Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) on DR as a Service (DRaaS) mentioned this astonishing fact: By 2018, the number of organizations using disaster recovery as a service will exceed the number of organizations using traditional recovery services.
According to Gartner analyst John Morency, DRaaS is, “a service as the scenario when the service provider manages virtual machine (VM) replication and, optionally, physical machine (PM) replication from the production data center into the cloud, VM/PM activation inside the cloud and recovery exercising within the cloud.”
Morency expects the size of the DRaaS market to triple in size over the next three years and reach $3.4 billion by 2019.
Axcient is one of only seven vendors listed in the top right “leaders” quadrant by Gartner. Justin Moore, CEO of Axcient, laid out some of the features to look for in DRaaS. This includes workflow automation tools and a good support set up.
“DRaaS needs to have orchestration and automation capabilities to make the recovery and failover process smooth for IT administrators,” said Moore. “When it comes to recovery, DRaaS should include runbooks or workflow automation tools to ensure services are brought up in the cloud with the proper configurations and settings and in the proper order.”
For instance, if you have an environment that relies on Active Directory (AD), DRaaS should ensure that the AD instance is brought up so other applications can authenticate and connect once they’re recovered. Service is another important aspect.
“DRaaS should also provide a service component, ensuring customers are supported at each and every step from onboarding to recovery, including 24x7x365 phone and email support and DR testing as part of their service.
However, as you add services to DRaaS, costs can spiral out of control Therefore, it is vital to balance the cost with the desired recovery point objective (RTO) and recover time objective (RTO). Too high an RTO, for example, can become very expensive. So be realistic on what kind of delay the organization can really tolerate.
“When considering DRaaS, it’s important to ensure you understand that the service can meet your desired RTOs and RPOs at a cost that makes sense for the business,” said Moore.
Further buying tips: Ask the DRaaS provider how the solution is priced and make sure to ask about whether or not there are costs associated with failing over. Some providers include disaster declarations and failing over into the cloud, while others may charge for it. Additionally, choose DRaaS solutions that have built-in data deduplication and WAN optimization to reduce storage footprint and bandwidth utilization.
Let’s take a look at some of the top DRaaS candidates:
Axcient Fusion’s goal is to achieve IT resilience by eliminating the cost and operational overhead of legacy on-premises DR. It converges DR, data protection, archiving, long-term retention, and testing and development into a single cloud platform. The price starts at $79 per VM per month and $99 per TB per month.
“With Fusion, businesses can eliminate the need to operate and maintain multiple data centers while achieving 1-hour RPOs and 1-hour RTOs for their applications and data,” said Moore.
HPE has twinned up with Veritas for a cloud-based managed DRaaS service for physical and virtual environments. With an automated and orchestrated approach, and service delivery experts on call, businesses get quick recovery when needed. This combo offers the ability to leverage facilities, equipment, personnel and processes at a cost that’s said to be up to 50 percent less than traditional in-house DR.
Veritas’ software-defined Resiliency Platform provides a software-based platform that can be leveraged by both IT and service provider organizations as a solution to enable DRaaS. It automates and orchestrates the recovery of protected workloads between on premises and clouds. It has the ability to orchestrate rapid recovery for complex workloads and data centers through third-party replication, its own integrated data mover or from backup images. Compliance to service level objectives can be managed with built-in service level objective templates and a set of operational auditing, risk auditing and reporting.
“Organizations can minimize business disruptions to a few minutes following a major business interruption, and replicate data with typically no more than 15 minutes of data loss,” said Lisa Erickson, Product Management, Resiliency Solutions, Veritas.
Asigra Cloud Backup is agentless software that includes flexible backup scheduling, continuous data protection and snapshot-based virtual machine replication capabilities. The goal is to enable organizations to reduce their RTOs and RPOs to near real-time. It supports VMware and Hyper-V environments. Flexible pricing includes either a per virtual machine basis or capacity based.
“Organizations are demanding faster recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives,” said Eran Farajun, Executive Vice President, Asigra. “They need the ability to conduct an offsite failover with ability to quickly spin up virtual machines – without experiencing any data loss, in order to resume business quickly and efficiently in the event of a natural disaster or data loss event.”
C&W Business boasts customers in 42 countries. It has service centers in Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago. Geographical support is gradually being added for North America and Europe. It is hypervisor-agnostic and DRaaS is sold as a managed service. It also offers managed network services, IaaS, desktop as a service and colocation.
IBM Resiliency Services encompass Backup as a Service and DRaaS with three service levels available: Gold has failover within minutes; Silver gets shared virtual servers provisioned within one hour; and Bronze offers provisioning within six hours. IBM tends to offer mixed cloud and on-prem hybrid services to its customers. They split DR between in house and the cloud.
Bluelock’s cloud can recover VMs, physical servers and production data. It has a data centers throughout in Indianapolis and Las Vegas to provide failover. Different tiers of service are available such as: DRaaS Run to rapidly recover physical and virtual machines; DRaaS Ready to recover physical and virtual applications in minutes; and DRaaS Restore to recover backups of applications and files over longer time frames – but at a lower price point.
Iland's Enterprise Cloud Services family includes DRaaS. The DRaaS part offers replication and recovery of VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xen VMs. It supports software-based VM replication as well as SAN-to-SAN replication.
Zetta’s DR service includes replicating servers instantly in the Zetta Cloud. It tries to achieve a balance between performance and security. It also addresses the loss of a single server or an entire facility. In the latter case, the entire network can be replicated in the cloud. VPN access is available to access data and keep a business running when disaster strikes.
Like IBM, Sungard Availability Services offers all cloud, on-prem and hybrid DR services. Its DRaaS offering includes Recover2Cloud, Managed Recovery Program and Managed Enterprise Storage Replication (ESR) for EMC. It supports replication and recovery of vSphere, Hyper-V, Xen, and SAN-to-SAN VM replication for EMC and NetApp.
Microsoft DRaaS is based on the Azure platform and includes the cloud migration and DR utility known as Azure Site Recovery, which is integrated into Azure. That way, users can manage DR and other Azure services from one console.
Those then, are some of the candidates for DRaaS. Other strong offerings are available from the likes of VMware, Recovery Point, TierPoint, Acronis, Peak 10, Carbonite, Evolve IP, Data Barracks, Infrascale, NTT Communications, Unitrends, and Datto.