Cloud Recovery: RaaS is only half the answer

The thrust of Joshua's excellent writing is about the concept of Cloud Recovery, or as some are calling it; RaaS, Recovery as a Service. As Joshua quite rightly points out, the cloud makes a perfect platform from which to launch disaster recover and business continuity efforts.

Last week I was reading this article on Cloud Recovery, by our fellow cloud vendor Geminare's CEO, Joshua Geist.

But, should the discussion be limited to just 'Recovery'? I think there are many more important aspects to consider, not least continuity or the ability for your users to 'continue' working during the outage. Recovery, in my mind, picks up the pieces afterwards. Continuity is king!

Enter the Cloud

The article makes a solid argument for using the Cloud to the best  of its advantage, especially for services like backup and recovery. The market seems to agree - when presented with reduced cost and complexity by moving to the cloud it's hard not to be in the headlines. As CRN reported this week from the Nth Generation Technical Symposium, some 23% of the attendees claimed to be using cloud services for DR and BCP.

And this is not just limited to businesses either. Many of today's RaaS models  grew up on lessons learned from consumers, who have had access to cloud based backup and recovery services for some time, the latest being directed at their social networking persona's by the likes of the excellent, Boston based, Backupify.

What's missing?

I can't help but think that Cloud Backup, RaaS or just plain old Backup and Recovery is missing something, and that just limiting the discussion to "Recovery" is, ...well... limiting.

Geist touches on this slightly at the end of the article...

Imagine, businesses that operate in high-risk areas such as hurricane alley engaging a Cloud Recovery provider minutes after notification of impending risks, deploying a high availability solution on the fly, and unplugging their servers the same day that a warning is issued.

.. the use of the phrase "deploying a high availability solution" is what I'm after, that's where the real value is added. The ability for your users to continue working whilst the outage and subsequent recovery is occurring.

A solid recovery strategy based on RaaS is going to make life a lot easier than relying on a dubious tape based strategy, but the organization is still subject to an RPO & RTO for each service or infrastructure.

Enter CaaS

Continuity services deployed from the Cloud, or "as a Service" - CaaS if you will, extends the capability of the organization to cope with an outage or disaster. While key infrastructure is offline a CaaS offering allows your users to continue working throughout the outage, hopefully if done well, without them even noticing. The same reasoning Geist uses to in his RaaS discussion applies equally to CaaS too, and when you consider that users' access to service should not be disrupted if a CaaS service is deployed, the business is no longer subject to lengthy RPO and RTO times. I could go as far as saying RPO and RTO could be reduced to ZERO!

To quote Geist:

Now that’s a dramatic and disruptive shift in how DR and BC solutions are being delivered.

BC (Business Continuity) especially. RaaS should go hand in hand with CaaS in order to deliver the holistic solution, with the overriding aim of keeping your users online, productive and happy.