Choosing a DRaaS provider: 10 questions to ask a disaster recovery provider

With disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), any company can have the peace of mind that comes with a disaster recovery solution. But not all DRaaS providers are created equal. If you want to reap the benefits of a cloud-based disaster recovery solution, you need to carefully choose a provider that will be your company’s trusted partner.

Here are 10 questions to ask as you evaluate DRaaS providers:

Does the provider understand your business, your immediate priorities and your DR objectives? (Look for a provider that seeks to understand your current backup and recovery challenges, RTOs and RPOs, and data growth.)

Does the provider offer an exit strategy, enabling you to easily bring your backup and recovery in-house or transfer it to another provider? (If so, that indicates faith in their service and stability, and will effectively motivate their best efforts to keep your business.)

Can the DRaaS solution accommodate a hybrid approach, with some backups occurring onsite and some offsite (or public/private cloud)?

Does the provider offer flexible data retention policies, allowing you to address your business’ unique requirements.

Are restores bandwidth intensive? (Look for a vendor that considers the bandwidth limitations of your ISP.)

How personal is the service? (Look for a provider that is not so big as to not care about your company during a crisis but not so small as to be unable to quickly respond when you need them.)

Does the DR provider have a disaster recovery plan? (The provider you choose should have a second data centre with duplicate data that can be switched to immediately to prevent interruption of service. And, it should be far enough away from the first data centre so as not to be affected by the same disaster.)

How does the DRaaS provider ensure data security, and how do they demonstrate that? (Look for documentation that the service has been tested and sanctioned by credible third parties like government and standards organizations.)

Are the guarantees, penalties and recourse offered in the service-level agreement (SLA) sufficient? (Your provider should allow you to negotiate RTOs and RPOs, and help you set appropriate SLA benchmarks for your business.)

Is there any doubt that backups can be restored in the event of a crisis?

With answers to these 10 questions, you should have a good feeling as to whether a DRaaS provider is one you can trust. And you’ll feel good knowing that you’ve not only overcome the traditional barriers to disaster recovery but are reaping its benefits as well.

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