Smart business leaders have come to realize that an inability to access their data -
or worse, permanent data loss - would be extremely detrimental to their operations,
customer relationships, and revenue-generating capabilities. And as the reach and
impact of your network has expanded, the amount of damage an outage or cyberattack can
cause has as well; an outage can bar your enterprise from accessing your servers,
data, operating systems, applications, network configurations, and more.
However, ensuring continual network accessibility, even if disaster should strike, is often a costly, labor-intensive, and
time-consuming process. The cloud era ushered in a new way to solve the network
accessibility and data loss prevention problem: Disaster Recovery as a Service
This service eliminates the need for a business to invest in infrastructure to store
data backups in off-site servers or data centers. Instead, DRaaS providers leverage
cloud solutions to back up data, store it securely, prioritize it, and manage it so
that it’s accessible when users need it.
Most business leaders think through what an appropriate response to a disaster would
be and put plans and processes in place so their teams would be prepared. The idea of
a fire, flood, tornado or other natural disaster could cause sleepless nights if there
wasn’t a plan for how the business could recover vital data and continue operations in
a temporary or new location.
However, in 2020, businesses expanded their view of the types of disasters that could
interfere with their ability to operate. The coronavirus pandemic forced the closure
of many physical facilities and offices – and those with on-premises infrastructure
and applications experienced an immediate interruption when remote teams had to find
ways to access the information they needed to do their jobs.
The pandemic also ignited more cyberattack activity, including ransomware that locked systems and demanded payment to release them.
Ransomware can be costly. The average cost of an attack is about $80,000 (and we’ve
seen it cost as high as $2.0 million) – but with DRaaS, a ransomware victim can repair
their system and recover their latest data backup, avoiding ransom and minimizing
Employees can also be the epicenter of a disaster. Unknowingly, or sometimes
deliberately, they can delete or corrupt vital data. DRaaS is the key to restoring it,
even after it’s exceeded the time that Microsoft Office 365 or other platform
guarantees its availability.
As you can see, disasters can happen for a multitude of reasons. In the event of a
disaster, your team will be under immense pressure already, so choosing your DRaaS
partner wisely is paramount to your enterprise’s ability to navigate an unforeseen
Define your DRaaS: RTO and RPO
A key component of your DRaaS strategy is defining your enterprise’s recovery time
objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO).
RTO is the maximum amount of time that an application may be unavailable to an
organization during an outage. In other words, this is how quickly your DRaaS provider
will be able to stand up your network infrastructure so it can take over the needs of
the production environment. RTO is typically measured in minutes.
RPO is a measurement of the actual period of data loss that a company is willing to
experience during a disaster event. RPO often correlates to RTO, but typically does
not match it exactly. Options could span from your DRaaS provider running a backup
every 30 minutes, to constant, real time network and data replication. RPO is
typically measured in seconds.
With both RTO and RPO, lower numbers are better but are also more expensive. This
means that determining your RTO/RPO threshold with your DRaaS provider is a business
decision, not a technical one. Your enterprise will need to assess your RTO and RPO
goals and the resulting costs, then identify compromises and align them to business
expectations and budget.
Less Downtime, Less Loss
Many industries grind to a complete halt without access to their network, data, and
applications. For example, a call center’s UCaaS system, enterprise resource planning
system data for manufacturing operations, or payment portals integral to an e-commerce
business. If your business falls into this category, time without a functioning
network is time without revenue.
Obviously, the costs of downtime will vary from business to business, but you can use
a basic formula to determine the impact a disruption to operations would have on your
It’s also smart to consider the ripple effect of negative impacts a business
disruption can start, such as harm to your brand reputation, lost customers, and lost
Although DRaaS doesn’t eliminate downtime completely, it can help you recover from an
outage sooner, getting your team back to work, restoring productivity and keeping
Staying Connected to DRaaS
One of the most vital parts of a disaster recovery strategy when using DRaaS is your
network. You need a reliable path for your systems to share network data with the
DRaaS solution for backup and storage. If your network isn’t robust enough to support
the increased volume of traffic, especially if you have a short recovery point of
objective (RPO) and intend to back up frequently, you may not have access to all of
the data you’re counting on. Your network provider also needs to ensure minimal packet
loss — you need to get every megabit of data to the DRaaS provider for secure backup
After a turbulent 2020, everyone is more aware of the fact that circumstances can
change on a dime. And if you’re a business leader, you need to ensure data is always
available and accessible, come what may. DRaaS provides the flexibility and confidence
you need to stay operational — and competitive — when disaster strikes.
to learn more about DRaaS and see if your network can adequately support your DRaaS