Many CIOs want to keep core systems running in-house. Yet there are serious problems with this strategy. Most catastrophic failures trace not to natural disaster but to administrator error.
Protecting core systems can be complex and expensive. Most businesses cannot provide for themselves the required remote data centers, special expertise, and recovery software/hardware systems. More and more executives are turning to Cloud infrastructure as a cost-effective and reliable option for disaster recovery protection.
Conventional disaster recovery systems protect either at the level of IT infrastructure (servers and storage) or at the level of individual software applications. Both approaches have key shortcomings.
Systems that protect at the level of IT infrastructure do so by replicating disk changes to a remote site they have little or no ability to protect active business processes. Often they require manual intervention and can have long delays to re-configure and restart these processes after failure. They also have considerable difficulty restoring operations to the original production site after failure conditions are resolved.
DR schemes that protect at the level of individual software applications (Web Servers or databases) do not scale well to protect an entire enterprise data center, or, for that matter, multiple enterprise data centers. These application-level disaster recovery solutions are sensitive to the operating systems of protected VMs and usually require peered live applications running in the recovery site. These inherent limitations of scope make these solutions ill-suited to general recovery services.
Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is a new strategy for addressing your critical workloads. A business can continue to run production IT systems in its own data center during normal operations, but also have the freedom to spin-up an exact replica data center in the Cloud as the need arises.
Advantages to the business include:
- Leveraging the specialized operational expertise of a leading cloud infrastructure provider.
- Gaining a recovery data center with all the security and reliability from a top-tier cloud provider.
- Operationalizing the infrastructure costs it would incur with a homegrown disaster recovery solution.
- Adopting the flexible, pay-as-you-go public cloud model.
- Regular external testing of its disaster recovery plans
How It Works
IT Managers can protect both physical and virtual servers along with their associated data drives. When protected servers are physical, they are protected by virtual replicas in the Cloud. Also, when protected systems have inter-dependencies and must be recovered at a single instant in time and with a specified recovery plan, they can be configured into Protection Groups. Every active Protection Group within the production site has a remote replica within the Cloud. The VMs within the replica Protection Groups are "paused" under normal operating conditions which means that they are powered off, and therefore not consuming memory or CPU and related cost.