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Cybersecurity / Enterprise

4 Reasons You Need Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

It’s no secret - today, your enterprise relies on its network and data to function more than ever before. If employees cannot access your network, data, and applications - customers are not served, sales are not finalized, opportunities are missed, and a business does not meet its potential (in some cases, it even goes bankrupt).

Historically, recovering from unanticipated technological SNAFUs was challenging, but the emergence of cloud based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions make it far easier for organizations to protect themselves.

So here’s the 4 Reasons you need DRaaS (if you haven’t already, you should check out our Guide to DRaaS before reading on!).

Four Reasons your Company Needs DRaaS

1. Your Business Relies on Data to Function

This is the most obvious reason you need DRaaS, but worth noting...

How well an enterprise performs depends on its technology infrastructure just as much as its business plan. Nowadays, virtually every corporate activity relies on the company network, software, storage, and servers. Without access to company information and systems, work grinds to a halt. Contact centers cannot service customers; manufacturing operations cannot complete production runs, and retailers do not take merchandise payments.

The volume of information that corporations generate is increasing at a staggering rate. The collective sum of the world’s data will grow from 59 zettabytes (1 Zbyte = 1 trillion Gigabytes) in 2020 to 188ZB by 2024, a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26%, according to International Data Corp. (IDC).

Having a DraaS solution in place ensures that your enterprise will be able to access - not only its data - but also its servers, operating systems, applications, network configurations, and more in the event of an inhibiting event.

2. Downtime is Expensive

The cost of downtime hurts, no matter how large or small a company is. Losses due to downtime can be staggering; a recent example being the 6-hour Facebook outage that took place this past Monday, October 4 - which resulted in an estimated $100 million in lost revenue.

How much an outage costs a company depends on many variables. Network downtime costs are measured in thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per MINUTE. Here’s how to estimate your cost of downtime, if you’re interested.

Companies cannot prevent all of the attacks on their systems, but they do control what safeguards they put into place in order to restore operations adequately and promptly.

Based on your recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO), you can dictate the maximum amount of time that an application may be unavailable during an outage (RTO) as well as how much data loss your organization is willing to tolerate (RPO). As you’d expect, the higher the standards, the higher the cost of the DRaaS solution.

3. Your Network is Geographically Concentrated

Say your business operates out of Washington D.C. and your data center footprint is in Data Center Alley (Ashburn, VA). This is what we’d consider a geographically concentrated network, and one that is at high risk of a disaster causing significant business impact.

Natural disasters can negatively impact digital assets at a moment’s notice. A weather related power outage, a flood, a hurricane, or a severe winter storm can disrupt the energy needed to run your data center and cause an outage. This risk is increasing in scope as the number of U.S. natural disasters has been rising. In fact, 2020 was a record year with more than 30 hurricanes.

It’s unfortunate, but you also must consider the impact a terrorist attack could have on your network. If your data center was hit by an attack, all of your servers, applications, licensing, and data would be completely wiped out.

In both instances, your enterprise would be knocked off its feet without a disaster recovery plan or solution in place.

4. Risk of (Wo)Man-Made Disasters

In addition to natural disasters, corporations experience fallout from manmade disasters - internal or external - as well. In fact, human error is the second most common reason why systems fail, according to 365datacenter.com.

Internally, a misconfiguration or an incorrect data entry by one of your IT professionals could potentially knock the enterprise network and all of its users offline. The recent Facebook outage we mentioned above was assumed to be caused by human error (this Tweet is fake, but funny).

Externally, outsiders are spending an increasing amount of time trying to compromise your business’ digital assets aka cyberattacks. Hybrid work models have increased in popularity and necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but hybrid work models also increase the complexity of securing your corporate endpoints - so with the growth in work-from-home, we’ve also seen an increase in cyberattack attempts. In 2021, cyberattacks are expected to inflict damages totaling $6 trillion globally, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

An adequate DRaaS solution will ensure that your company isn’t caught network-less in the event that your systems are compromised - by an internal or external party.

How to Protect Yourself

Without DRaaS, ensuring continual system backup and accessibility is a costly, labor-intensive, and time-consuming process. Typically, an organization would build a backup data center, constantly replicate their data there, and move to it if a catastrophe occurred. This approach comes with a difficult cost to estimate and a cost often too high to justify.

The cloud ushered in a new way to solve system accessibility problems. DRaaS solutions eliminate the need for a business to invest in infrastructure to store data backups in off-site servers or data centers. Instead, customers ride on top of providers’ services. They enable businesses to back up data and networking protocol, store it securely, prioritize it, and manage it so that it’s accessible if the company needs it.

Because of the benefits, the DRaaS market is set to grow from $40.97 billion in 2021 to $259.44 billion in 2025, a CAGR of 44.65%, according to Technavio Research.

Find the Right DRaaS Partner

Configuring and procuring a DRaaS solution that is right for your enterprise is a nuanced and laborious process. How much failover capacity do you need? Do you need AS/400 DRaaS? How about real time replication? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to understand when procuring a DRaaS solution.

And more importantly, what will your DRaaS environment cost you if it ever needs to go into production? This question is obviously a deciding factor when choosing a DRaaS vendor, but is harder to answer than you’d expect - and it takes multiple calls with different providers before you can get a concrete answer.

That’s why many customers have worked with Lightyear when procuring and implementing their DRaaS solutions. Check out our case study with Roadrunner Freight, a logistics company who recently saved 30% on their DRaaS procurement by working with Lightyear. “Lightyear ultimately saved us 30% on the DRaaS deal - $300k we would have left on the table if we hadn’t worked with Lightyear.”

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