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Volume 29, Issue 5

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Defined as “a set of processes operated by a third party vendor to help your business develop and deploy a disaster recovery (DR) plan,” DRaaS is a trending topic on the minds of many IT professionals. The solutions you recommend and implement depend largely on the RPO (recovery point objective), your RTO (recovery time objective) and what can be done to minimize the time between the disaster and RTO.

What is your ideal RPO and RTO?

Of course, there are different types of disaster that could apply to any business, but some have more catastrophic implications than others. For instance, a website that contains mostly static information that is sporadically updated can afford a longer RPO as not much, if anything, will have changed. In this case, a self-service recovery DRaaS may be your best choice.

On the other hand, a global finance company or a major online retailer losing even seconds of business continuity can have far-reaching financial implications. In the latter case, the RPO needs to be as close as possible to the actual disaster in order not to lose transactions.

What to look for in a DRaaS solution

Of the vendors who offer DRaaS, many market themselves as a stand-alone, all-in-one solution, and some are designed specifically to pair with Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server. Others still offer complete cloud-based data centre and server restoration. The more options offered generally equal a higher cost, but deciding what your BC is worth to you is critical.

The DRaaS solution you choose should tick the following boxes:

  1. Backup all of your systems, data, platforms and applications

  2. Fast recovery

  3. Flexibility: restore a single application or the whole system

  4. A billing structure that fits your budget

  5. Flexible backup target options: local, cloud-based

  6. File size management to minimize storage needs

  7. Support all of your applications, databases and operating systems

Other things to consider include the complexity of the recovery process and whether you have the appropriate IT staff or consultancy to manage it. You should also be concerned with how long it will take to return your systems to a live state from a backup. Some DRaaS place a time limit on how long they will host the recovery environment, and if so, there may be financial implications to consider. Consider the DRaaS reported failback time and the number of VMs that the solution will allow.

DRaaS providers

Your choice of DRaaS providers will depend largely on the size of the systems in question, taking into consideration the potential losses you may experience if BC is not restored quickly.

Here are some of the highest-rated and most popular DRaaS systems available today:

Datto Sirius

Considered a visionary in the DRaaS realm, Datto Sirius is their flagship total data protection platform, offering a 6-second recovery from either the local interface or from the cloud. One key strength is that you can be instantly connected to one of their engineers, 24/7 with no after-hours surcharges.


Though relatively new to the DRaaS landscape, many enterprises who run a Microsoft environment may find it advantageous to stay with what they know. Operating on the Microsoft Azure platform, some of its strengths include supports for more than 50 languages, plus pricing that is based on the number of instances protected. Though it has won high praise for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, it is largely a self-service option at the moment. It also lacks the hybrid management capabilities of its closest competitors.

Carbonite (EVault)

Carbonite is a highly customizable DRaaS that can be either fully managed or provider-managed. Features include a guaranteed one-hour RTO and 5 minute RPO, but there are several tiers with numbers that should suit most needs.


A fully managed DRaaS dedicated to enterprise, iland boasts 100% uptime availability and a guaranteed 15-minute or less response time to all customer questions and incident reports. Failover and failback can be tested without restriction, and they receive a high customer satisfaction rating for the quality of their support, services and feature innovation.

While this is by no means a complete list, it should give you an idea of some of the top players currently in the DRaaS market.

Alex Viall is founder and managing director of Mustard IT Support, a London-based boutique IT company. With 18 years of industry experience, he is always actively studying, and is currently looking at the hybrid cloud identity / Microsoft Azure.

Monday, 20 February 2017 15:47

Zero One: States Woo Cybersecurity Pros

SAN FRANCISCO -- On Valentine’s Day, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, speaking at RSA Conference 2017 in San Francisco, courted cybersecurity pros to live and work in the state known for lovers. His overtures, though, belie a serious problem. State governments lack enough cybersecurity pros to battle hackers who’ve put states in their crosshairs.

“My whole initiative as chairman of the [National Governors Association] is cybersecurity, because we at the state level collectively have more data than the federal government,” McAuliffe said.

State governments store a bounty of valuable data, such as state tax returns, healthcare records and driver’s license information. Add to this Virginia’s vast military installations – The Pentagon in Arlington, CIA in Langley, FBI Academy in Quantico, Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach – and it’s no surprise Virginia faced some 86 million cyberattacks last year, averaging three every second.



According to the results of a recent survey [PDF] of 250 IT professionals, 34 percent of companies in the U.S. were breached in the past year, and 74 percent of the victims don't know how it happened.

The survey, conducted by iSense Solutions for Bitdefender, also found that two thirds of companies would pay an average of $124,000 to avoid public shaming after a breach, while 14 percent would pay more than $500,000.

One third of CIOs say their job has become more important in their company's hierarchy, and another third say their job has been completely transformed in the past few years.



Friday, 17 February 2017 22:10

Measuring Business Continuity Productivity

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Friday, 17 February 2017 20:34

Protecting Your Data

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Friday, 17 February 2017 20:33

Team Building Basics

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