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    May 20, 2021

    DRaaS Keeps Business Running Despite Disasters

    Your business operations may be at risk if your data and applications live in on-site servers.

    We’ve seen a variety of disasters over the last 18 months cause complete shutdowns for companies - whether caused by the pandemic, forest fire evacuations or sustained power outages from other natural disasters. But adopting a Cloud solution such as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can secure your operations and keep your business going in these times of disaster or disruption.

    Kevin Armstrong, Enterprise Strategy Leader at Enavate, tells a story about a customer who went through a devastating hurricane without DRaaS to support business continuity:

    "We had a customer several years ago who was in South Florida and I was talking to them about moving to the Cloud. I flew down to visit them and they said, 'Look at our brand-new generator!' And it was massive. It was pretty impressive. They told me the generator was their strategy. That was how they were going to make sure they had an uptime guarantee because it was critical from cradle to grave that they had visibility to their inventory. 

    Fast forward a couple of months. I get a call in the middle of the day. The IT director is on the other end of the line. I said, 'Hey, how are you?' And he's like, "Kevin, I need help.'

    I'm like, "OK, you sound like you're in the car. Are you OK? And do I need to send bail?'

    He said, 'I'm in the car and I'm driving up to Orlando. The hurricane that just came through wiped out our area. I've got the servers in the car and I'm driving up there because we have no power. I'm going to go check into a hotel and plug them in. That's how we're going to run our servers.'

    I said, 'What happened to the generator?'

    He paused for about 10 seconds and said, 'It's underwater. It's not working.'

    They spent half a million dollars on a generator they thought was going to run the entire enterprise, not just the data, not just an ERP, everything. But it ended up being damaged badly, being flooded, and it didn't work." 

    With DRaaS, you can retain access to critical applications and are empowered to communicate and provide your services even as your servers are compromised or inaccessible.

    What is Disaster Recovery as a Service?

    DRaaS is the creation and management of a Cloud backup of your entire IT infrastructure and environment so that, if you experience disruption like a natural disaster or hardware failure, you can continue operations and get back to full capabilities swiftly. It’s an essential component of any business’ disaster recovery plan.

    DRaaS typically is the lowest entry to embracing Cloud. It's where a lot of people start. They’re not ready to take everything and place it in Azure or on our virtual private Cloud, but they know they need to have a plan in case something falls apart on their side of the equation.

    Primarily, when we talk about DRaaS, we’re talking about ERP systems and mission-critical business applications and data. With DRaaS, you can keep these essential functions operational and secure, accessing them through the Cloud while you and your provider work to return your systems to normal.

    It’s not just natural disasters and environmental issues that can disrupt and arrest your operations. Common causes of disruption include:

    • Cyberattacks and data breaches
    • Malfunction or failure of hardware and/or software
    • Loss of power
    • Human error

    A common misconception for businesses is that they’re making the safer choice when they keep mission-critical applications on-premises. However, you’re better off with DRaaS and a Cloud backup than risk supporting your essential business functions solely on-premises. Disasters happen, from serious HVAC leaks that pour onto your servers to ransomware attacks to major hurricanes flooding your entire building. It pays to be ready.

    Russ Riley, Enavate's Director of Cloud Services recounts, “I get a call from one of our customers and he’s like, ‘We’ve got a problem. They just backed up the HVAC and the water pooled right over our server room and dumped on top of everything.’ I went, ‘Do you have any backups?’ He goes, ‘The backups are in the same room.'"

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    What are the Risks of Operating Without DRaaS?

    If you don’t have DRaaS in place and your systems are rendered unusable or inaccessible, you face substantial risks. You could end up unable to access essential functions, and you’re fightingand payingto get your data out of your environment and into a Cloud platform in a hurry so you can get up and running. In the meantime, depending on your industry, you also risk:

    • Loss of critical data
    • Loss of access and usability of critical business applications
    • Loss of essential e-commerce function
    • Loss of uptime and associated costs
    • Partial to complete inability to conduct business or provide essential services
    • Loss of security around sensitive data, potentially affecting industry-specific compliance requirements
    • Loss of physical access to servers and essential components within a disaster area
    • Inability to meet regulations around traceability for regulated items, leading to waste, cost and potential penalties
    • Potential inability to recover entire business post-disaster

    “There’s risk around indecision, playing it safeand keeping it in your environment when, in reality, it’s not safe at all,” Armstrong said.

    Think about the last year. We’ve had a global pandemic. We’ve had the stock market go up and down. We’ve had a presidential election that was a mess. The economy’s been challenging. We’ve had multiple natural disasters. I’m not sure if locusts or frogs are next.”

    What are the Benefits of DRaaS?

    With DRaaS in place, you:

    • Ensure business continuity should servers be inaccessible as you’ll be able to access your critical applications from anywhere.
    • Gain the ability for a quick and smooth recovery. Speed is vital when it comes to the downtime and risks you face during disruption and disaster.
    • Save on the cost of managing disaster recovery on your own due to the structure of the service.
    • Outsource disaster recovery and data management to professionals, securing more significant results and avoiding risk in the process.

    Key Considerations for DRaaS

    When you approach DRaaS as part of your disaster recovery and business continuity plan, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • It doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing prospect. You can choose how many applications you move and protect with DRaaS. You can secure only your ERP environment in the Cloud to protect it, for example. Your partner can help you determine which applications are critical to back up, considering how a disaster might impact your operations and what your risks are.
    • Timing is everything. How quickly you’re able to recover is pertinent to business continuity. Your disaster recovery plan should outline the details of how you’ll get back up and running and the time period within which you need to do so to reduce loss and risk.
    • You must plan for disaster-related limitations. Your recovery plan should be actionable in the event of an actual disaster. For example, if your disaster plan calls for a dozen individuals to be on-scene to get servers up and running, consider whether that’s feasible if there’s a wildfire or hurricane.

    Without Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), protecting against the loss of mission-critical application data is complicated and time-consuming. Talk with an expert at Enavate today to learn how you can neutralize those threats and support your business continuity into the future.

    Tag(s): cloud

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