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When should you choose a premium disaster recovery as a service provider?

Expert Brien Posey explains when it makes sense to go with a premium disaster recovery as a service provider, like Google or Amazon.

Organizations that want to back up data to the cloud for disaster recovery have a number of choices when it comes...

to providers. They might choose to go with a large disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) provider such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google, or opt for a smaller, less expensive option.

While the idea of saving money is always appealing, there are features larger providers offer that smaller ones may not. For example, some backup software and appliances offer native connectivity to Amazon storage. So if you want to continue to use your current backup software, a premium DRaaS provider may be your best option.

A larger disaster recovery as a service provider may also allow you to select the region in which your data is stored. While some smaller providers may do the same, they are unlikely to provide as many choices. And if the smaller cloud disaster recovery provider is in the same geographic region as your organization, it could be affected by the same disaster event (such as a hurricane or flood).

Another factor to consider is the number of clients a provider may have within a region. If there are too many, the organization may not have the technology and human resources necessary to get your applications back online within a reasonable timeframe. While many small providers can respond to day-to-day issues without a problem, they may be unable to handle the increased volume of recovery requests in the event of a widespread event.

A larger disaster recovery as a service provider may also allow you to select the region in which your data is stored.

If you need to adhere to a strict cloud service-level agreement (SLA), a large DRaaS provider will most likely extend a financially backed SLA. Although a majority of smaller providers also offer SLAs, they might not guarantee as high a level of availability.

However, smaller providers are a good choice for organizations with a limited budget for disaster recovery in the cloud. Larger providers charge customers not only for the storage they consume each month, but also for bandwidth and the storage I/O generated by backup and restore operations. These costs can quickly add up.

Smaller providers also tend to be less expensive, and may even offer flat-rate pricing and other flexible disaster recovery as a service options. The trade-off is that they tend not to use super-high-end hardware, so backup and restore operations may take longer to complete. Finally, smaller cloud providers may be more likely to manage parts of the process for you or offer day-to-day assistance in ensuring that your backups are performed correctly. For small organizations lacking in-house IT expertise, this can be an important consideration.

Next Steps

Brush up on your DRaaS terminology

The pros and cons of cloud-based DR

Providing disaster recovery as a service to the masses

This was last published in April 2015

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What matters most to you when evaluating disaster recovery as a service providers?
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For us, the ability to get back up and running quickly is the primary concern, so I'd be happy with a slightly slower recovery but with more complete information than a faster one with greater chance of data loss.
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