Oct 02 2015

Companies See the Viability of Disaster Recovery as a Service

IT leaders say DRaaS cuts costs and delivers the protection they require.

Every small and midsized company needs a disaster recovery plan, but in today’s world, it’s unrealistic and simply too costly for companies to build a redundant data center.

Steve Mullins, director of information services for Stratosphere Quality in Fishers, Ind., says that’s why his company deployed Acronis Disaster Recovery as a Service.


Percentage of organizations that use Disaster Recovery as a Service in some form; 40% either plan to use DRaaS or are interested in using it in the next 12 months

SOURCE: Enterprise Strategy Group, “The Evolving Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Landscape,” Fall 2015

“We aren’t interested in spending $20,000 for a new facility,” he says. “With Acronis, we’re paying a fraction of that cost per month, and when a server or database goes down, we get it back up and running in under four hours. We can also run a test every eight weeks where we stand up the entire data center; plus, it comes with automated runbooks that are easy for our technicians to use.”

Mullins manages nearly 1,000 computers for Stratosphere, and most of the employees work remotely to support quality inspections for auto suppliers and manufacturers.

“We have people working all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico, so if something goes down, we have to have them up and running quickly,” he says.

Moving to DRaaS has also weaned Stratosphere Quality off tape backups.

“We’ve gone from 20 tapes a week to about one a week,” Mullins says. “We still need tape, but it’s only for records we need to retain for several years.”

Paul Hughes, program director for storage and data management services at IDC, says the cost savings and ability to reduce tape usage as well as guarantee access to data and applications are significant.

“Keep in mind that IT budgets are flat — that’s what’s driving many organizations to evaluate DRaaS,” Hughes says. “Many of the DRaaS providers are offering self-service tools that offer high visibility and are easy to use, so it makes both business and economic sense for organizations to run disaster recovery in the cloud.”

Jason Buffington, a senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, says there are two trends moving organizations to DRaaS. First, virtualization makes servers more portable than ever before. And second, the cloud has emerged as an economical alternative to building in-house infrastructure or DR facilities.

“Put those two forces together, and it becomes a no-brainer, especially for midsized organizations,” Buffington says. “Midsized organizations need better IT resiliency, and they just can’t afford to build redundant facilities.”

DRaaS Has Heart

HeartPlace, a practice group of 70 cardiologists, with 400 total computer users across 25 locations in Texas, also opted for DRaaS because it couldn’t afford a redundant data center.

“We are in the doctor business, not the IT business,” says Dallas Koeppe, vice president of IT and the company’s security officer. “To build our own facility and hire the necessary technical expertise just doesn’t make sense for a small to medium-sized business.”

Actually, HeartPlace started hosting critical services for backup and recovery with a Veeam partner in Virginia about two years ago, and DRaaS was offered as an add-on.

“It was an add-on to the basic infrastructure service,” Koeppe says. “We have all our infrastructure and Microsoft applications backed up in Virginia. For DR, we’re just paying for some additional storage when we need it.”


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