Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) or Backup as a Service (BaaS)?


For businesses, cloud-based backup and recovery has become a crucial business continuity plan these days. If backup is fast enough to fit within a backup window, and if recovery times hit recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) service levels, you’re golden.

The recovery time objective (RTO) is the maximum tolerable length of time that a computer, system, network, or application can be down after a failure or disaster occurs. Whereas recovery point objective (RPO) is the age of files that must be recovered from backup storage for normal operations to resume if a computer, system, or network goes down as a result of a hardware, program, or communications failure.

One of the most significant questions that we get when talking about Data protection is when we already have backups why do we need disaster recovery? And if we already have Disaster Recovery why do we need Backups?

Backup and Recovery are critical components of Disaster Recovery, but if they work alone, they cannot assure that application processing continues uninterrupted.

The two primary services for the cloud-based data protection include Backup as a service (BaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). The following are the comparison between BaaS and DRaaS:

Backup as a Service (BaaS)

A backup is simply a snapshot of your virtual machine or physical server, typically taken hourly or daily or even weekly. Backups are usually stored for a period of time, with a retention policy like “one a day for a month and one a month for a year”. This backup copies are normally kept in a place separate from the primary system, like a basement, another data center, or, in the case of Backup-as-a-Service, in the cloud. Following the disaster, IT rebuilds the server environment, install applications and then restores the data from the cloud.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DR systems usually replicate your data on an ongoing basis from a primary location to a secondary location and this replication periods are measured in minutes, or even seconds. So, the last copy is the latest.

The secondary copy is held in stasis until it is re-animated via a fail-over trigger.

The secondary location can be another data center in another state or another region, or even the cloud, in the case of DRaaS.

If you don’t have access to a secondary location or don’t want to pay for it DRaaS enables you to execute the same Disaster Recovery replication with the cloud as your secondary location.

Disaster Recovery is a service that focuses entirely on a short RPO, meaning that the data we are restoring from is close to Present time as possible. It’s going to bring the machine up in a geographically different source protected from whatever has happened to your data in the original site.

The Primary advantage of DRaaS is its immediate failover applications reconnect users via VPN and orchestrate failback to rebuilt servers in the customer data center. Besides, you will be paying only for storage while the systems are replicating/in stasis and once they fail over, you’ll pay for CPU and Memory resources, as you consume them.

Cloud-based disaster recovery service providers deliver their services in different ways. Some use appliances; some limit failover to the cloud while others offer managed site-to-site failover as well. The thing to think about with the two is both your time and where the data is restored from. If you are running a business you need to think about your resiliency strategy of both having archival data and the ability to protect it from downtime with disaster recovery as a service. They both work together to protect the business and to protect the revenue flow.

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