But there is help at hand. The key is finding an expert – whether a partner, full service provider, or industry guru – who has built and continues to manage complex primary and DR infrastructures. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) products will ease the expense and time constraints on your IT department, freeing them up for other priorities. There are three key points you should look for when canvasing potential partners and services:
Leverage economy of scale: Besides the cost of 2N infrastructure to support full operational capacity, you will also need to acquire the replication technologies making the configuration and data redundancy possible. As a small or medium size business, your options for DIY will be limited by the cost of high-level technology. Can you afford it? Maybe – bearing the full cost of such technologies for only the slice you need is wasteful, but with a service provider you can leverage their buying power to acquire only the slice of product you need and buy-by-the-drip as you grow.
Leverage economy of knowledge: Buy from and partner with someone who has built and is running both DR and production infrastructures today. Why is this important? In the moment of disaster, you need experience in successfully orchestrating a failover to the recovery site as well as a partner that understands production application concerns such as security, compliance, and data protection. Ideally, look for a full service provider who is an expert in all things disaster recovery. They should have extensive experience implementing and failing over to recovery infrastructure, and if you have security or compliance concerns, those should be successfully dealt with as well. This isn’t something you can find in everyone, so be sure to shop carefully. True DRaaS providers will have this experience.
High visibility: Regardless of the solution you choose and implement, it is imperative to be able to view the status and test the recovery site at any time. Status of the recovery site, replication, and testing should be visible to your NOC team. Tests should be clear and options for non-disruptive self-serve testing are ideal. The status and management of your site should be available in real time, easy to understand, and come with the capability to test any time you like.
Finding the right DRaaS provider will minimize the complexity and difficulty of managing and maintaining a successful DR strategy. At the end of the day, when you have a partner that can competently manage, fail over, and report on the technology for you, all you have left to do is focus on preventing that worst day from happening.
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