ContinuitySA has introduced Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Sasha Malic, head of Hosting and Availability Services at ContinuitySA, says the service revolutionises ContinuitySA’s existing Availability Services, taking advantage of the latest technologies to help corporates and government entities to ensure organisational resilience without the management headache and high cost of an in-house solution.
DRaaS makes use of replication, backup and server hosting in one of ContinuitySA’s data centres via high-speed network links. It is fully managed, and can be tailored to client needs.
“ICT availability is critical to a company’s ability to trade, which is why disaster recovery has become a part of governance codes like King III, and an ongoing concern for directors,” says Malic. “At the same time, though, putting the necessary infrastructure, business processes and ongoing management capability in place is both demanding and expensive.”
Malic points out that crafting a disaster recovery solution means understanding the interdependencies between the various elements of the business and its systems in order to determine how critical each technology component is. This will influence how quickly each part of the system needs to be recovered and how much data loss can be tolerated – all of which have cost or reputational implications. Only then is it possible to craft a disaster recovery plan that is aligned with the organisation’s overall strategy for ensuring business continuity.
It’s also important to realise that a disaster recovery plan is only theoretical unless it is regularly tested, and is updated in line with changing business realities.
Each DRaaS solution is designed by using components from three foundation offerings: Server Replication, Virtual Server Hosting and Managed Backup.
Server Replication replicates an image of the client’s servers to the ContinuitySA data centre at regular intervals in line with predetermined Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives. If a disaster is invoked, the company can fail over to the most recent image held by ContinuitySA in a matter of minutes.
Managed Virtual Server Hosting leverages the power of the cloud computing model to provide servers that can be used either in production or in the event of a disaster.
Managed Backup ensures that data is retained in line with company and regulatory requirements. The latter is disk based, thus avoiding unreliable, hard-to-manage tapes.
“Disaster recovery falls squarely into the category of ‘critical but not core’ – something that has to be done right because it’s the organisation’s last resort to resume operations. When you need it, it has to work,” Malic says. “Consuming it as a service means that you are effectively sharing costs with all our clients and accessing the experience and expertise of people who do this all the time. The result: peace of mind for directors, executives and all other stakeholders, without the loss of management focus when attempting to do it in-house.”
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