If a disaster occurred or your system was locked by malware, could you survive without your data and applications? While some businesses can, many rely heavily on connected data systems for even the simplest of tasks. Before you select a backup or disaster recovery solution, consider your business’ unique needs.
Below, we’ll cover some of the important factors to consider as you decide whether disaster recovery or backup is right for your business.
Every Business Needs an IT Disaster Plan
A data loss or disruption can occur because of a natural disaster, human error, malicious activity, or other causes. It can damage your reputation, cause client attrition, and lead to unnecessary delays and expenses. As you make your business disaster plan, you’ll discover a wide variety of backup as a service (BaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solutions. But which one is right for your business?
Before you evaluate your options, it’s important to understand some basic IT concepts:
- Data: sets of quantities, characters, or symbols that, when put into context by an application, provide information to a user or computer
- Infrastructure: the hardware, applications, and internet systems that give you access to your data
- Recovery point objective (RPO): in simple terms, this is the amount of time your business can operate at acceptable levels if all data were lost during that period. It could be expressed in seconds, minutes, hours, or even days, depending on your specific needs. For example, banks will likely have an RPO that is very short.
- Recovery time objective (RTO): the time it takes to get back to normal operations from an outage or failure. This doesn’t just involve the time it takes your IT team to fix the problem. It should also take into account the time between the first user or customer being affected and your IT team discovering the issue.
As you evaluate BaaS and DRaaS solutions, you should consider your business’ needs and weigh the cost-benefit of each system’s scope, RPO, and RTO.
Backup as a Service: A Limited Solution
Many businesses are attracted to backup as a service (BaaS) because it typically costs less up front and offers some basic data protection. However, there are limits to its effectiveness. With BaaS, selected data is backed up on an off-site system. These systems take scheduled snapshots of your data and intermittently upload it to a remote server or cloud-based service. You can choose how much data you want to protect in the backup.
However, BaaS will not protect your infrastructure. It only stores your designated data, not the tools you need to use and process that data. If a disaster occurs, your team, not your BaaS service, will be responsible for rebuilding your IT infrastructure. This can take hours or even days to complete.
Additionally, BaaS systems typically do not offer real-time backups. If your data and applications change frequently, you might lose information during a disruption.
Disaster Recovery as a Service: Comprehensive Protection of Your Data and Infrastructure
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) offers more than just data backup. DRaaS replicates your entire server off-site by creating a “bare metal” replica that includes your data and applications as well as the operating system and its boot partition. If a disaster happens, your DRaaS provider will simply create new virtual machines (VMs) from the “bare metal” image and give you remote access to their contents.
These systems protect both your data and your infrastructure, allowing for much quicker recovery times. In fact, with Stratus Innovations Group, you can be up and running in less than 15 minutes after a major IT disaster.
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Additionally, most DRaaS systems perform nearly continuous replication. While there is always some lag time, DRaaS systems will typically give you a significantly more recent RPO and ensure access to your most up-to-date information.
Stratus Innovations Group’s DRaaS for VMware, Hyper-V, and physical systems continuously monitors the health of your servers and can quickly respond to a system failure. Our solutions can typically complete a failover in as little as five minutes.
Should I Choose BaaS or DRaaS?
Every business has different needs and priorities. While DRaaS offers comprehensive protection for your data and infrastructure, it does come at a higher price than a bare-bone BaaS solution. However, a “cheap” BaaS system might not meet your needs — and you might not find out until an actual disaster strikes.
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Before you select a business continuity solution, honestly assess your operations and needs. Your cost-benefit analysis should evaluate:
- How frequently your data changes: Stratus Innovations Group’s DRaaS solutions update your data and applications in almost real time, assuring that you have the most up-to-date information on the cloud. Most BaaS systems back up your data only once a day.
- How quickly you’ll need to access your data: some companies don’t rely as heavily on their computer data. If you infrequently access your databases and digital information, a slower BaaS solution might be sufficient for your organization. However, if extended downtime would seriously damage your business, consider DRaaS.
- Your in-house IT team: do you have the resources and knowledge to quickly rebuild your IT infrastructure? If you have a very simple IT system and the expert staff necessary to rebuild, BaaS might work for you. If you would need extensive help with an infrastructure rebuild, consider DRaaS.
Make sure you consider all the potential costs associated with restoring your servers, data, and other essential IT after a disaster. How long can you survive without your electronic data and applications? How would you communicate with your clients and co-workers, complete orders, or deliver services?
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You can also choose a hybrid approach to business continuity. While some servers and data might be worth protecting in their entirety, you might have less valuable or less time-critical data as well. At Stratus Innovations Group, we help our clients assess their IT systems and build practical continuity plans that reflect their unique strategic and financial priorities.
Stratus Innovations Group: Practical, Cost-Effective DRaaS and Business Continuity Solutions
Stratus Innovations Group creates and implements comprehensive business continuity solutions for its clients. Our DRaaS for VMware and Hyper-V and virtual datacenter solutions can help protect your mission-critical information and operations. To learn more about how our cloud-based systems can save your business time and money, complete our online form or call us at 844-561-6721.