The cost of DRaaS is principally defined by the quantity of virtual servers you will be running in the cloud, and the volume of storage resources your data will consume. This is likely to be far less than the cost of building and maintaining a physical duplicate of your existing IT environment for disaster recovery purposes, and it makes DRaaS a particularly attractive offering for smaller organizations with relatively modest IT budgets.
Removes DR maintenance overheads
By using DRaaS you pass much of the responsibility for and cost of a disaster recovery environment to your provider. It is still your responsibility to ensure that your provider has up-to-date information about your IT infrastructure and replicated data that is to be protected. Yet you no longer have to worry about maintaining the physical DR infrastructure, including servers and storage, or ensuring that a DR expert is always on hand within your organization to orchestrate a recovery
Almost zero downtime
An existing backup solution may offer a disaster recovery option with a recovery time objective (RTO) measured in hours, but DRaaS offers a viable way to ensure that your operations, and therefore your customers and partners, experience almost no interruption in the event of a disaster
Adds DR capacity
If you already have a DR solution for your mission critical applications, DRaaS can be a useful way to ensure that less important (or new) applications also have disaster recovery coverage.
DRAAS Offerings In-Depth
The key value proposition of any disaster recovery option is that it can get your IT operations up and running again in the event of a disaster with the minimum interruption, so quick recovery is extremely important. However, data replication technology is now so effective that an RTO measured in minutes or seconds in now effectively a commodity that all DRaaS providers can offer.
Key DRaaS differentiators which may be important to your company include
The easy part of DRaaS is recovering IT infrastructure in a virtualized environment, but the far harder part is ensuring that your applications are up and running, interdependencies are functioning correctly, databases are consistent, and DNS records have been updated. An orchestration layer can handle some or all of these tasks for you automatically to ensure that the recovered IT infrastructure runs correctly.
At the most basic level, some DRaaS providers allow you more recovery exercises per year than others, and also allow more time per exercise. Some will enable you to test different failure scenarios to ensure that all failure possibilities are covered, to check that changes to your in-house infrastructure do not cause recovery problems, and to produce results data that can be shared with customers or provided to auditors for compliance purposes.
Level of security infrastructure
If our operations are switched to a DRaaS provider, at least the same level of security coverage is required as if the operations were still running in-house. Although cloud providers generally offer excellent physical security around their facilities, the same may not be true for data security and the availability of specific security functionality (for example functionality supplied in-house by a specific security appliance such as a firewall.)
Some providers may offer additional security services such as vulnerability scanning your infrastructure in the cloud on a regular basis, which can be a useful way to do this without impacting your production environment
Operating system support
Some DRaaS providers offer support for a limited number of operating systems and databases. For example, if your organization has legacy applications running on Windows Server 2008 (or older) or some versions of Linux, then you may have to look harder to find a suitable DRaaS provider.
Level of support
DRaaS offerings come in three broad types: self-service, semi-managed, and managed. Self-service offerings include the tools required to build a disaster recovery plan yourself, while semi-managed offerings also include some assistance from the provider's (or outside) DRaaS consultants. Fully managed services offer a completely tailored disaster recovery service which is built, managed and maintained for you by the provider
As part of a DRaaS offering, service providers give customers access to a management console where they can check their recovery readiness status, review results of recovery tests, initiate failovers, and monitor other disaster recovery parameters. All of this should be covered in your DR Service Level Agreement (SLA)