The disruption of critical systems can cost a business everything ranging from data to reputation. With hurricane season right around the corner, it's critical that businesses have a recovery plan in place to mitigate risks from natural disasters, as well as the constant threat of cyber-attacks, both of which can cause large-scale system damage. Attacks can lead to significant financial loss, and even days of downtime for key processes, all of which demonstrate the importance of Backup as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a Service: two key services when disaster strikes.
BaaS and DRaaS can provide peace of mind in the event of a breach or system failure, as you can be reassured that you have avoided significant monetary or productivity loss. With both service options, data is preserved in the cloud and is managed by the service provider. Before choosing a BaaS or DRaaS service, it’s important to understand the distinction between how they can protect critical data and infrastructure.
The Backup as a Service model performs item-level backups which include files and databases. Each of the items chosen for backup has been determined by the end user. If disaster strikes, the files and databases that have been backed up to the cloud can be easily restored and redeployed by the user. A BaaS solution alone would be appropriate for a business that utilizes infrastructure that can easily and quickly be rebuilt.
Additionally, it is suitable for an end user who is not concerned with application maintenance and is interested in keeping backup costs to a minimum. BaaS can provide your company with the means to perform backups but you as the end user are ultimately responsible for determining backup intervals. The provider will also be responsible for preserving data consistency and ensuring data restoration. The service provider may offer to work with their customers to develop a long-term data retention strategy.
Disaster Recovery as a Service can prepare a company for the worst case scenario, i.e. when all data is lost or has been compromised. DRaaS can truly save your company and its reputation in the event of disaster, as it essentially provides a working duplicate of your existing environment. DRaaS differs from BaaS in its method of data recovery. Rather than having a user select the files and databases to include in a backup as seen in the BaaS model, in a DRaaS scenario backups are performed at the server level, in which case an entire environment would fall in the scope of the backup and can be restored as a whole. This includes operating systems, applications, file systems and existing configurations. In the event of a disaster, the user would simply failover to the replicated servers. DRaaS is ideal if your company relies on complex infrastructure that cannot quickly be rebuilt, or you are working on developing applications and cannot afford any downtime. If and when disaster strikes, DRaaS allows you to keep downtime to a minimum.
Do You Need Both?
In choosing the right solution, consider how you might proceed following significant data loss. Do you have the resources to systemically determine the files and databases required to resume operations? Can you afford 24 hours of downtime, or would you need to immediately restore your entire infrastructure as quickly as possible? What can you afford to spend?
Ultimately, you may decide to choose the safest option – having both. While DRaaS can help you to recovery quickly following a disaster, BaaS may help with requirements like eDiscovery and compliance that DRaaS may not necessarily offer. Determine your business needs in order to more easily determine how they can be accomplished with backup or disaster recovery services.
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