Midsize firms drive recovery-as-a-service

Midsize organizations boosting adoption of recovery in cloud as large firms already invested in disaster recovery systems while smaller firms lack formal recovery strategy, according to Gartner.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Described as the cloud "killer app" for disaster recovery, recovery-as-a-service (RaaS) will see increased adoption from midsize firms as larger organizations already have existing systems that are difficult to migrate to the cloud, while most smaller firms do not have disaster recovery strategy.

According to Gartner report released Monday, while only 1 percent of midsize companies--businesses with annual revenues between US$150 million and US$1 billion--have adopted recovery-in-the-cloud today, this figure is expected to rise to 30 percent by 2014.

Larger companies--encompassing those with annual revenues of US$1 billion or more--are more likely to have invested in recovery management equipment, infrastructure and support team, which are too complex to be moved fully to the cloud. Gartner added that small businesses are less likely to have a formal strategy for managing disaster recovery.

Similar to other cloud services, RaaS is defined as the managed replication of virtual machines (VMs) and production data hosted in a cloud service provider's data center, with the capability to activate the VMs to support recovery testing or actual recovery operations.

John Morency, research vice president at Gartner, noted in the report: "RaaS has been hailed as a 'killer' cloud app for disaster recovery, but the reality is that there has been much hype and some truth. Certainly, it addresses well-recognized 'pain points' in IT disaster recovery management, including the need for frequent recovery-readiness testing and the cost of dedicated recovery floor space and facilities."

Gartner also reported that companies were deploying RaaS in two ways. One of these uses server virtualization recovery features and SAN-based replication to deploy in-house disaster recovery capabilities for some applications, while the other involves the implementation of initial pilots for the use of cloud services as an alternative to more traditional disaster recovery resources.

Listing the steps businesses that have yet to deploy RaaS should take, Morency said organizations should commence cloud infrastructure due diligence especially for systems that reside outside their data centers.

"They should then qualify system image replication and failover support, and probe how the provider can support application connectivity during recovery testing," he added. "They also need to check provider operations controls for potential regulatory compliance exposure, and pilot a bounded implementation of the target configuration. This will clarify the potential service benefits, as well as the level of management support that the in-house IT team will still need to provide."

Gartner's report in the growth of RaaS spending reflected similar findings of a survey released by CA Technologies in July. The CA report found that companies in the Asia-Pacific region were increasingly looking at cloud computing for their data protection and disaster recovery planning.

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