In its first-ever Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) Magic Quadrant report, market-research firm Gartner said it found companies had increasingly aggressive recovery-time objectives, and that “blended” data center operations were forcing DRaaS to evolve. Smaller businesses remain the largest customer segment for this cloud service category.
The cost of network downtime is expensive. Gartner pegs it at $5,600 a minute. A study from the Ponemon Institute in 2013 pegged the cost of downtime at $7,900 a minute. In either case, downtime is too expensive to ignore, and solid disaster recovery is imperative. However, not everyone has the means to employ a traditional disaster-recovery infrastructure, which has given rise to DRaaS.
The DRaaS market should be closely followed by data center providers, as they look to ancillary services to boost revenue. Data center providers such as Peak 10, positioned in the niche quandrant due to its emphasis on the southeast market, have expanded DRaaS offerings over the years. QTS Realty Trust and CoSentry have also boosted portfolio offerings with DRaaS. DRaaS allows customers to take advantage of a national data center footprint by addressing one of their biggest needs in disaster recovery.
Sungard Availability Services, a provider whose core strength is disaster recovery, had the highest placement in the Leaders Quadrant. The other providers positioned as leaders were IBM and NTT Communications.
DRaaS needs to support hybrid physical and virtual machine environments and heterogeneous virtual machine usage. Customers are increasingly demanding integrated support of hybrid recovery configurations for both virtual and physical machines. The variety of supported VMs is also expanding as service instances become increasingly heterogeneous.
Here’s the DRaaS Magic Quadrant, courtesy of Gartner:
The majority of early DRaaS adopters are small organizations with fewer than 100 servers, according to Gartner. There are a few reasons why adoption among larger organizations isn’t quite as expansive, boiling down to their existing setups and time and cost considerations.
However, DRaaS appeal is broadening, with Gartner suggesting its appeal isn’t limited solely to small companies. Service features and pricing attributes still need work, with service cost-effectiveness the most cited area that needs improvement. Fixed recurring pricing per VM per month was found to be prohibitively costly with needs large in scope.
Larger organizations aren’t adopting DRaaS because they often have multiple data centers to work with. Gartner notes that very few are moving to having only one or no in-house data centers or colocation sites. Decommisioning DR hardware is an intensive, time-involved process and DRaaS is fairly new. These organizations are also more likely to have heterogeneous environments and needs.
Gartner noted that large cloud-based DR configurations aren’t necessarily a low-cost alternative, that requires WAN bandwidth spend that grows as needs increase. Larger DRaaS configurations are not simple and often have extremely aggressive recovery time objectives. Gartner suggests that service providers are addressing this market with managed virtual private cloud.
Findings revealed that DRaaS adoption is occurring across all verticals, not just regulated industries.
Gartner defines three types of cloud-based recovery, based on how the relationship between customer and provider works. In DRaaS, the service provider manages virtual machine replication and, optionally, physical machine replication from the production data center into the cloud.
There is also recovery using Infrastructure-as-a-Service, where the customer manages DR in the cloud, and recovery using Backup-as-a-Service, where the provider manages VM backup from the production data center into the cloud.