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Surviving Disaster: Continuous Availability with DRaaS

Feb 22, 2018, 19:28 PM by Trenton Baker

Surviving Disaster: Continuous Availability with DRaaS

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) enables continuous application availability. It’s an attractive proposition, but two common factors conspire to keep IT from investing. One is a conception of disaster as large-scale events: tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires. These are real threats to business data, but odds are that they won’t happen to you in any given year. The second factor is that most business with virtual environments already snapshot and replicate to servers in the office next door or across the campus.

But here’s the thing about data disasters: they’re not just the big newsworthy events. They’re also the loss of power to the data center, the network slow-down that IT can’t trace, the hypervisor upgrade that went belly up, or the disk drive failure that took your Oracle VMs with it.

During these common events, your users cannot get to their email. Your customers can’t get to your ecommerce site. Your operations people can’t get to the ERP. And your virtualized environment might as well be a paperweight for all the good it’s doing.

Yet even if you are replicating your VMs, how long will it take you to get them back with full application and data availability? It depends. Does the campus have power? Are the DR servers available? Did you test your policy-driven replication for your virtualized applications? Have you set the right protection groups and inventory mappings? During a disaster is not the time to answer “No” to any of these questions.

If you don’t want to risk your business in a disaster, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) allows you to failover your virtual applications to the cloud within minutes or seconds. And you can do it simply and effectively.

Disaster Recovery trend

“DRaaS remains an underutilized solution, especially for those organizations that have yet to adopt a cloud strategy.” - Source Gartner.

How DRaaS Works and Why You Need It

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) allows companies to replicate virtual environments to the cloud for immediate or near-immediate failover. Depending on the settings you choose, virtualized applications can be up and running within seconds following an on-premises disaster.

DRaaS has gone increasingly mainstream. In Gartner’s 2017 “Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service” the analyst firm estimates DRaaS as a $2.02 billion business currently, and they expect it to reach $3.73 billion by 2021. However, not all DRaaS offerings are created equal.

When shopping for a DRaaS solution, look for a cloud service provider (CSP) that delivers managed service providers (MSP), and their customers a service model to non-disruptively replicate virtualized applications, infrastructure, and data to the cloud. A key benefit of having a secure failover vault in the cloud is that upon an emergent event you can immediately spin-up servers and non-disruptively failback when your on-premises environment is restored. A best practice is to look for an as a Service offering that isn’t just a one-size fit all cloud and can allow for cloud customizability. Also make sure that your DRaaS cloud solution lets users prioritize failover and failback by system, database, or single application priority. You should be able to replicate both VMware and Hyper-V environments and use multiple operating systems.

DRaaS Veeam Cloud Connect

Many companies are interested in DRaaS but concerned about perceived complexity and cost. This is why KeepItSafe features a solution like Veeam Cloud Connect to deliver simplified and custom DRaaS to MSPs and their customers.

Importance of DRaaS

Source: Veeam

Veeam Cloud Connect can be implemented to provide a secure multi-tenant environment for hosting customers’ virtual environments. Multi-tenant support includes simple setup and management, complete isolation between tenants, requires only a single port, and securely transfers data over SSL/TLS -- no VPN required.

The KeepItSafe infrastructure with available managed and monitored services allows for MSPs and their customers to quickly failover/failback anything from a few specific VMs to a whole virtualized environment. When the on-premises environment is restored, failback occurs quickly (usually <15min) and smoothly with no data loss. Recovery assurance adds to IT admin confidence as well as justification for management, which often becomes an obstacle to deployment of a holistic disaster recovery strategy.

Cloud hosts work like other replication targets and let customers provision them on demand. Customers only need to own VMware or Hyper-V: everything else including orchestration, network extension, and WAN acceleration, is built into the DR service. Tools like Veeam’s Backup & Replication replicate at the hypervisor layer, so customer storage, applications, and operating systems never have to change.

Customers easily retain control over their own secure failover environment. MSP’s customers can just click “Add Service Provider” on their Veeam console and enter the credentials their MSP has given them. As a gold level cloud solution provider, KeepItSafe facilitates and simplifies cloud failover for MSPs and their customers with hosts appearing seamlessly in their Veeam infrastructure. It’s as simple as that.

Here’s the takeaway: Don’t flirt with disaster. Protect your virtual environments simply and efficiently with your managed service provider and KeepItSafe featuring Veeam Cloud Connect.

Readers of this blog post are also interested in the webinar:

Benefits of Moving Hyper-V Disaster Recovery to the Cloud

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