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If a large-scale regional disaster were to occur, cloud-based disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) providers would become very busy. A significant portion of a provider's customers would most likely be competing for cloud-based compute resources. However, a DRaaS provider's own capabilities could be impacted by the same disaster. So how can you guarantee DRaaS providers will be able to meet your needs in the event of a large-scale disaster?
Even if the disaster does not directly affect the provider, you may have trouble gaining access to the resources you need. Many cloud providers are oversubscribed, which means they do not have the hardware necessary to accommodate the workload generated if all of their customers failed over at the same time.
- Choose a provider with geographically dispersed data centers. DRaaS providers should be able to shift workloads to a region that remains unaffected by the disaster.
- Insist on a financially backed service-level agreement. A provider is more likely to take its commitment to use seriously if it stands to lose money for failing to deliver the promised level of service.
- Insist on dedicated hardware. Some cloud providers allow customers to reserve hardware solely for their own use. This is done primarily to ensure data privacy, but it can work in disaster recovery situations. Unfortunately, this does undermine some of the economic benefits of using the cloud, but having access to dedicated hardware greatly improves your odds of being able to fail over to the cloud during a large-scale disaster.
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