Floods, fires, earthquakes, pandemics, and ransomware. There are a myriad of calamities, natural and man-made (or a combination of both) that can take down your IT operations, or worse, your entire business. And the situation is only getting worse as cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and audacious in nature.

For these many reasons the need for disaster recovery is critical, but overcoming the infrastructure, time and cost of implementation challenges can make it hard to get a proper deployment done. For example, building out parallel infrastructure with all the power, cooling, hardware, and software to support your entire environment is all but a pipe dream for most. Instead, you need to make choices and trade offs. You need to choose and decide on what data and applications are mission-critical vs. business-critical or should be regulated to “best efforts” in terms of recovering them. For many organizations this means taking care of a small set of mission-critical applications and if and when a disaster strikes just hope it all works and no one notices that the other business-critical and “best effort” applications are down for an extended period of time.

Mind the Gap — Between Best Efforts and Mission-Critical

Even when I speak to Cohesity customers, many have taken a “best efforts” approach to disaster recovery. They leverage our robust and immutable backups to rebuild and recover their entire environment if needed. It works, but it takes time. On the other end of the spectrum, they can take advantage of near-synchronous replication and continuous data protection (CDP) with site-to-site disaster recovery using Cohesity SiteContinuity and achieve near-zero downtime and data loss. It works amazingly well, but customers still need to pay for and operate a secondary location and infrastructure including all the hardware and VMware licenses required to do so — which not everyone or every application can afford. This is where Cohesity Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) comes in.

Democratize Disaster Recovery

Now generally available, Cohesity DRaaS addresses a huge gap in the market. It democratizes disaster recovery by making it more accessible to more organizations and applications. It helps remove the need to make compromises on what gets marked as mission-critical and what gets regulated to be “best efforts”. So how do we do this? Unlike most DRaaS solutions in the market which either amortize the long-term costs of secondary data centers and infrastructure into a monthly payment plan or leverage pilot-lit secondary infrastructure like VMware Cloud, which still can be costly, Cohesity DRaaS uses Amazon Web Services’s (AWS) pay-as-you-go infrastructure such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) when you failover to help you cut DR costs drastically compared to managing a dedicated secondary site.

Pay Only for the Infrastructure You Use

With Cohesity DRaaS you only pay for the infrastructure you use on AWS when you failover for a test drill or an actual disaster. That can equate to huge savings in your overall disaster recovery costs if you consider organizations that follow best practices typically do DR test drills 4-12 times a year (lasting a few days each), and if and when a real disaster hits, you might need to failover to your secondary location for up to a week. In most cases, your secondary infrastructure is being used 5-10% of the time but you still need to pay for the other 90-95% of the time it sits idle. That’s a huge waste of time, money and effort for something that sits idle most of the time.

How Does Cohesity DRaaS Work?

First, it uses the same SiteContinuity DR orchestration engine we use for site-to-site recovery that runs in the cloud as SaaS. Second, it uses the same snapshot-based backups and data replication capabilities from Cohesity DataProtect to protect and move data such as your VMware workloads offsite to the cloud. Once the data is in the cloud, Cohesity SiteContinuity ensures it’s ready to spin-up and failover on-demand, directly into Amazon EC2 instances running on your own AWS account. We take care of the entire process and DR orchestration workflow for you — from the replication, to format conversions from VMware VMDK to Amazon AMI, to the failover and failback — all through the DR plans and runbooks you create through the SiteContinuity GUI and visual design canvas. This solution allows you to bridge the gap between mission-critical and “best efforts” by automatically spinning up and failing over to the cloud for you and will improve your recovery times dramatically.

Disaster Recovery Testing Made Easy

According to a CIO Insight survey only 40% test their DR plans annually, 26% test once a quarter, 6% test once a month, 22% test rarely and 6% never test their plans at all. Those numbers are staggeringly low — it’s like having fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and exit routes in your building, but never checking if the alarm batteries or extinguisher retardants are low and if the fire escapes are locked. The reality is that it’s hard to test when you don’t have a DR plan documented and a full-scale DR solution built out. Cohesity DRaaS solves both of these problems with a simple and intuitive DR plan designer in SiteContinuity and a full-featured DR service that’s managed by Cohesity. DRaaS makes more frequent DR drills and testing a reality and much simpler as it allows you to just spin up AWS infrastructure on-demand for testing and tear it down when you’re done.

Disaster Recovery for All

With Cohesity DRaaS we are making enterprise-class disaster recovery more accessible to all. Cohesity DRaaS is designed so that you no longer need to make large investments in secondary data centers and parallel infrastructure plus provide the resources to operate and maintain them. Imagine the costs you can eliminate when you consider most of this infrastructure typically sits idle 90-95% of the time and instead you can use on-demand pay-as-you-go AWS infrastructure with Cohesity DRaaS. You can reuse your existing Cohesity backup investments and replicate it to the cloud for DR. With Cohesity, you no longer need to make the choice between “best effort” recovery or mission-critical recovery. You can achieve disaster recovery and improve recovery time SLAs for a broad range of your applications and data with Cohesity DRaaS — without the need to invest in more infrastructure or assign more resources to support it.

Don’t wait to protect more of your environment with DRaaS. You can get started now and sign-up for a 30 day free trial for Cohesity DRaaS.

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