Ever since I got into IT, I have heard the phrase, â€œBackup is great, but recovery is where the rubber meets the road.â€ If that statement holds true, organizations can only now begin to fully experience the benefits of the backups they have created for years.
To accomplish this recovery feat, new all-in-one (AIO) disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions do more than back up data. They automate and provide turnkey recoveries both on-premises and in the cloud. A recently released DCIG Top 5 report that evaluated 11 of these products named the five top AIO DRaaS solutions and identified the key similarities they shared and differences between them.
DRaaS: The Next Step in Backup Softwareâ€™s Evolution
Disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions represent the next step in the evolution of backup software. Existing backup software already equips many organizations to successfully backup their applications within prescribed backup windows.
Using this software, they may backup to disk, cloud, or tape or use snapshots and replication to protect data. These techniques have largely successfully solved long-standing backup challenges freeing organizations to focus on recovery.
Recovery presents an entirely new set of challenges for organizations to understand and address.Â They must achieve specific recovery time objectives (RPOs) of minutes or hours for each application. They must define each applicationâ€™s recovery point objective (RPO) to determine how much, if any, data loss an application can sustain prior to recovery. Organizations must also determine where they want to recover, the applications they want to recover, and the order in which they want to recover them.
In response to this new organizational need for recovery various DRaaS solutions have emerged. These DRaaS solutions equip organizations to simultaneously automate, accelerate, and simplify recovering their applications individually or at scale.
As organizations go to evaluate these solutions, one of their first challenges is to quantify specific characteristics they share and where they differ.
Similarities between the Top 5 AIO DRaaS Solutions
All Top 5 AIO DRaaS solutions that DCIG identified share the following characteristics:
- All-inclusive pricing. Each provider includes a backup appliance (virtual or physical), backup software, cloud compute, cloud storage, DR testing, and disaster recovery as part of its subscription pricing. If a backup-as-a-service (BaaS) provider, it offers its BaaS offering in lieu of a backup appliance and software.
- DR testing. All include multiple DR tests and live DRs with a subscription to their offering. In their DR testing, they all include a DR runbook, quarterly DR testing, and annual updates to their DR plan as well as the option for organizations to perform DR tests themselves. Organizations may conduct DR tests for as short as a day to over 30 days if they choose.
- Cloud infrastructure. All offer a shared cloud infrastructure to host DR testing and live DR that can do both partial and full recoveries in a highly available data center. All have cloud data centers located in Australia, Canada, Europe, Great Britain and the United States.
- Physical and virtual application protection. All protect applications running on Linux and Windows operating systems as well as the Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere hypervisors. All providers also provide integrated protection for Microsoft applications as well as Windows and Linux file servers.
- Cloud recovery of 100+ VMs. All Top 5 AIO DRaaS providers can support over 100 virtual machines (VMs) in their cloud as part of a recovery. Organizations can also host their DRs for an indefinite period with the provider, though they may incur costs at some point after 30 days.
- Immediate recoveries. Each Top 5 provider provides immediate support (15 minutes or less) in the event of a DR and each can concurrently support multiple DR scenarios (over 10).
Differentiators between the Top 5 AIO DRaaS Solutions
All Top 5 AIO DRaaS solutions differ in the following areas between their respective offerings:
- Subscription price variables. Top 5 AIO DRaaS providers take different variables into account when they determine the subscription price. Many count the number of VMs and physical machines they need to protect along with the amount of on-premises data. This impacts the size of the backup appliance they deploy and the subsequent price of their DRaaS deployment. Many also calculate how much data the organization will store in their cloud in determining the monthly subscription price.
- Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) recoveries. Organizations that need to recover their existing production VDI deployment during a DR need to verify their DRaaS provider supports recovery for VDI.
- Breadth of operating system and application support. Organizations that run any applications on anything other than Linux or Windows and want to use the AIO DRaaS solution to recover them need to verify the AIO DRaaS solution can back up and recover it.
- Cloud-based apps. Each AIO DRaaS solution offers varying levels of support for cloud-based applications. While they all back up Google G-suite and Microsoft Office 365, they differ in their levels of support for other common cloud-based applications such as Dropbox and Salesforce.
- Managed recovery services. Rather than an organization having to conduct a DR itself, it can call on the provider to perform the DR on its behalf.
- Timeliness and location of recovery. Prior to selecting any AIO DRaaS provider, an organization should establish how quickly it wants to recover. Some AIO DRaaS providers offer near real-time recovery SLAs while others only provide best faith effort recovery time SLAs. Organizations should also verify that if they need to recover in a specific geographic location that the AIO DRaaS provider has a data center in that region that can host the recovery.
To access the entire report that identifies the Top 5 solutions, the 11 solutions evaluated, and the features that make each Top 5 solution unique, follow this link.