To-Cloud, In-Cloud and From-Cloud: Which Recovery-as-a-Service use case is right for you?

May 31, 2013 by Diana Nolting

Your risk and impact levels from a declared disaster have changed greatly over the years. Both natural and man-made disasters are increasing according to the list of FEMA declared disasters since 1953. Because businesses are becoming more reliant on technology, IT’s ability to recover and rebound after a declaration is just as important, if not more so, as the steps they take to try and prevent disasters in the first place.

The fact is, you can spend all the time and money in your budget preparing for a disaster, but one can still hit. Natural or man-made, disruptions are a fact of life. Your team’s ability to respond is what separates those who recover from those who don’t.

Cloud-based Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) is a new answer to the age-old question, “How will I recover from this?”

Thanks to improvements in replication technology, cloud-based RaaS has a lower barrier to entry than ever before. Agentless software is available that can be installed without shutting down any machines. It’s SAN-agnostic, eliminating the legacy problem of matching your SAN to your provider’s SAN for replication. It’s application-aware and the testability and ease of use is like no other DR technology available.

Is there a RaaS use case that can help you protect your own applications?

To-Cloud Recovery-as-a-Service replicates your application to the cloud. Your application lives primarily in your home database, but can be protected with a cloud-based recovery target. This provides geographically distance from any natural disasters or provides a safe environment to recover to in case of a technological disaster at your home site.

An example of one use case that found To-Cloud as their recovery solution of choice was a company that didn’t have a cloud strategy at the time. They were happy to run all their applications in their own, home VMware-based environment.

This small, liberal arts college was located near the east coast and were concerned about recovering from hurricanes and realized the cloud was an ideal fit to get their important applications away from the source of the vulnerability.

They implemented hypervisor-based replication to the cloud and they are able to affordably test every six months. It was so affordable, in fact, that it fit within their existing budget.

For customers who are already hosting their applications in the cloud, In-Cloud RaaS allows users to guard against disruptions of any nature by replicating between two geographically diverse datacenters.

An ideal use case for In-Cloud RaaS is a software company that hosts a SaaS application in the Bluelock cloud.  They needed to protect their application from any disruption because it’s a revenue source.  Legacy DR solutions were too expensive to be effective, but In-Cloud RaaS offered more efficient pricing at the same, if not better, protection level.

There’s always discomfort with new solutions because the unknown causes doubts. The final RaaS model is From-Cloud RaaS. This requires a company host  their application primarily in the cloud, but can recover it back from the cloud, to the customer's datacenter in the event of a declaration.

From-Cloud RaaS can be a good fit if you want peace of mind, or if you have excess equipment at your office you want to use for recovery. This requires you maintain your equipment, but it can free up worry if your leadership is concerned with being completely dependent on the cloud itself.

Your applications won’t all fit in one RaaS bucket. Each application requires its own unique analysis to ensure it’s individually protected. The goal for your overall strategy should be to achieve the most effective DR footprint you can where each application is protected at the level it most needs, at a price point you can achieve.

For more on cloud-based Recovery-as-a-Service use cases and suggestions, view this on-demand webinar, “How to Implement a DR Strategy that Works,” or simply view the slides.