The concept of virtualization has revolutionized today’s data center – from server to storage and now networking. As a result, it has paved the way for many cloud offerings such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Small and medium businesses, or really enterprise customers of any size, can now implement comprehensive disaster recovery plans that were once out of reach due to cost or lack of resources.
So why should your organization use DRaaS to protect your most critical data and applications in the event of site outages, security breach, or natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, etc? DRaaS has modernized disaster recovery and offers many advantages over traditional DR methods.
Rapid and Immediate Recovery – As ‘they’ say, time is money. So clearly one of the most compelling advantages of DRaaS is the ability to achieve near-zero Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). Since everything is stored in the cloud, restoring a virtual Disaster Recovery (DR) site can be done in minutes as opposed to hours or days with traditional DR methods.
Cost Savings – Moving disaster recovery services to the cloud, as opposed to a remote site with hardware that replicates the on-premises infrastructure, reduces the need for as many capital expenses including data center space, IT hardware and infrastructure, and dedicated DR resources – leading to significant cost reductions for the organization.
Scalability – Because the DRaaS model is based on consumption or use of the service and can be scaled up or down based on requirements without the investment in hardware, it is much better suited to grow as your business grows.
Dedicated Resources – As mentioned earlier, DRaaS allows companies to implement disaster recovery plans they may never have been able to in the past. One of the roadblocks that has kept organizations from rolling out a solid DR strategy was the lack of IT resources that were well versed in disaster recovery. With DRaaS, organizations can immediately benefit from the knowledge of dedicated DR specialists at Clearpath Solutions Group who use best practices to manage disaster recovery plans every day for multiple clients.
So, now that we’ve piqued your interest or completely sold you on the need to move to a DRaaS model. Let’s now address some of the challenges with DRaaS and how Clearpath overcomes them for our partners.
While DRaaS is certainly compelling on its own, simply moving workloads and backing up data in the cloud does not constitute a true DR solution. The challenge with disaster recovery is often with the networking piece of the puzzle. Restoring data, applications, servers, and storage arrays often relies on things like IP addresses, firewall rules, and load balancing. Replicating the production network at the DR site can become a very manual process for service providers like Clearpath. So, while DRaaS is much more effective and efficient than traditional DR methods, it still provides network complexities and challenges to the disaster recovery process. Not only do these processes take a lot of time and skilled resources, but also can be extremely costly from a financial and business continuity standpoint.
In order to overcome this challenge and improve on normal DRaaS practices, Clearpath uses VMware NSX network virtualization software. NSX does for the data center’s network model what virtualization did for the server 10 years ago – allowing you to reproduce the entire networking environment in software.
While much of the focus is on bringing back servers and storage during disaster recovery, the network is often the bottleneck that hinders Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). Using NSX, customers often see up to 80% better RTOs because they don’t have to deal with re-addressing, firewall rules, or VLAN configurations. Because NSX deals with all that across multiple sites– you have application continuity and recoverable networks - without the hassle.
Another concern when moving to a DRaaS model is security. Many organizations are wary of the security risks involved with moving critical data and recovery of that critical data to the cloud where workloads are running outside of the traditional network perimeter or firewall. With NSX, businesses can be reassured that critical data and applications that are now virtual and portable are protected by a micro-segmented security approach. This means that NSX isn’t just relying on the perimeter firewall, but allowing for security policies that prevent attacks that can laterally spread through a data center – greatly minimizing the risks and impact of data breaches.
The combination of DRaaS offered by Clearpath Solutions Group and VMware NSX virtualization technology overcomes not only the challenges of traditional DR methods, but also modernizes disaster recovery strategies for the cloud. In a time when security risks and natural disasters are a real concern for organizations, achieving an immediate, reliable, and secure data recovery plan that can ensure business continuity is front-of-mind. Now, with cloud-based DR and network virtualization, this is more feasible and affordable than ever.
To learn more about how Clearpath Solutions Group can use network virtualization and NSX to help you implement a proactive and effective security plan, contact us today to schedule a discussion.
Check out more posts in our VMware NSX series, listed below: