Software as a Service (SaaS) is on almost every company’s radar screen as a cost-effective means for outsourcing applications that are not core competencies of their IT staff. Yet while outsourcing more applications sounds great in theory, applications such as disaster recovery (DR) that organizations are looking to outsource must support certain characteristics. Specifically, the software needs to support options like partitioning and data security that are inherent in a feature like multi-tenancy.
DR is high on the priority list of applications that companies are looking to outsource. Aside from the cost benefits that outsourcing DR to a SaaS provider offers and the new opportunities for recovery that it can create, the individuals that I speak with want to outsource DR so they can eliminate the hassles it creates now.
But one of the challenges of outsourcing DR to date has been finding a managed service provider (MSP) that offers a DR solution that scales to support multiple organizations, keeps each organization’s data store secure and remains manageable even as it scales. DR software has been particularly challenged in this area. DR software needs to bring applications back online quickly and with as little human intervention as possible. To do this, a DR software solution obtained from an MSP must maintain separate, secure online data stores for each of the client’s applications so it can recover them.
Many MSPs offer DR services but historically DR solutions are plagued by three distinct scaling problems, including:
- A one-to-one relationship. The DR software creates a replication pair. In this configuration, the MSP dedicates a server at its site (physical or virtual) that only receives data from one physical or virtual application server at the customer’s site.
- Software licensing. Each server in the replication pair may require a software license which can push the cost of the solution beyond what the customer can afford.
- Management. Managing numerous individual replication pairs becomes complex and tedious. If the DR solution lacks a central console that can manage each replication pair, MSPs have to log into each replication pair individually to effectively manage it as they scale into the tens or hundreds of replication pairs.
That’s what makes the recent multi-tenancy enhancement to InMage Systems Scout 5.1 RX Enterprise Dashboard significant. Scout has always offered the ability to do many-to-one replication from multiple application servers (physical or virtual) to a single target (InMage Scout CX). This architecture creates a many-to-one relationship which eliminates the need for dedicated servers at the MSP’s site, easing installation and lowering software licensing costs. It also makes it easy to manage data protection and recovery operations for different customers whose data is hosted on a single CX separately and securely.
What is new in 5.1 is an enhancement that allows MSPs to centrally manage multiple InMage CX server instances from the InMage RX Enterprise Dashboard. Rather than having to log into each CX system to monitor and manage data hosted on it, Scout now gives the MSP visibility into how all of the CX servers are performing and then the flexibility to individually manage each CX instance from within a single pane of glass.
SaaS is a logical course of action for organizations to pursue and DR as a service is one that makes sense for them to outsource. But doing this cost-effectively and then having the confidence that it will work when they need it calls for them to select an MSP that can provide the software that meets the specific requirements of a SaaS model.
InMage’s introduction of multi-tenancy into the Scout 5.1 RX Enterprise Dashboard so it can manage multiple CX servers form a single management console should give organizations added reason to select InMage and those MSPs who offer it as their preferred DR solution. This multi-tenancy enhancement coupled with Scout’s existing many-to-one replication capabilities and economical software licensing model further re-enforces why DR software is becoming a viable SaaS offering that organizations can confidently deploy.