7 Key Questions to Ask a DRaaS Provider

Sleep Soundly with a Solid Disaster Recovery Solution in Place

You wake up in a cold sweat during what should be a peaceful night’s sleep – your white noise machine sings sweet lullabies of waves crashing on the shore; the temperature in your room is a crisp 65 degrees. But your mind is racing, and you just know something’s amiss.

Suddenly, like waking from a bad dream, you take a deep breath of relief as it hits you: Your company no longer has an expensive, unreliable, and complicated disaster recovery plan in place. You’ve long since embraced the cost savings, resiliency, and security of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to protect your company’s IT footprint and applications – and, with it, the health of your business.

A good disaster recovery strategy can change everything – and DRaaS is increasingly becoming an industry-standard for smart DR.

The Evolution of the DRaaS Market

In its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service, Gartner defines DRaaS as, “a productized service offering in which the provider manages server image and production data replication to the cloud, disaster recovery run book creation, automated server recovery within the cloud, automated server failback from the cloud, and network element and functionality configuration, as needed.” Simply put, DRaaS is a cloud-based backup and recovery service provided remotely by a third-party provider.

According to a 2017 Research and Markets publication, the DRaaS market is expected to grow from $2.19B in 2017 to $12.54B by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 41.8% during the forecast period. Many companies are looking to DRaaS to reduce the costs for having a robust DR solution in place, improve security posture, gain greater agility, have greater software integration options, and to put time and resources traditionally needed to manage a physical DR footprint towards other value-added initiatives.

The Options for DRaaS Seem Endless: How To Find the Right DRaaS Provider For Your Company

There are hundreds of DRaaS providers globally, and it can seem challenging to narrow down the options and find the right provider for you.

First, ask yourself: What does your company need in a DR solution? What are the recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) for your company’s applications? Can you afford a high RPO? What are your data security requirements? Invest the time to ask yourself the tough questions upfront so you can build a requirements baseline from which to start your search.

Once you’ve analyzed your company’s specific needs and you begin your DRaaS search, ask potential providers:

  1. What are their service options?
    Does the provider offer a fully managed DRaaS solution? Alternatively, is it mainly self-service DRaaS? If you’re looking for a solution in-between, does the provider have an assisted recovery offering, wherein they’ll provide guidance and expertise to your firm as you get your DR solution in place and at different points along the way? It’s important to decide how little, or how much, upfront and ongoing support you want. Providers offer differing solution models that will ultimately impact the amount of time you’ll need to put towards managing your DRaaS solution.
  2. What’s their infrastructure footprint?
    Where will your data be hosted? Is the provider using hardware they own and manage, or are they hosted on a cloud infrastructure provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure? Understanding the infrastructure footprint of the provider will allow for better insight into the provider’s global availability, infrastructure security policies, compliance standards, and strategies for redundancy.
  3. What are their customer support models?
    Does the provider offer tiered plans for customer support? Are they transparent about their customer support offerings and processes? Don’t get stuck with a provider who isn’t readily available when you need them, particularly if you’re looking to implement more of a self-service or assisted recovery service.
  4. Do they offer flexible cost structures and transparent pricing options?
    Does the provider have relatively rigid cost structures, or are they willing to build a customized offering tailored to your company’s specific needs? You should feel confident in the provider’s pricing transparency and be able to quickly discern the charges that you may incur by using their DRaaS solution.
  5. Are they financially stable?
    The last thing you want to do is entrust your company’s DR needs to a third-party who risks going belly-up in two months’ time. For your peace of mind and the stability of your DR planning, make sure the companies you’re vetting are financially stable and well-established in the marketplace.
  6. How do their service levels and general offerings compare to other providers?
    Is it easy for you to compare the provider to others in the space? Can you readily identify the different service level agreements for their offering, and identify the software they use? Comparing DRaaS providers shouldn’t be an impossible task, and if you can’t find easily comparable information for the DRaaS providers you’re considering, then that may be a red flag to look elsewhere.
  7. Can they provide you with relevant customer references?
    The best way to gain confidence when moving forward with a DRaaS provider is to hear, firsthand, success stories of those who’ve been able to improve their DR posture using their services. Ask the provider to send you 3 – 5 customer references to contact and learn more about the provider’s proven success.

You’re on Your Way to Selecting the Right DRaaS Solution For Your Company

Disasters and disruptions happen – but you don’t need to let the possibility of disaster dominate your time and ruin your sleep. The availability of DRaaS solutions provides a new alternative to backup and recovery that can save you time, money, and headaches…if you know what you’re looking for, and how to find it.

Do you need help determining your disaster recovery needs? Industry experts at StrataCore are here to help. Contact us today and let us become your DRaaS advocate.

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