The more that your rely on IT in your working environments, the more that a break down in your IT infrastructure management and services can cause you massive headaches. From hardware to software, databases to websites – a blip in the system can cause at best an inconvenience, and at worst a financial catastrophe.
Faults can happen at any moment, and they can end up being disastrous for companies. For example, if you’re an online-based retailer and suffer an outage that shuts down your e-commerce website, then you can end up losing orders and customers. And if you’re working on an important document and your computer breaks down, you can lose vital work.
This is where disaster recovery services (DR) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) becomes essential. With DR solutions and policies in place, you can get your systems back up and running no matter how minor or major the technical hitches. But which are the best data recovery tools to protect your vital company assets? Read on and find out…
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The software giant’s DR solution
Features: Supports Windows/Linux physical servers, Hyper-V, VMware workloads | Integrations: System Center and SQL Server AlwaysOn | Cloud support: Yes | Free trial: 31-day
The software automatically replicates your IT environment based on policies you set beforehand, and will suit larger firms well. It can protect Hyper-V, VMware and physical servers, and you can also use Microsoft Azure or a secondary data centre for your recovery site.
Azure Site Recovery fully integrates with System Center and SQL Server AlwaysOn. All communication made within Azure is encrypted, and you can also develop sophisticated recovery plans within the Azure portal.
A sophisticated DR solution
Features: Automation | Integrations: VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V | Cloud support: Yes | Free trial: Yes
It stands out as a disaster recovery solution by providing orchestration and automation of the whole recovery process, and it does this regardless of the storage or hypervisor you use.
Like Microsoft’s offering, the Zerto product comes with some useful integrations. It’ll work with VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V out of the box. The solution will protect multi-TB SQL, Exchange, Oracle and file server VMs, and you can transfer workloads and assets between public, private and hybrid clouds.
A DR solution promising swift recovery
Features: Fast recovery from outages, secure VPN connectivity | Integrations: No | Cloud support: Yes | Free trial: 15-day
If your business was hit by an outage, you’d still be able to access applications such as email, SQL and business productivity software. There are built-in security protocols and data encryption here, too, so you don’t have to worry about information getting into the wrong hands.
A neat and streamlined system
Features: Dedicated to backing up, central hub for management | Integrations: No | Cloud support: Yes | Free trial: Yes
There’s also the ability to restore to existing or new hardware, without the need to install additional software. Using the system, you can create custom backup policies taking into account group, role and device. All this is stored within a central hub, which is handy if you want a more streamlined recovery operation.
A secure and supportive DR tool
Features: VPN access, support from specialist engineers | Integrations: No | Cloud support: Yes | Free trial: No
Unlike other DR services, your files and systems aren’t only backed up, but you also get access to specialist engineers who can provide all manner of tech support and help. Obviously that’s quite a bonus if you struggle with complex technology like disaster recovery.
The solution creates a snapshot of your data and systems, and they’re instantly turned into virtual environments so you can get work done in the moment(s) of crisis. Your replica systems are tested every day for flaws, and you’re provided with secure VPN access.
Also consider these DRaaS solutions
While business continuity and disaster recovery services are a long-established market, the advent of cloud-services has made these services easier to access, simpler to manage, and much more cost-effective. It has also led to a large number of providers competing for customer attention, from huge multinationals to smaller SME’s. Here we’ll cover some of the other DRaaS providers worth considering:
AWS CloudEndure provides a DRaaS as part of Amazon’s huge cloud-based service offering. A distinction of AWS is that it’s non-disruptive, meaning it uses minimal resources to provide a service that won’t impact your existing infrastructure efficiency. Additionally, you only pay anything if you find yourself actually having to use your disaster recovery environment. Even then, with sub-second Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and automated orchestration you can achieve recovery time objectives (RTOs) in minutes. CloudEndure is available as part of the AWS ecosystem.
Acronis AnyData Engine is a DRaaS service that uses backup images to provide storage and recovery data for any hardware or virtual machine. These are then saved to a proprietary Unified Backup Format, which can be stored in the cloud or on premises. A single server management panel allows you to monitor and check reports, with restore available at a granular level so only the data that needs recovering needs to be swapped in, rather than more than is necessary. Pricing begins from $99 per month, and an online demo is available to try.
StorageCraft Cloud Services provides a disaster recovery cloud where all your backed-up data and recover tools can be hosted. There are three main tiers provided, with Cloud Basic providing offsite backups and a full-system restore, while Cloud Plus allows for immediate file and folder recovery by downloading directly from your cloud. Cloud Premium uses Virtualization of your systems and data, and in the event of a disaster can be used as a failover.
Sungard AS delivers a leading DRaaS and business continuity provider, as part of its cloud and physical infrastructure recovery service. The company also provides infrastructure and resilience consulting, as well as managed colocation services. For Sungard’s DRaaS, the focus is in working with complex hybrid systems, where some of the IT infrastructure may be in a private cloud, some running on-premises, while other legacy systems are tacked on. The process involves starting with data protection, then restoring environments, and the process is fully managed. There’s no basic pricing structure, so you’ll need to contact Sungard for a quote.
Veeam Availability Suite provides an all-round back-up and replication solution through a single management console. Veeam uses a cloud repository to store and replicate all data and IT infrastructure, so it can be called upon for use for any disaster recovery purposes. The DRaaS solution itself is provided not just with the Availability Sute, but also other packages such as Backup and Replication, as well as Backup Essentials. The company also provides free resources, not least a Dummies Guide to DRaaS. However, to purchase their services you will need to contact a reseller.