The Rise of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service in the Era of Cloud

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By: Daniel Witteveen|

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Organizations today use cloud computing in ever more innovative ways: to run mission-critical production workloads; to analyze big data for true business insight; to develop and manage mobile applications; and more. All of this is vital. But it means nothing if a disruption or outage shuts down a business or slows down your disaster recovery plans.

Disaster Recovery Is Priority No. 1

When an unexpected disruption hits, recovery is a top priority. An organization needs a reliable solution that responds with speed and agility — with no delays and no guesswork. Cloud-based disaster recovery solutions can give organizations the flexibility needed to recover from any location. However, most organizations are not in the business of recovery.

With the increased constraints of workloads, resiliency has never been more important, but too many organizations are hampered by lack of focus, lack of funding and insufficient skills. In addition, many simply do not have the knowledge gleaned from previous recovery experience to anticipate the various things that can go wrong with their strategies.

Recently, companies have been moving to disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) to provide the resiliency and business continuity they need in the event of a disaster. DRaaS or cloud-based disaster recovery strategies are now making data recovery plans far less complicated and highly efficient for businesses.

But despite being able to rethink their disaster recovery plans with help from the cloud, companies are still neglectful about testing their plans on a regular basis, especially when it comes to migrating the environment back into production from a recovery.

Testing for Success

Communications, data recovery and application recovery are often the key focus of disaster recovery testing. The testing process enables companies to conduct planned maintenance and train staff in disaster recovery procedures.

It is one thing to recover operations; it’s quite another to get back to business as usual. Failback, or the process of returning operations to production data centers, is the first step in resuming normal data center operations. With a virtualized recovery solution, failback is typically quicker and less complex than in traditional operations. The need for less manual intervention significantly reduces the time and effort required to get back to normal.

In an always-on world, organizations need their most critical applications available within minutes or hours, not days. One way to achieve such high availability is to employ cloud-based disaster recovery services with very short recovery time objectives.

As with all technologies, cloud computing does have limitations and risks that organizations should carefully consider before implementing them into their disaster recovery plans. However, organizations can leverage cloud-based solutions to help turn their resiliency into a real competitive advantage.

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About The Author

Daniel Witteveen

Vice President, IBM Resiliency Services

Daniel Witteveen is Vice President, IBM Resiliency Services. He leads the Global Strategy and Portfolio team and is passionate about addressing clients' business resiliency needs across the physical and virtual layers of the enterprise, including data, applications, IT infrastructure, facilities, organization skills and business processes, aligned to the organization's strategy and vision. IBM Resiliency Services is recognized as the leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery services around the world, enabling clients to maintain "always on" availability.

Articles by Daniel Witteveen
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