Over the years, the concept of disaster recovery has evolved – in fact we started in the tape storage business in the early 1980s. But the evolution has really accelerated over the last five years. There are now hundreds of vendors offering DRaaS, all with different solutions and price points. The solution attributes that used to be considered key differentiators are now mainstays and our industry must continue to advance to stay ahead of the changing criteria of what constitutes a “disaster.”
Gartner’s report focuses on 23 DRaaS providers out of a field we believe to be to be north of 500, all with differing approaches and capabilities among nine key attributes. As you can see on the Magic Quadrant, vendors are evaluated along two vectors: Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision. On the Ability to Execute axis, Recovery Point was positioned highest of all participants.
Every enterprise must, of course, decide what type of infrastructure resilience plan aligns best with its business needs, and reviewing Gartner’s nine attributes is a great way to start. These days, DRaaS services can be delivered as a high touch (fully managed) or as a self-service solution depending on an enterprise’s needs. An enterprise’s tolerance for complexity and risk also plays a role in plan design. Oftentimes, a fragmented DRaaS solution can work for testing purposes, but, under the stress of an actual business interruption, will it make sense to try and mobilize multiple vendors? What about the customer experience? What strategies do you have in place to insure that your resilience from any interruption in service availability is seamless for you and your customers? Customers are empowered, and can and will be very vocal about a negative experience, oftentimes in the process hurting your brand.
In its report, Gartner recommends that infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders “shift their thinking from internally facing DR strategies toward strategies for externally facing IT service continuity. … The effectiveness of their strategies will be directly measured by the quality of the external customer experience, and ultimately, by the impact of that experience on both revenue and profitability.”
It is critical that I&O teams understand how a business resilience plan will operate when a critical piece of infrastructure fails, whether a single application or an entire physical site, and how long it will take to them to become available again.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is a great resource and provides a nice starting point for selecting a DRaaS vendor, but you should first be cognizant of your enterprise’s strategic needs in the event of a disruption.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service, Ron Blair, Mark Thomas Jaggers, June 2017.
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