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DRaaS or DIY, which DR solution is right for you?

Are you trying to determine which route is best for your organization when it comes to Disaster Recovery? Chances are you have evaluated a variety of solutions available in the market and it really comes down deciding which direction is better for your organization:

  1. Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) OR
  2. DIY Disaster Recovery solution

Each option has its own benefits and challenges, coming to a decision depends on budget, skill set and business objectives.  Let’s take a closer look at both DRaaS and DIY DR.

DRaaS is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. A true DRaaS solution should include the following:

  • Assessment of your environment to determine workload protection groups
  • Replication to a second site (cloud)
  • A complete runbook for your recovery operations, including documented detailed recovery procedures
  • Testing to ensure the plan works according to the RTO and RPO your organization has set

So, what are the benefits of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service?

  • Cost savings

    • No huge upfront costs, unlike DIY DR (hardware, licensing, colo)
    • A more manageable monthly payment
  • Professional and managed services provided by a team of experts to ensure the best solution for your organization
  • Recovery is fast and automated
  • Depending on your choice of vendor, pay for only what you use in a DR event (eliminate unused capacity)*

Are there challenges that come with selecting DRaaS as your solution?

  • Data transfer costs (egress fees) – but that’s only if a disaster takes place
  • Clarifying SLA’s – make sure that you clearly communicate your RPO and RTO with your provider and understand whether or not it matches up with their SLA

DIY Disaster Recovery is taking on all of the responsibilities that are part of building, implementing, and maintaining a DR solution. It involves building and maintaining a separate datacenter so you have a copy of your data stored in the event of a disaster. It is often argued that benefits of going the DIY route include:

  • Owning all the expertise, equipment and tools necessary
  • Not having to rely on an outside organization for DR

If you take this approach then you must embrace these challenges:

  • Document the entire process and communicate it to key stakeholders so that the organization knows what to do if an incident occurs
  • Monitor 24/7 and account for any changes in your environment that may happen in the future (ie. capacity)
  • Ensure compliance is met per the guidelines of your industry or organization, and keep it updated
  • Test regularly and ensure you can execute a recovery in order to meet RTO and RPO standards of your organization
  • Have the appropriate employees who possess the skill sets needed to carry out the DIY solution in the event that you need to recover your data

A common misconception of DIY DR is that you’ll save money because you aren’t paying someone else to take care of it for you. However, when you consider all of the unused capacity in a DIY solution, the cost to set up, maintain and test everything yourself, it may end up costing you more money instead of saving you money. Keep in mind that with a DIY approach you also sacrifice scalability and flexibility.

What if you could get an affordable DR service that recovers into VMware Cloud on AWS and is highly scalable? With Faction’s Hybrid Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (HDRaaS), you can do just that.


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