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DR as a service advantages include cost, assistance, testing

This two-part video series explores the advantages and pain points of disaster recovery as a service. In part one, analyst George Crump details the positives. Part two will provide areas to watch when implementing a cloud disaster recovery system.

The changing nature of disaster recovery has pushed the option of cloud-based DR to the forefront for many organizations.

George Crump, founder of analyst firm Storage Switzerland, said that while there are some challenges to DR as a service, he is generally very positive about the technology.

"User expectations are higher than ever," Crump said during his cloud DR presentation at the Storage Decisions 2016 conference in Chicago.

Users often don't differentiate between types of disasters anymore, he noted. And events can range from a site disaster to a user error.

"We're also seeing an application explosion," Crump said. "The problem with more and more apps is that the expectation for recovery and the criticality becomes increased, as well."

In addition, there's an overall surge in unstructured data.

With DR as a service, data is backed up or replicated to the cloud, Crump said. If there is a disaster, the data and applications are restored in the provider's cloud and hosted there until the primary data center is back online.

One of the major advantages with DR as a service is cost, as disaster recovery can get very expensive.

"DR costs will be driven down, typically pretty significantly here," Crump said. But he cautioned that, over time, and with increased capacity, costs in the cloud can skyrocket.

Other benefits of DR as a service include the following:

  • The organization does not have to equip a secondary site.
  • IT does not have to go to a secondary site to complete a recovery.
  • The provider may be able to assist with the recovery.
  • It is generally easy to test.

In the video above, hear the details about how these advantages can make life easier for your organization.

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Transcript - DR as a service advantages include cost, assistance, testing

Editor's note: The following is a transcript of a video clip from George Crump's presentation, "The hidden gotchas of cloud-based disaster recovery and how to fix them," at Storage Decisions 2016 in Chicago. The transcript has been edited for clarity.

The No. 1 advantage is you don't have to pay for a secondary site. DR as a service is as you need it. Most of you will not get hit by a disaster today, tomorrow, this year or next year. You have it there just in case.

This is an ideal use case to rent something. When I go to San Jose, I rent a car because I don't want to pay for a car in California. I live in Fort Worth, Texas, where I own my car, because I'm going to use it all the time.

You don't have to equip the secondary site. Probably 15 or 20 years ago, we set up a DR site for a large waste disposal company. It had a mirror image of its Houston primary data center in Austin. Literally any bolt that changed in the primary was changed in the secondary. It was awesome for us because we were the integrator, and we basically got to sell two of everything all the time. Most people can't afford that.

You don't have to go to the secondary site to execute a recovery.

The biggest challenge we tend to have in most disasters is you. You have the audacity to go check your family and pets before you'll take care of the corporate data center.

The provider may assist with the recovery process. You may not want them to help you through it. For example, if you have sensitive data, if you're in healthcare, for them to help you with recovery means they have access to it, which means you're probably in violation of something.

DR as a service is also relatively easy to test. Testing the environment is straightforward. Again, you don't have to go anywhere. Most providers will allow you X number of tests a year.

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