Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Evolving into Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service

Carl Weinschenk
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Disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) is difficult to distinguish from disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC). It seems that it is more of a semantic change: The ideas behind both appear similar. They offer an organization a way to simplify life by farming out backup and redundancy functions to specialists with geographically dispersed facilities, a high level of on-staff expertise, and state-of-the-art equipment kept completely up to date. They shift the burden from capex to opex and offer services under a variety of business models.

DRaaS, whether or not it is the same or slightly different than DR/BC, is growing. MarketsandMarkets recently released a report that said that the global market for DRaaS will grow from $1.68 billion this year to $11.11 billion by 2021, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.9 percent.

The market is being driven by faster recovery capabilities, increased cost effectiveness, flexibility and simplicity of testing. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are expected to be the main driver during the forecast period; North America is the biggest market and Asia-Pacific (APAC) the fastest growing.


Gartner’s DRaaS Magic Quadrant report tends to verify the idea that the old phrase is simply morphing into the new and that two distinct disaster recovery categories don’t exist. Whatever the nomenclature, though, it’s a quickly evolving category. The firm says that pricing, configuration policies and service tiers “have all undergone significant changes.” The market is fragmented, with large providers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google causing much of the dislocation.

Companies, it seems, are also driving the changes as they grow more exacting in their needs:

At one extreme, many organizations are electing to implement self-service that provides more direct end-user control for a lower monthly service cost. However, the opposite is beginning to happen for more complex configurations that drive the need for more direct provider management and, typically, require custom recovery time service levels.

The bridge from DR to DRaaS is described at CIO Review. DR systems were clumsy, quickly antiquated, and far more expensive than rudimentary backups. DRaaS sidesteps these problems because it is cloud-based.

What the piece doesn’t say, however, is where the line is that separates cloud-based DR/BC and DRaaS. The writer seems to be using an antiquated and incomplete definition of DR/BC, which was well on its way into the cloud before the term DRaaS became common. Indeed, the very definition of DR/BC has a cloud element. In the final analysis, it’s likely that the two overlap. On one level, this is a matter of semantics. On the other, it is something about which those looking for services should be aware.

There will also be further specialization. For instance, UK firm Databarracks has launched a cyber-DRaaS product in conjunction with security firm Trend Micro. The service is aimed at malware and could be particularly effective in fighting ransomware.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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