How to Pick the Best DRaaS Provider

    Given that it’s not a pressing, day-to-day need, disaster recovery (DR) is often ignored, avoided, rarely tested or postponed until severe weather or some other unforeseen disaster looms. Even then, the scope, cost and complexity of DR systems can be overwhelming. Some companies choose to risk it and have no plan in place. Others that have the resources might spend millions to build a secondary site for backup and recovery. There’s an alternative to each of these options, though – an experienced service provider that can assist in DR planning and deployment by taking advantage of the cloud, offering disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), a cost-effective alternative to on-premise systems.

    Many IT organizations have an established relationship with a channel partner, and, for DR, it’s best to work with that partner to identify a service provider that can develop a profound understanding of the business before a disaster hits. This ensures an external DRaaS provider knows as much about existing IT infrastructure as the internal IT team and can best apply its expertise. DR is a keystone to business-continuity planning and any possibility of disaster means a business and its DraaS provider must be closely synchronized before, during and after any event.

    So what should progressive enterprises look for in a provider? In this slideshow, Scott Youngs, CIO, Key Information Systems, has identified five tips to help you in your search.

    Scott Youngs is the CIO at Key Information Systems and has been working in IT for more than 30 years. He heads the team that creates and implements new colocation, managed services and cloud offerings.

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    5 Tips for Choosing a DRaaS Provider

    Click through for five tips to help identify the best DRaaS provider for your organization, as identified by Scott Youngs, CIO, Key Information Systems.

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    Geographic Diversity

    Geographic diversity separates disaster from recovery.

    Does this provider offer the range needed for a truly effective DRaaS solution? Most organizations want their DR solutions in a different location than their primary business, whether that means a different city or state. If a provider has range, a disaster that affects your business will not affect your backup solution.

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    Carrier-Grade Data Center

    Go top shelf with a carrier-grade data center.

    On this qualifier, show no leniency when it comes to DRaaS. It isn’t enough for a company to have its own data center, backup generator and uninterrupted power supply (UPS). For a high-value DRaaS solution, look for a carrier-grade data center with multiple fiber connections that is built to withstand any and all natural disasters. Connectivity should be provided through diverse paths, not only through the local-exchange carrier. The best DRaaS solutions are housed in Uptime Institute-certified Tier 3 data centers.

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    Every millisecond counts, so always check for latency.

    Applications often require a certain latency response on the network, something driven by network connectivity and geography as much as bandwidth. What latencies are required for end users to be satisfied? Can your DRaaS provider deliver on those needs?

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    Industry Optimized

    You know your industry, your provider should too.

    How knowledgeable is your provider when it comes to your business and industry-specific applications and infrastructure? Having the ability to spin up an application doesn’t mean that a provider understands how to optimize that application by industry. The best providers have broad expertise and are able to optimize applications by industry, whether it’s financial services, health care, government or any other.

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    More than Just Backup

    Backup is just the beginning.

    DRaaS is more than providing one system for enterprises to back up data and another to recover it. Experienced service providers ensure proper Internet and operations bandwidth for optimal backup and recovery and close the loop with hands-on support throughout the preparation and recovery processes, providing efficient and complete recovery when it’s needed most.

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