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There are many adventurers in the world who set out on a journey without preparation and solve new situations or problems as they come. And if something doesn't work out, at least they have an experience they can share with friends or the community. However, such an approach is not acceptable in the field of informatics. Especially when you have responsibility for customers, employees, operation of the company, its systems and data. In these situations, it is advisable to have a plan and a "lifeboat" ready to support you when a serious breakdown or a catastrophic event occurs. Of course, it is optimal that this "lifeboat" is not unnecessarily expensive, is easy to maintain and is inflatable so that it does not take up unnecessarily much space. You simply unpack it and launch it when you need it.

Don't worry, this is not a travel blog. It is just the simplest form of introducing the service under the overcomplicated name Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), which represents the aforementioned "lifeboat".

Outage is coming. So preparation is important.

Whether you are a smaller or larger company, it is safe to say that you will face an outage sooner or later and it will be important how you are prepared for it. It does not have to be a hacker attack, but any uncontrollable cause, either from the human factor, natural elements or technical failure. It is essential that you restore your business as quickly as possible and minimize potential losses. You don't have to wait with your hands folded, but you should start looking for appropriate solutions in time. One of the typical approaches is the creation and operation of backup solutions, which, however, bind extra resources, are demanding for operational support. Their parallel development in addition to the production environment significantly increases the company's investment burden. Due to these disadvantages, solutions built in the cloud ecosystem have been increasingly promoted in recent years in the field of disaster resilience. These enable effective creation of complex, scalable and highly available environments that are ready to provide critical IT services even in the event of a failure of your own company data centre, or a failure of primary environment.

However, the cloud alone is not the answer to everything and does not in itself provide services that directly address the specific problems associated with disaster recovery. Cloud is a robust platform, but it is necessary to implement extensions in it to ensure data replication, automation of target environment deployment, application integration, security protocols and other support services related to the area of continuity of operation of IT services. In this sense, it is another level of cloud services that implements and supports recovery processes and can be called the Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). At the same time, it must be said that the scope of DRaaS can vary, it should also cover the specific requirements of the customer and its successful deployment and operation usually require experience and expertise in several, not only purely technological areas.

The advantage of cloud environment is that as a company you can have various levels of disaster recovery solutions implemented, from simple data backup to cloud storage to complex, actively operating redundant systems. In other words, in a cloud environment, you do not necessarily have to run your systems to the full extent and capacity. This means that your system can be operated in a minimal, i.e. economically advantageous configuration, and in the event of a failure, the capacities are operationally and automatically increased so that standard operation can work in it. From an economic point of view, this is a significant cost optimization, as under normal circumstances you only pay the "maintenance fee" and you only pay for the target capacity and services in case of emergency.

The goal of DRaaS, as provided by eGroup Solutions, is to set up the overall processes that respond to an accident or problem, and their role is to provide IT services repeatedly from an alternative location. The moment the outage affects the primary operating systems, the total service recovery time depends not only on the availability of infrastructure, but especially on the data recovery speed, settings of communication flows, integration into the existing environment, access security and running routine operational and support processes over the “disaster recovery” environment. It is therefore important that people with rich experience take care of this critical scenario. At eGroup Solutions, we can choose meaningful "disaster recovery" solutions at the beginning of the IT architecture design, which take into account the size of your business, your financial capabilities, technological and operational requirements, says Ing. Ján Szuda, PhD., Technical Director of eGroup Solutions, a. s.

Something extra

The traditional way of dealing with disaster recovery often focuses mainly on investing in its own (on-premise) infrastructure and its subsequent management. With DRaaS in the cloud, the focus on the hardware infrastructure is shifted toward automating the deployment of overall recovery scenarios. These tasks require experienced specialists who understand the issues of backup, process automation, application integration, communication technologies and security. A prerequisite for successful deployment of disaster recovery solution is therefore a team of experienced IT experts who can cover the entire issue of IT service continuity, from initial analysis to operational operation.

“Our added value in providing DRaaS is that we have many years of experience in this area. At the customer, we can analyse the existing environment, identify his real needs and, based on that, design a recovery strategy and optimal architecture of the target solution, regardless of whether it will run in the cloud, in our own data centre or in a hybrid environment. In addition to analytical and design activities, we are also able to ensure complete implementation of solution, its testing and commissioning. And then we can take care of the entire IT infrastructure,” explains Ing. Martin Slovák, Sales Manager for key customers of eGroup Solutions, a. s.

At this moment, the term Operation as a Service also comes on the scene. This term covers the whole process of performing care. It is another way to reduce the company's IT operating costs while increasing its quality. This can only be preceded by quality planning, which experts can create so that the customer does not waste unnecessary resources on infrastructure or even on operations and care in general.

Suitable applications for the cloud

An important part of the design of optimal cloud architecture for the DRaaS solution is also the selection of suitable application solutions that are ready for use in the cloud and thus significantly simplify the continuity of business processes in the event of disaster recovery.

The big advantage is to have software that is ready for the cloud, such as a suite of IBM Cloud Paksproducts that are even capable of working with artificial intelligence and that are ready for operation in the cloud or in a hybrid environment.

One such example of choosing a suitable product is the integration platform solution of the IBM Cloud Paks for Integration, i.e. the central point through which all systems exchange information with each other. Cloud systems must be able to ensure the flow of information.

What is the role of eGroup Solutions and how is the situation assessed in a nutshell? 

So how do you build Disaster Recovery in a cloud environment? The first step is to analyse the entire environment, based on which experts will create an overall strategy for the continuity of IT services. Subsequently, possible target architectures are analysed and an optimal solution variant is proposed. The key is correct understanding of customer's requirements, i. e. what IT services he uses, which services are critical for him and what are the continuity requirements for the given service. It is also necessary to simply estimate whether, in the event of a failure, it is necessary to resume the operation of the IT service within a few minutes, hours or a recovery within a few days is sufficient. As the price and the technological solutions used depend on this. The client must correctly understand that if he wants to have everything available non-stop and without downtime, then it has a major impact on the technological complexity of the solution. And the more complex the solutions, naturally the more costly they are.

Together with qualified experts, you have the space to assess the suitability of implementing DRaaS solutions in your environment, including the evaluation of the degree to which your expectations and requirements have been met. Do not miss the possibility of such a consultation and do not look for solutions only when it is too late. Get this "inflatable boat" and its associated solutions and services that you will always have on hand.


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