Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is a cloud computing service model that allows an organization to back up its data and IT infrastructure in a third-party cloud computing environment and provide all the DR orchestration, all through a SaaS solution, to regain access and functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster. The as-a-service model means that the organization itself doesn’t have to own all the resources or handle all the management for disaster recovery, instead relying on the service provider.

Disaster recovery planning is critical to business continuity. Many disasters that have the potential to wreak havoc on an IT organization have become more frequent in recent years:

  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires and earthquakes
  • Equipment failures and power outages
  • Cyberattacks

How does disaster recovery as a service work?

DRaaS works by replicating and hosting servers in a third-party vendor’s facilities versus in the physical location of the organization that owns the workload. The disaster recovery plan is executed on the third-party vendor’s facilities in the event of a disaster that shuts down a customer’s site. Organizations may purchase DRaaS plans through a traditional subscription model or a pay-per-use model that allows them to pay only when disaster strikes. As-a-service solutions vary in scope and cost—organizations should evaluate potential DRaaS providers according to their own unique needs and budget.

DRaaS can save organizations money by eliminating the need for provisioning and maintaining an organization’s own off-site disaster recovery environment. However, organizations should evaluate and understand service level agreements. For instance, what happens to recovery times if both the provider and customer are affected by the same natural disaster, such as a large hurricane or earthquake. Different DRaaS providers have different policies on prioritizing which customers get help first in a large regional disaster or allowing customers to perform their own disaster recovery testing.