Disaster Recovery Readiness: Is DraaS the Answer?

disaster recovery readiness planning
disaster recovery readiness planning

What is disaster recovery as a service (DraaS)?

Disaster Recovery (DR) is a critical component of any organisation’s IT infrastructure and IT operations. As the complexity and volume of data continue to grow, companies are increasingly looking for ways to ensure their data is safe and secure in the event of a disaster.

Disaster recovery as a Service (DraaS) is emerging as an effective way to increase DR readiness and ensure data is secure and accessible in the event of a disaster. DraaS solutions provide cost-effective, cloud-based data protection and recovery services that allow organisations to quickly and easily recover their data and applications in the event of an outage. DraaS solutions also provide organisations with the ability to test their disaster recovery processes on a regular basis in order to ensure they remain effective. With DraaS, organisations can ensure they are prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a disaster.


Why is disaster recovery readiness so important?

How long could your business keep operating without access to its computers and digital data? Naturally, answers will inevitably vary according to industry and business sector. But in an alarming proportion of businesses, the answer is either ‘not at all’, or ‘only in a rudimentary manner’, answering the phone to ask callers to try again later, say. New business, in short, can’t be booked. Existing customers can’t be served. The stark reality is that in the modern world, business activity is tied extremely closely to reliable access to businesses’ digital data.

Disaster recovery readiness is important. It matters. Disasters in the form of earthquakes, hurricanes and armed conflicts, we see these in the news, regularly, causing disruption to any businesses in harm’s way. But disasters also come in the form of less dramatic IT disruption, sometimes from floods and fires affecting data centres or on-site servers, sometimes from infrastructure failings, and sometimes from malicious attacks, simple accidents, configuration errors, or user actions.

And whatever the cause, it’s tempting to think that these are things that will always impact other businesses, somewhere else. Tempting, but mistaken: wishful thinking is no protection. Disasters do happen, and in their aftermath, a significant proportion of businesses are so badly affected that they ultimately permanently close.

Always stay one step ahead of disaster
with Aspire's disaster recovery service

Always stay one step ahead of disaster
with Aspire's disaster recovery service

Ensuring access to your data

Disaster recovery readiness is about possessing the resilience to maintain reliable access to the business’s digital data, whatever happens. In the case of extreme disruption, flood or fire, and so on, office space can be borrowed, or rented at short notice. Telephone access can be improvised, and replacement computers acquired. The speed with which business activity migrated to employees’ homes during the Covid-19 pandemic is proof of that. But office space, phones, and computers are of little use without access to the business’s underlying digital data.

So how best to maintain that access, come what may? It’s tempting, but again, mistaken, to assume that the era of the Cloud makes things easier. After all, the Cloud is always backed up, right?

Not always, though. And the key problem isn’t so much data backup, as data access. Increasingly, businesses have to maintain connections to multiple Clouds: the Cloud provider hosting the ERP system, for instance, the Cloud provider, think Salesforce, hosting the CRM system, as well as the data storage and remote servers running on Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure, and various niche Cloud-hosted industry-specific applications. And multiple data sources mean multiple connections and mounting complexity.

Cloud-based data is only part of the challenge, though. Pure-Cloud businesses, in which everything resides in the Cloud, certainly exist, but they’re relatively rare. It’s unlikely, for instance, that your business is one of them: most businesses are hybrid, part Cloud, and part on-premise. In short, in the event of a disaster, you’ll probably need to build connections to Cloud-based service providers, as well as to backed up on-premise data.


Creating a robust disaster recovery plan

According to Gartner, on average, network downtime costs around £5,000 per minute. However, a recent report found that a quarter of businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place. Of those who do, more than half don’t test it regularly, and a third had never tested it at all.

The bottom line is simple: should a disaster happen, it’s vital to regain access to the business’s data as quickly as possible. Quite literally, every second counts. And clearly, such a scenario is no time to start making it up as you go along, rebuilding data access ‘on the fly’.

That’s why it is important for businesses to possess a digital disaster recovery plan, a pre-written plan of campaign to reduce downtime and speed up recovery when disaster strikes.

What exactly should a digital disaster recovery plan embrace?

What does a disaster recovery plan include?

  • Risk assessment and analysis: where and how is your digital data at risk?
  • Security policy: working to create and enforce a policy for securing digital data, and minimising the hazards it faces.
  • Backup strategy and implementation: developing a strategy for regularly backing up digital assets, and ensuring that it is put into practice.
  • Data recovery plan: establishing a plan for recovering data should it become lost or corrupted.
  • Testing and reporting: testing the disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, to make sure that it works.
  • Training: train staff on how to use the disaster recovery plan, and how to respond to a disaster.

Working with a Trusted Provider

“No plan survives contact with the enemy,” goes the saying. And however good your business’s digital disaster recovery plan looks on paper, nagging doubts about its effectiveness in practice are very understandable.

When disaster strikes, will the business rise to the occasion? Will the plan work as envisaged?

One way of securing additional reassurance is to work with a trusted disaster recovery partner, such as Aspire Technology Solutions.

Aspire Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a fully-managed solution that allows replication of your business critical workloads between your on premise servers and Aspire’s Tier 3 data centres, located throughout the UK.

Experienced technical consultants will work with you to understand your environment and requirements, and advise you on the best approach for developing an effective disaster recovery solution. So whether you’re protecting on premises systems, or cloud data, your data is protected should the worst happen.


The Real Benefit of Disaster Recovery Readiness

But the benefits of Disaster Recovery as a Service extend beyond simply providing assurance, invaluable though that assurance is.

For instance, with a robust disaster recovery solution in place, from a provider with a proven track record, a business can often expect to pay reduced disaster recovery insurance premiums.

Moreover, compared to implementing your own disaster recovery solution, Disaster Recovery as a Service involves far less capital expenditure.

And finally, the technical complexity and resources that are associated with implementing your own disaster recovery solution are also avoided, leaving your business’s IT department free to focus on supporting the business and developing new capabilities.

Disaster Recovery as a Service: it’s the future of disaster recovery, we think.

Visit our Disaster Recovery as a Service page to learn more about our world-class service. Or contact us directly to request a quote.

Avoid costly downtime and
get back online quickly.

Avoid costly downtime and
get back online quickly.

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Written by:

Avatar photoMark Boothman

See more by Mark Boothman