Disaster Recovery (DR) and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) have become key for modern business as both a backup and recovery solution as well as a business continuity service.
This is not surprising due to the increasing danger of data loss through software or hardware failure, 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 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.
Here then are the best in disaster recovery and DRaaS service providers.
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Best disaster recovery solution - at a glance
- Microsoft Azure Site Recovery
- Zerto IT Resilience Platform
- Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct
- Carbonite Server Backup
- Ekco Disaster Recovery
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 centre 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.
Zerto IT Resilience Platform aims to protect data and IT assets, helping companies simplify disaster recovery and reduce their storage costs.
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.
Arcserve UDP Cloud Direct is a DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) 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.
As the name suggests, Carbonite Server Backup will let you recover files and entire systems with the click of a button. The great thing about this solution is that it’s 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’s 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.
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 favourite 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.
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 provides a DRaaS as part of Amazon's huge cloud-based service offering. A distinction of AWS 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 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. Pricing begins from $99 per month, and an online demo is available to try.
StorageCraft Cloud Services 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 delivers a leading DRaaS and business continuity provider, 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. There's no basic pricing structure, so you'll need to contact Sungard for a quote.
Veeam Availability Suite 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 Sute, 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. However, to purchase their services you will need to contact a reseller.