The best disaster recovery services (DR) and disaster recovery as a service provider (DRaaS) provide a simple way to safeguard your business continuity.
They do this by helping to store and recover company data in the event of data loss through software or hardware failure, and even from a ransomware attack.
DR and DRaaS have become essential for modern business due to the increasing danger of data loss, especially from malware, which could cripple applications, workflows, and sales.
However, business data can often be fragmented between different systems, applications, and IT infrastructure, making data recovery a challenge in the event of an IT failure.
This is where disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) providers can work with the most complex sets, often working with native or hybrid clouds to ensure business continuity in the event of loss or failure not just of data, but also critical systems.
While data loss can have a debilitating effect on a business, good continuity and recovery planning can ensure that the impact of even the most severe failure can result in minimal disruption.
We've compared these services across multiple factors, from the size of businesses they're suitable for and their ease of use to their pricing plans and the flexibility of the solutions. We've also looked at their integrations, automation options, and security features, among other things.
Here then are the best Disaster Recovery (DR) services and DRaaS providers.
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The best Disaster Recovery services of 2023 in full:
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When it comes to software, Microsoft is a veritable titan, and it offers a disaster recovery solution for enterprises. The Azure Site Recovery platform boasts automated protection and disaster recovery in the cloud.
The software automatically replicates your IT environment based on policies you set beforehand and will suit larger firms well. It can protect Hyper-V, VMware, and physical servers, and you can also use Microsoft Azure or a secondary data center for your recovery site.
Azure Site Recovery fully integrates with System Center and SQL Server AlwaysOn. All communication made within Azure is encrypted, and you can also develop sophisticated recovery plans within the Azure portal.
Since Site Recovery is an integrated offering, you can expect it to receive automatic updates as new features are launched. And users can also test their recovery plans without disrupting the end users or existing workloads.
Zerto aims to protect data and IT assets, helping companies simplify disaster recovery and reduce their storage costs by backing up data to a single cloud.
It stands out as a disaster recovery solution by providing orchestration and automation of the whole recovery process, and it does this regardless of the storage or hypervisor you use.
Like Microsoft’s offering, the Zerto product comes with some useful integrations. It’ll work with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V out of the box. The solution will protect multi-TB SQL, Exchange, Oracle and file server VMs, and you can transfer workloads and assets between public, private and hybrid clouds.
Zerto has a neat interface and is quite suitable for large organizations. It offers flexible solutions and plans, so it can match a company's custom requirements, but the pricing is on the higher end.
Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct is a DRaaS offering which has been built to offer the sort of performance and security an enterprise requires, boasting swift ‘push-button’ recovery. The solution replicates your network in the cloud, and you’re provided with VPN access to your recovered environment (at no additional expense).
If your business was hit by an outage, you’d still be able to access applications such as email, SQL and business productivity software. There are built-in security protocols and data encryption here, too, so you don’t have to worry about information getting into the wrong hands.
It has a simple interface and is ideal for mid and large organizations with an IT team, but the pricing is not readily available on their website. You'll have to speak to one of the company's reps to discuss your business needs and receive a price quote.
As the name suggests, Carbonite will let you recover files and entire systems with the click of a button. The great thing about this solution is that it is so flexible. You have the option to backup anything from a file to a whole business application, either locally or to the cloud – or indeed both. Carbonite can protect system state, OS, applications, files, and settings in one pass.
There is also the ability to restore to existing or new hardware, without the need to install additional software. Using the system, you can create custom backup policies taking into account group, role and device. All this is stored within a central hub, which is handy if you want a more streamlined recovery operation.
Since Carbonite is primarily a backing-up tool, there's no support for file sharing.
Read our full Carbonite review.
Originally known as Plan Disaster Recovery, Ekco Disaster Recovery aims to continue to provide the same if not improved level of service with a cloud-based DRaaS solution that’s been tested to application level for instant recoveries.
The software will identify outages that hit your business and give you full access to your systems while repairs are made.
Unlike other DR services, your files and systems aren’t only backed up, but you also get access to specialist engineers who can provide all manner of tech support and help. Obviously that’s quite a bonus if you struggle with complex technology like disaster recovery.
The solution creates a snapshot of your data and systems, and they’re instantly turned into virtual environments so you can get work done in the moment(s) of crisis. Your replica systems are tested every day for flaws, and you’re provided with secure VPN access.
Once the darling of free backup solutions for the home user, Crashplan has since shifted its focus to the enterprise arena with its CrashPlan for Small Business offering.
And CrashPlan is certainly a favorite around here – in fact our official company machines here at TechRadar all run CrashPlan, and it's saved our bacon on more than one occasion. It's not quite the same as the traditional file recovery apps that we've covered in this article – it's a backup service first and foremost – but it's so comprehensive that it almost counts.
Crashplan, you see, stores absolutely everything. It chugs away in the background and makes full, detailed backups of your entire machine starting with the newest files first. It then sifts everything into virtual buckets so you can get quick access to the files that matter most.
Critically, though, Crashplan even stores files you've deleted. You can switch this feature off, but we wouldn't: your backups are fully encrypted, so even those deleted files will be safe from prying eyes, and you never know when you might need to retrieve that long-discarded (or virus-removed) file.
Read our full CrashPlan review.
Also consider these DRaaS solutions
While business continuity and disaster recovery services are a long-established market, the advent of cloud-services has made these services easier to access, simpler to manage, and much more cost-effective. It has also led to a large number of providers competing for customer attention, from huge multinationals to smaller SME's. Here we'll cover some of the other DRaaS providers worth considering:
AWS CloudEndure (opens in new tab) provides a DRaaS as part of Amazon's huge cloud-based service offering. A distinction of AWS (opens in new tab) is that it's non-disruptive, meaning it uses minimal resources to provide a service that won't impact your existing infrastructure efficiency. Additionally, you only pay anything if you find yourself actually having to use your disaster recovery environment. Even then, with sub-second Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and automated orchestration you can achieve recovery time objectives (RTOs) in minutes. CloudEndure is available as part of the AWS ecosystem.
Acronis AnyData Engine (opens in new tab) is a DRaaS service that uses backup images to provide storage and recovery data for any hardware or virtual machine. These are then saved to a proprietary Unified Backup Format, which can be stored in the cloud or on premises. A single server management panel allows you to monitor and check reports, with restore available at a granular level so only the data that needs recovering needs to be swapped in, rather than more than is necessary.
Arcserve Cloud Services (opens in new tab) provides a disaster recovery cloud where all your backed-up data and recover tools can be hosted. There are three main tiers provided, with Cloud Basic providing offsite backups and a full-system restore, while Cloud Plus allows for immediate file and folder recovery by downloading directly from your cloud. Cloud Premium uses Virtualization of your systems and data, and in the event of a disaster can be used as a failover.
Sungard AS (opens in new tab) delivers a leading DRaaS and business continuity solution, as part of its cloud and physical infrastructure recovery service. The company also provides infrastructure and resilience consulting, as well as managed colocation services. For Sungard's DRaaS, the focus is in working with complex hybrid systems, where some of the IT infrastructure may be in a private cloud, some running on-premises, while other legacy systems are tacked on. The process involves starting with data protection, then restoring environments, and the process is fully managed.
Veeam Availability Suite (opens in new tab) provides an all-round back-up and replication solution through a single management console. Veeam uses a cloud repository to store and replicate all data and IT infrastructure, so it can be called upon for use for any disaster recovery purposes. The DRaaS solution itself is provided not just with the Availability Suite, but also other packages such as Backup and Replication, as well as Backup Essentials. The company also provides free resources, not least a Dummies Guide to DRaaS.
Databarracks (opens in new tab) is a British company that has provided online backup services since 2003. Their main products are Disaster Recovery as a Service, Backup as a Service, Business Continuity as a Service, as well as Email Continuity. The company also provide public cloud management, including designing, building, and migrating to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
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What is a disaster recovery service?
A disaster recovery service is a tool that helps an organization recover its data and access its IT infrastructure in case there's data loss or outage due to malware, software or hardware failure, natural disasters, and other business disruptions.
These tools store a company's data safely (including multiple versions of a single file) so that it can be accessed at any time.
How to choose the best disaster recovery services for you?
When deciding which Disaster Recovery service to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as the cheapest options may only provide basic features, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a more expensive platform is better suited to you.
The ideal solution for you will depend on factors like the size of your business, the proficiency of your IT team, and your security needs, among other aspects.
Additionally, higher-end software can usually cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require from your Disaster Recovery service.
The best disaster recovery services: How we test
To test for the best Disaster Recovery services we first set up an account with the relevant software platform, then we tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each disaster recovery service to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.