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There are numerous myths and misconceptions about disaster recovery as a service, also referred to as DR in the cloud. Two of the most common ones are:
- DRaaS is completely unreliable.
- Failing over to the cloud is a totally seamless process.
The truth actually falls somewhere in the middle.
Myth 1: Is DRaaS unreliable?
There is an element of truth in this cloud recovery service myth, because DRaaS was somewhat unreliable a few years ago. Bandwidth limitations made failing over to the cloud impractical. There were also many technical issues, ranging from operating systems and applications not licensed for cloud use, to problems with IP address assignment. Virtual machines typically had to receive a new IP address to function in the cloud subnet, and domain name system records had to be updated to reflect the change.
Myth 2: Is failing over to the cloud a seamless process?
While a cloud recovery service is moving toward becoming a completely seamless process, it's not quite there. Failing over to the cloud is not the seemingly unsurmountable challenge it once was because of improvements to licensing, bandwidth, replication technologies and virtual networking. Even so, making cloud-based DR work isn't always easy due to bandwidth constraints, limitations of dissimilar hardware and the complexity of the configuration process.
Large cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, now support DRaaS, making it more practical. Not that long ago, organizations that wanted to fail over to the cloud had to subscribe to a dedicated cloud recovery service provider or take a do-it-yourself approach to the process. With major cloud service providers offering DRaaS, organizations wishing to use the cloud for disaster recovery now have the advantage of supportability. DRaaS is now officially sanctioned by the provider, and most offer customers help in setting up and using the technology. Furthermore, cloud service providers may offer extensive documentation and a wizard-driven interface that is specifically designed to make it easier to configure DRaaS.
Organizations that want to use a cloud recovery service still have to deal with issues, such as replication and bandwidth management. The replication process can be prohibitively slow if the available bandwidth is inadequate. Bandwidth management technologies, such as quality of service, may be needed to prevent the replication process from saturating the WAN link.
Some workloads will not work in the cloud due to hardware requirements or sensitivity to latency. In addition, some software vendors will not allow their products to be run in the cloud. Still, the process is easier than it once was.
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