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Well Architected DRaaS Solutions

By Ed Collins & Kong Yang
| min

Disaster recovery (DR) is a fundamental component of any well-architected solution. DR acts as insurance against failures and provides business continuity in the aftermath of a service disruption. Business continuity is the value that DR solutions deliver to organizations; but all too often, DR is not fully vetted with the proper needs assessment and discipline on its journey into production. Cost, complexity, and lack of expertise remain the primary culprits in determining the right solution for the business, but IT organizations must keep calm and DR on. 

Protecting Your Business Begins With Protecting Your Applications and Data

IT is the lifeblood of many organizations, to the point that if IT downtime is suffered (which, frankly, is a foregone conclusion, statistically speaking) the ability of a business to continue with normal operations is severely, if not completely, compromised. What used to suffice in terms of backing up data will no longer support modern business practices. Merely backing up data to tape offsite leaves an enterprise in dire straits once a disaster strikes.

Businesses must begin with sound risk management, resulting in cross-organizational SLAs not only being agreed upon in BCDR plans, but proven through regular testing. Internal as well as industry-specific auditors demand IT practitioners toe this line rigorously. However, since not all applications are created equally, there’s no such thing as a one size fits all solution.

One of the contemporary difficulties with building a BCDR solution is that the line between traditional backup solutions and DR solutions has blurred, where backup RPOs (Recovery Point Objectives) have shrunken to the point where there’s overlap with DR. Regardless, though, it all comes down to meeting your SLAs. If those can be met with backup or DR, or some mixture, what does it matter?

What really has made the lives of IT practitioners easier these days is building BCDR solutions on top of HCI (hyperconverged infrastructure), where backup and DR are native to the core software.

Freedom of Choice

Given a myriad of options, companies must choose between consumption models, for starters. A viable BCDR solution can be achieved in multiple ways. In the case of Nutanix, customers have the option to either purchase software or a managed service. Typically, customers who wish to maintain maximum control and flexibility will choose to deploy/maintain DR targets on infrastructure they own or that which they lease from a hyperscaler (e.g. AWS or Azure). However, for customers that desire a managed service, they can opt for a Nutanix Xi Leap Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution or from a MSP (Managed Service Provider) powered by Nutanix solution that might come bundled with other value-added IT services.

BCDR plans can quickly become complex, driving direct and indirect costs up. Simplicity is the name of the game - the easier it is to configure, test, and manage the more likely it is the solution will remain viable and prove its utility during a disaster.

In the case of MSPs, customers enjoy one-stop shopping without having to build out a secondary datacenter for DR. For a single subscription price, and for a fast time to value, they meet their DR SLAs, keep their auditors happy, and their weekends free!

Trusted and Verified DRaaS

MSPs play a key role in the hybrid and multicloud operating model by providing complementary services, bridging the competencies gap across clouds, and knowing how to deliver more successful business outcomes. An MSP’s business is built upon trust, competencies, and ultimately, relationships. 

Relationships are key when dealing with DR and enabling business continuity. And MSPs can directly address the three causes of DR project failures - cost, complexity, and lack of expertise. According to IDC’s The Evolving Ecosystem of Cloud Service Providers, MSPs can offer financial and cost benefits around where apps run and where data is stored while giving customers another set of subject matter experts to leverage for managed services such as DR. Do your own due diligence and add MSPs as part of your solutions conversation. It might just be the start of a beautiful relationship.

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