.
DRaaS vendors typically offer a stable pricing policy, making it easier for you to plan for a DR budget. An effective DRaaS solution provides you with a backup infrastructure and an expert IT team that can take on the most of challenging data protection tasks. With such an integrated solution you can save time and resources, and pay more attention to refining your DR plan knowing that your recovery objectives are met.
Disaster Recovery Outsourcing: Pros and Cons
If you decide to go with the DRaaS option, here are some of its benefits and potential pitfalls. Key advantages of disaster recovery outsourcing are:
- Reduction of DR costs. Building a DR site, hiring an expert IT team, and purchasing necessary equipment can take a heavy toll on your budget, not to mention the expenses that go along with DR plan implementation and testing. With DR outsourcing, you can save your business from unforeseen costs that usually come with in-house DR. A third-party vendor usually offers an affordable pricing model whereby you only pay for the services you actually use.
- Сyberattacks are growing in sophistication year on year. Thus, businesses that rely on traditional DR methods might find it difficult to survive such an attack. On the other hand, DRaaS providers are determined to address existing and potential security risks and threats by improving their product's functionality. With a variety of data protection options that modern DRaaS offer, you can implement a DR plan of any complexity, meet your specific business needs, and respond to almost any DR scenario.
- Fast recovery. Most DRaaS solutions allow you to control DR processes remotely. Once a disaster hits a primary data center, necessary data can be recovered and critical business operations resumed with just a few clicks. Fast and successful recovery translates to short business downtime and minimum damage to business productivity, which is the ultimate goal of DR. The only possible drawback is that to be able to recover at any time and from anywhere, you must have a stable internet connection.
- Scalability. DRaaS solutions are highly scalable, able to grow as your your business expands. Outsourced DR software allows you to instantly upgrade your infrastructure’s capabilities to meet your changing business needs.
- Ease of use. DRaaS solutions allow you to take control of data protection and manage all the backup and recovery processes from a single pane of glass. At the same time, a service provider handles more complex tasks, such as performing data backup, maintaining backup servers and storage, running DR tests, enabling necessary upgrades, etc.
- Compliance support. A DRaaS provider offers a highly secure backup infrastructure that adheres to regulatory and compliance requirements. This allows your organization to remain compliant with key regulations even during a DR event—taking this responsibility off your shoulders.
Now, let’s talk about some possible disadvantages of disaster recovery outsourcing:
- Possible lack of security. When you choose to outsource disaster recovery, you provide a third party with access to your business data. In the wrong hands, this might be a risky strategy, especially if your customers trust you to keep their sensitive personal information secure. Data is one of the most important assets of any organization, so it should be protected at all costs. When selecting a DRaaS service provider, make sure that it offers availability without compromising on security.
- Dependency on a service provider. Some organizations feel more confident about their data safety and recoverability if they perform all DR operations themselves, which can be a resource-intensive task. A DRaaS provider can reduce management complexity associated with data protection. However, this can also add some stress as you no longer can control the implementation of a DR plan and influence the outcome of disaster recovery. If a DR solution experiences issues or lags during a DR event, you will not be able to do anything until the support team resolves the problem. That is why a provider that places high value on providing 24/7 support is the way to go.
- Possible performance problems. DRaaS solutions are mostly cloud-based, meaning that to perform any data protection operations you need to have internet access. With a poor internet connection, you cannot properly back up your data to an off-site storage or restore it in a timely manner.
As you can see, disaster recovery outsourcing has its pros and cons. To decide whether DRaaS is the right option for your business, you need to answer the following questions:
- What are your disaster recovery requirements? How strongly are they connected to your business needs?
- What are the disaster recovery outsourcing options available to you? Which one is the best fit for your company?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your IT infrastructure? Do you have the necessary resources to put your DR plan into action? Is your IT team competent enough to manage protection of business workloads?
With this information in your hands, you have a clear understanding of your organization’s capabilities. After this, you can decide which of the two DR options (in-house or outsourced) works best for your business and offers higher chances for successful recovery.
Why NAKIVO Backup & Replication Is the Right Data Protection Solution for You
NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a comprehensive solution which can secure your business data and applications, and ensure their recovery in almost any DR scenario. Here are the reasons why you should choose NAKIVO Backup & Replication as your go-to DRaaS solution:
- NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides cross-platform support. With just a single solution, you can protect virtual, physical, and cloud environments in a secure and reliable manner. Perform image-based, incremental, and application-aware backup of VMware, Hyper-V, and Nutanix VMs, AWS EC2 instances, Windows and Linux physical servers, and Windows workstations. What’s more, you can send backup copies to tape or public clouds (AWS and Azure), thus avoiding a single point of failure.
- With our solution, you can create and maintain replicas of VMware and Hyper-V VMs and AWS EC2 instances. Replicas are basically identical copies of your VMs and they are kept in a powered-off state to minimize resource consumption. With just a few clicks, you can power on the VM replica and fail over business workloads from the source VM to its copy. This allows you to resume business operations in no time and achieve the lowest RTO and RPO possible.
- Another benefit of using NAKIVO Backup & Replication is that you can put data protection on auto-pilot. With Policy-Based Data Protection, you can set up policies for automated protection of your machines. Policy rules can be based on the machine name, tag, size, power state, configuration, location, or a combination of these parameters. The solution can handle multiple data protection tasks, including backup, replication, and backup copy, requiring minimum intervention on your part.
- NAKIVO Backup & Replication strives to make data protection management as simple as possible. The Site Recovery functionality can help you orchestrate the entire DR process and automate necessary disaster recovery activities with just a few clicks. To this end, you can create site recovery workflows by arranging various actions and conditions into an automated algorithm. What’s more, you can perform non-disruptive site recovery testing to identify any flaws in your DR strategy. Based on this information, you can easily update existing SR jobs to ensure the best possible outcome.
- NAKIVO Backup & Replication can provide near-instant restoration of VMs, files, or application objects directly from compressed and deduplicated backups. The selected data can be recovered from a VMware environment to Hyper-V and vice versa. Additionally, you can recover from a physical environment to virtual, i.e. Windows and Linux servers to VMware and Hyper-V VMs.