While selling compute services in the early 2000s every customer I met with would talk about implementing a full Disaster Recovery (DR) plan within the year. I would studiously go back to my office and work up a quote to enable data replication from a production site to a secondary site. Yet time and again, CIOs would push off the project to the following year (if not indefinitely), usually citing as a barrier the cost and complexity that a comprehensive DR would require.

Origin of a Software Service

Meanwhile other companies would enlist the help of what I’ll call “DR 1.0”. These providers were massive data center providers that would allow you to bring your tapes to their site and begin the recovery process. Talk about old school! Customers would travel to Chicago, Philadelphia or any other city to preform DR testing for a weekend.

I’m pleased to say that things have evolved … pun intended. Welcome to “DR 2.0” where cloud services have now transformed the way businesses secure their systems and data.

A Natural Selection

Today, companies leverage cloud-based resources like those from Evolve IP that are spun up at a moment’s notice. IT teams now deploy hypervisor-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) that runs just seconds behind production or even use traditional cloud backup to replace costly offsite replication. The DR tests that required an in-person, weekend-long, lock in are now completed with the click of a portal button. Cloud service providers can even immediately enact failover in the event of a major disaster at a company.

The evolution of practices in DR has also dramatically reduced costs associated with recovery. Now when IT teams and CIOs compare the cost of actual data loss or downtime to the monthly investment in DRaaS the business case is easily justified and quite compelling.

Worried about performance? For most IT teams, DR performance has become an afterthought as Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) figures of leading DRaaS providers dwarf typical in-house deployments. Customers are now not only protected from doom and gloom events but also able to deploy DRaaS to protect against malicious threats such as ransomware, enabling quick recovery without being held hostage.

All the Best Traits

One of the greatest breakthroughs as a result of DRaaS is the evolution of the mobile classroom concept. Imagine rolling up to the corporate office tomorrow morning, only to be greeted by the fire department hosing down the east wing.  You quickly hop on your notebook and hit the proverbial red button … failover complete. Now, for the big question on your mind: once the servers are up, how will employees work? While not an issue if every business application is Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment, many applications still require client/server interaction. That’s a problem when the desktops or devices that access servers are quite literally, toast.

Smart IT leaders are now looking at comprehensive disaster recovery services that also include desktop recovery, implemented via virtual desktops that reside in the same cloud ecosystem where the failover was deployed. Desktops and servers can be accessed from any device with an internet connection and the virtual desktops feature mapped drives along with installed and updated applications. Ultimately that means it is business as usual, without missing a beat.

For now we’ll just call it DR version 2.1 and if you’re interested in learning more about DRaaS and other cloud software solutions at CDW click here.

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