September 27, 2012, 6:28 AM — Disaster recovery and the cloud should be a match made in heaven. Take a function that enterprises love to hate and address it with an outsourced, efficient cloud service that makes it easier and less expensive to reach recoverable nirvana, and presto - instant success. Well, not so fast.
During the past 12 to 18 months, analysts say the disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS or RaaS) market has exploded, with legacy DR vendors pivoting to offer cloud-based services and a crop of new pure-play cloud providers leveraging automation and shared resource efficiencies to break into the game.
But with a nascent technology in a critical industry, analysts say enterprises should tread carefully. Some question if cloud-based DR systems have proven they work at scale and wonder if they've yet earned their stripes in helping companies recover from major disasters. Plus, there are a whole new crop of challenges and technical specifications that need to be considered when implementing a cloud-based DR strategy compared to traditional methods. All that adds up to a big caution sign for the enterprise.
AVOIDING DISASTER: Can you trust data-recovery service providers?
DR has gone through an evolution during the past few decades. Collocation and managed service offerings began replacing tape-based DR solutions in earnest more than a decade and a half ago, says Forrester DR analyst Rachel Dines. And just in the past few years cloud-based services have emerged. But are cloud services really new, or just existing managed DR services redefined using the latest buzzwords?