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The DRaaS Virtuous Cycle

Mar 1, 2018, 09:49 AM by Trenton Baker

How to choose an MSP that delivers the aaS for your virtual environment.

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Many businesses are extending their DR to the cloud by adding virtual application failover in case of a disaster.

Or they're trying to do so. And may think they've succeeded. However, this may not be the case when it matters the most - homegrown solutions often lack robust monitoring and are complicated to deploy and manage. Companies look to managed service providers who offer DRaaS (Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service), a move that we see reflected in market revenue and forecasts - Gartner reports a 2017 revenue of $2 billion growing to over $3.5 billion by 2021.

But not all MSPs are created equal by any means. So how do you trust your MSP to provide a sophisticated solution set for disaster recovery, that ensures your virtual servers and applications are continuously available?

It all starts with choosing the right MSP, their Cloud Service Provider (CSP), and the Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) with whom they partner for DR services. You will want to find an MSP with longevity and an excellent DRaaS track record who partners with leading cloud service and DR software providers.

Vicious vs. Virtuous Cycle

In DRaaS, a vicious cycle starts with an MSP that lives on the edge of profitability. They cut corners and work with customers whose only concern is cost. Because these MSPs are so close to the fiscal cliff, they do not partner with Tier 1 CSPs or invest money in premium service offerings. They certainly can't afford to build out a robust and secure cloud hosting infrastructure.

Customers contract with these MSPs for backup and might hope to extend to DRaaS. But the MSP's DRaaS offering falls short. Sadly, the customer only discovers the problem when their failover becomes arduous, their users can't access the cloud site, their failback fails or even worse the aaS is missing from the DRaaS. The terrible truth – you only discover this when you are in a recovery situation. And that is too late.

“The global market for managed IT services will reach $256.5 billion by 2021.” - BCC Research market forecast..

In contrast, the virtuous cycle starts with a customer who understands that cut-rate DR isn’t DR at all and looks for an MSP that balances cost-effectiveness with an excellent track record. These MSPs invest appropriately for customer offerings and their own profitability. It offers robust services at basic and premium levels and serves its end-users as valued customers. The MSP partners with venerable and customizable CSPs, who in turn partner with best-of-breed ISVs to deliver tailored backup and disaster recovery solutions.

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What to Look for in your DRaaS MSP

When you shop for disaster recovery-as-a-service, look for these features from your MSP:

  • Partners with a CSP that offers leading disaster recovery services. Your MSP’s CSP partner may offer their own software and/or partner with ISVs. As a customer, you will decide if the DRaaS software offering will suit your needs. Look for industry-leading software and a long track record of successes. For example, MSPs that partner with KeepItSafe cloud services can leverage robust software failover services found in the Veeam Availability Suite, which provides the Veeam Cloud Connect gateway to a secure and ultra-compliant KeepItSafe cloud vault.
  • Failover multiple applications without sacrificing performance. Companies don’t need to immediately failover every application, but they do need to failover critical ones. Your DRaaS should support your RTO and RPO requirements by failing over multiple VMs and applications in under 15 minutes, without serious performance hits. And when the on-premises environment is restored, your service should restore VMs, applications, and data without downtime or interruption. Test and proven data availability strategy such as this help to clarify to your users that they will not have to suffer through complex processes to start using the primary servers again.
  • Security and compliance. Your chosen MSP should partner with a trusted CSP to ensure your aaS leads in digital security and data center security, including secure encryption and privileged user access. Your providers should also be in compliance with security regulations like HIPAA, FINRA, and SEC Compliant, SOX and ISO-certified while adhering to industry governance requirements such as securing personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Customer support. Customers entrust their valuable data to their MSP and ultimately must rely upon the flexibility and reliability of a CSP to deliver custom DRaaS solutions. Your data protection and VM continuous availability cannot be left up to an unresponsive behemoth where you are just a number or even worse a struggling start-up strapped for resources. During an emergency, MSP and customers alike do not want a customer support recording or wait for an email reply in the next morning. DRaaS requires automated failover, immediate alerts, and fast manual failover, and the MSP should be as involved as the customer.

The key takeaway for DRaaS customers: Choose MSPs that demonstrate business longevity; have an itemized list of services ranging from essential backup to comprehensive application failover; and who partner with a CSP like KeepItSafe that offers DRaaS cloud availability.


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