DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) provides standby cloud-based failover support. DRaaS reduces the impact of issues such as network failure, server failure, and file corruption through automatically redirecting data requests to cloud backup. This results in near-continuous data access.
SLA (Service Level Agreement)
A SLA serves to manage the expectations of both the disaster recovery service user and the isaster recovery service provider. Typically, SLAs relating to DRaaS cover two main areas:
- Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). In the event of a client-side server failure or network failure, the agreed RPO outlines the data that must be made available to the user via cloud access in near real-time. The data outlined here is considered mission critical. Companies with large amounts of non-mission-critical data (e.g. legacy client data) can opt to partition these files, excluding them from the agreement.
- Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). In the event of a client-side server failure or network failure, the RTO is the agreed timeframe within which full server restoration or network restoration must take place. Where multisite backups are required, the RTO may outline the process of restoration.
Your SLA should also include a plan to test the performance and reliability of the data recovery system against the expectations outlined in the RPO and RTO. This test should take place once per month and the results should be collated into a report. Any evidence based reasoning for changes to the RPO or RTO may then be suggested by the user or provider, so as to create a smoother and more reliable service.
DRaaS – What Is Cloud Seeding?
Cloud seeding is a time saving method of allowing new users to provide an initial large-scale file dump of company data. Once complete, the user may save incremental amounts of data at regular intervals. This removes the need for the user to perform a complete file backup each time data is saved.
How does it work? Cloud seeding uses physical media as an intermediary link between user servers and the cloud – this means that the user is not required to maintain direct contact with the cloud during the upload (a process that is likely to require several days). Instead, a hard disc is provided. The user must make a copy of their database onto this hard disc and return it to the service provider. The service provider then begins the process of uploading the data to the cloud, freeing up the user infrastructure to continue with daily tasks.
Benefits of DRaaS
The major benefits of protecting your company data through a DRaaS agreement include:
- Reduced downtime. Depending on the details of your SLA, you could typically expect to experience minimal noticeable downtime. Where network failure or server failure occurs, users are granted instant access to backup files from cloud storage. Delays in relation to comparatively minor issues such as instances of file corruption could also be avoided.
- Reduced expenditure. The costs of large scale in-house data storage include the initial cost of purchasing the necessary IT infrastructure (plus the associated costs of future expansion), staffing costs, and maintenance costs. Outsourcing to DRaaS eliminates this ongoing expenditure and opens up office space that would otherwise be given over to housing IT infrastructure and staff.
- Peace of mind. A DRaaS agreement grants access to a professional service that puts real experts on the end of the phone when you need it most. Get the instant advice and clear guidance your company needs to retain expected levels of service or output throughout the working day.
Failover to Failback
Along with retrieval of backup data, service users can expect to receive cloud storage. Following crisis resolution, the migration of data from the cloud back to the client server should take place as soon as possible. This may seem like a backwards step, but whilst continuing to operate VMs (virtual machines) in the cloud rather than storing data on site may seem progressive, there is no failsafe in place should the DRaaS system experience catastrophic failure.
For example, in the extremely unlikely event that the DRaaS servers are directly affected by unforeseen issues (such as a natural disaster – e.g. flooding), your company data could be lost. Migrating your data back to your servers and retaining your DRaaS as a standby failover service gives you the surety that a backup system is in place.
For further information on DRaaS and to find out how your company could benefit from failover support, speak to a member of our expert team today. Send us a message.