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Is RaaS a Fancy Term for Disaster Recovery?

And how does it compare to Backup-as-as-Service?

Recovery-as-a-Service, or "RaaS", is the latest disaster recovery solution. Cloud-based RaaS allows organizations to recover their IT resources efficiently and effectively when an adverse situation strikes.

When compared to traditional disaster recovery solutions, RaaS is more easily tested, and offers more flexibility. Thanks to the economics of cloud computing, RaaS can offer comparable RTO and RPOs to warm-site DR solutions at nearly half the relative cost; while it matches cold-site costs but bests comparable RTO and RPOs by almost a full day.

The key difference between RaaS and other legacy solutions isn't in the price or recovery time, rather it's in the way the technology functions. RaaS focuses on recovering the whole application, not just data. This allows companies to recover faster and more effectively after a declaration.

So RaaS is the latest in DR technology, but how does it compare to Backup-as-as-Service?

Because Recovery-as-a-Service is so new, it's common for the marketplace to lump it in with backups or Backups-as-a-Service (BaaS). BaaS can be an important tool in a customer's recovery arsenal, but traditionally it has been used to protect and recover data only as there has not been a way to turn on the backup in the cloud. Getting back to normal can take days and weeks if you're putting the application back together on your own or restoring from the cloud at WAN speeds. You have the parts, but you're acting as your own engineer. Plus, because backups don't run continuously, you could lose hours or days of data between when the disruption occurs and when the backups can be restarted.

Recovery-as-a-Service, however, is typically provided by a third party. This allows for a rapid expansion of the manpower your team needs to recover, and because the application is holistically protected as one item, there's no assembly required. If a disaster hits, you may not be able to get to your backup tapes, let alone the location where you plan to piece them back together. RaaS takes the uncertainty out of the mix.

Replication for RaaS is near instantaneous allowing RTOs and RPOs of seconds and minutes, not hours or days. That means the impact on your business is lessened. The difference between backups and RaaS should be measured in real time and money for your application's downtime.

RaaS provides everything you need to effectively replicate your production workloads hosted in the public cloud using the most advanced replication technologies. The required software is not an agent. It is simple to understand and easy to install with no required reboots. No assembly or maintenance of complex software and infrastructure technology is required, so you can focus on the projects that would otherwise get pushed to the side if your team were managing its own replication environment. At this point you might be thinking, how is this going to break the barrier my company has faced when adopting a recovery service?

In the past, cost, time and effectiveness were the major barriers companies faced when choosing to implement a DR solution. If a company chose to move forward with DR, it was often done with little confidence that recovery would be possible in the event of a disaster. By working with a cloud provider for your cloud-based recovery you also have the benefit of being able to refocus your staff on its primary goals and projects while your provider works through the initial setup. This allows your team to be more productive, while protecting themselves for the future.

In order for recovery to be successful, choose a solution that is testable, proven and cost-effective. Compare the services of other DR solutions to really evaluate which solution would be best for your applications.  The solution must provide the confidence your team needs to ensure they can recover after a declaration.

More Stories By Ben Miller

Ben Miller is the Product Solutions Director at Bluelock, a VMware vCloud Datacenter service provider, offering flexible IT infrastructure solutions with its Bluelock Virtual Datacenters hosted in the public cloud. An expert in cloud computing solutions with a background in technical consulting, managed IT services, and disaster recovery, Miller has more than 17 years of experience in solving cloud, virtualization and enterprise system IT problems across industries. He holds an MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University Bloomington. Connect with Ben on twitter at @vmFoo.

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