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Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
SureSkills have been successfully providing technical services for over 20-years to a diverse range of organisations spanning Private and Public sector. As a key component of the SureSkills Managed Data Protection (MDP) suite of products, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provides our customers with a scalable and cost-effective way of protecting their business.

Disaster Recovery FAQ

WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT REQUIRES

What is Disaster Recovery (DR)?

Disaster recovery (DR) in a business and IT world consists of plans, technologies and best practices designed to mitigate risk and prevent or minimize loss and business disruption time resulting from a variety of incidents such as; failures and localized power outages to cyberattacks, civil emergencies, criminal or military attacks, and natural disasters. 

Businesses all over the world work hard to develop a reliable, practicable disaster recovery plan so that they have protection from the impact of significantly disruptive events and incidents.

What is Disaster Recovery As A Service?

Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is one of the most important managed IT service offerings available today. A good DRaaS agreement with detail RTOs and RPOs in a service-level agreement (SLA) that outlines your downtime limits and application recovery expectations. 

DRaaS suppliers typically provide cloud-based failover environments. This model offers significant cost savings compared with maintaining redundant dedicated hardware resources in your own data centre. 

Contracts are available in which you pay a fee for maintaining failover capabilities plus the per-use costs of the resources consumed in a disaster recovery situation. Your supplier will typically assume all responsibility for configuring and maintaining the failover environment. 

Why does an organisation need a DR plan?

According to researchers infrastructure failure (your IT or communications systems) can cost as much as €100,000 per hour, and critical application failure costs can range from €500,000 to €1 million per hour. When disaster strikes many businesses cannot recover from such losses and it is reported that over 40% of small businesses will not re-open after experiencing a significant disaster. Disaster recovery planning can dramatically reduce an organisations chances of surviving a disaster.

Many regulated organisations must meet standards set by governments and or regulatory bodies. They must maintain disaster recovery and/or business continuity plans. Failure to comply with regulation (including neglecting to establish and test appropriate data backup systems) can result in significant financial penalties for companies and even for their leadership.

 Having a DR plan in place can save damage to your organisaiton from: 

  • Reputation loss 
  • Out of budget expenses 
  • Data loss 
  • Negative impact on your clients
  • Stress on employees

 

Advantages of DRaaS

DRaaS takes the burden of planning for a disaster off of the organization and puts it into the hands of experts in disaster recovery. This is particularly useful when an organisaiton is runnign a lean IT team. It can also be much more affordable than managing and hosting your own disaster recovery infrastructure in a remote location with an IT staff standing waiting for a disaster to strike. For a wide variety of organisations, DRaaS is the solution to a dreaded problem. 

What is involved in DR planning?

For most businesses and organisations DR planning involves: 

  • Developing a strategy 
  • Planning your responses in the event of a disaster 
  • Deploying appropriate technology 
  • Maintaining Back-up data
  • Continuous testing 

Disaster recovery also involves ensuring that adequate storage and compute is available to maintain robust failover and failback procedures.

Note: Maintaining backups (see our information on Back-up as a Service (BUaaS)) of your data is a critical component of disaster recovery planning, but a backup and recovery process alone does not constitute a disaster recovery plan.

What is Failover?

Failover is the process of offloading workloads to backup systems so that production processes and end-user experiences are disrupted as little as possible.

What is Failback?

Failback involves switching back to the original primary systems.

How should an organisation start DR planning?

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan begins with business impact analysis. When performing this analysis, you’ll create a series of detailed disaster scenarios that can then be used to predict the size and scope of the losses you’d incur if certain business processes were disrupted. What if your sales offices we destroyed by freak weather or if an earthquake struck your headquarters or data centres?

Then, assess the chances and potential consequences of the risks your business faces is also an essential component of disaster recovery planning. For example as cyberattacks and ransomware become more prevalent, it’s critical to understand the general cybersecurity risks that all enterprises confront today as well as the risks that are specific to your industry and geographical location.

Are there different levels of DRaaS?

Full DRaaS mirrors your infrastructure in fail-safe mode on virtual servers, including compute, storage and networking functions. An organization can continue to run applications—it just runs them from the service provider’s cloud or hybrid cloud environment instead of from the disaster-affected physical (or hybrid) servers. This means recovery time after a disaster can be much faster, or even instantaneous. Once the main physical or cloud servers are recovered or replaced, the processing and data is migrated back onto them from the DRaaS. However, due to cost constrainst some organisations may decide only to DRaaS for some of it's key compute, storage and networking functions - the decision should not be taken lightly and comprehensive disaster recovery plan begins with business impact analysis. 

How can is assess DR risk?

In the event of natural disasters, equipment failure, insider threats, sabotage, and employee errors, you’ll want to evaluate your risks and consider the overall impact on your organisation. Ask the following questions: 

  • What financial losses due to missed sales opportunities or disruptions to revenue-generating activities would you incur? 
  • Do we have specific performance goals and SLAs that will be imacted?
  • What kinds of damage would your brand’s reputation undergo? 
  • How would customer satisfaction be impacted? 
  • How would employee productivity be impacted? 
  • How many labour hours might be lost? 
  • What risks might the incident pose to human health or safety? 
  • Would progress towards any business initiatives or goals be impacted?

Is it a good idea to prioritise?

Yes. 

Not all workloads are equally critical to your business’s ability to maintain operations, and downtime is far more tolerable for some applications than it is for others. So separate your systems and applications into three tiers, depending on how long you could stand to have them be down and how serious the consequences of data loss would be. 

  1. Mission-critical: Applications whose functioning is essential to your business’s survival. 
  2. Important: Applications for which you could tolerate relatively short periods of downtime. 
  3. Non-essential: Applications you could temporarily replace with manual processes or do without.

What is a Recovery Strategy?

A recovery strategy for an organisaiton should consider issues such as: 

  • Budget 
  • Resources available (people, facilities, utilities)
  • Management’s position on risk 
  • Technology 
  • Data universe 
  • Suppliers 
  • Third-party vendors 

The organisations senior management must approve recovery strategies, which should align with organisationals regulatory obligations and business objectives. 

What is a Recovery Time Objective (RTO)?

A recovery time objective (RTO) is the maximum amount of time it should take to restore an application or system functioning following a service disruption. In DR it is important to set objectives. 

By considering your risk and business impact analyses, you should be able to establish objectives for how long you’d need it to take to bring systems back up, how much data you could stand to use, and how much data corruption or deviation you could tolerate.

What is a Recovery Point Objective (RPO)?

Your recovery point objective (RPO) is the maximum age of the data that must be recovered in order for your business to resume regular operations. For some organisations, losing even a few minutes’ worth of data can be catastrophic, while those in other industries may be able to tolerate longer windows. What can you tolerate?

By considering your risk and business impact analyses, you should be able to establish objectives for how long you’d need it to take to bring systems back up, how much data you could stand to use, and how much data corruption or deviation you could tolerate.

What is a Recovery Consistency Objective (RCO)?

A recovery consistency objective (RCO) is established in the service-level agreement (SLA) for continuous data protection services. It is a metric that indicates how many inconsistent entries in business data from recovered processes or systems are tolerable in disaster recovery situations, describing business data integrity across complex application environments.

Tips for choosing technologies?

In the past, most organisations relied on tape and spinning disks (HDD) for backups, maintaining multiple copies of their data and storing at least one at an offsite location. Today always-on digitally transforming world, tape backups in offsite repositories often cannot achieve the RTOs necessary to maintain business-critical operations. Planning the architecture for your disaster recovery solution involves replicating many of the capabilities of your production environment and will require you to incur costs for support staff, administration, facilities, and infrastructure. For this reason, many organizations are turning to companies like SureSkills for cloud-based backup solutions or full-scale Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS).

DRaaS vs. backup as a service (BUaaS)

BaaS is only protecting the data, and not the infrastructure, it is typically less expensive than DRaaS. BaaS can be a good solution for companies that need to archive data or records for legal reasons, but most organizations who use BaaS will want to combine it with another disaster recovery tool to ensure business continuity. Planning for disaster and getting the help you need is something every business needs to consider. Whatever option you choose, a disaster recovery plan is essential for business continuity, and organisations are increasingly turning to DRaaS.
Protecting your business
Cost effective & Scalable
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

This video describes our Managed DRaas Disaster Recovery as a Service, how we can help you avoid data loss, ensure business continuity, recover quicker, lower costs and remain compliant. 

SureSkills DRaaS offers a fully managed solution that maintains your business services in the event of a disaster that causes IT infrastructure downtime.

Our locations

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Dublin D06 VY62, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 240 2222
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Expressway, Austin, TX 78731, USA
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