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How to Choose Between Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS/RaaS)?

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Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS/RaaS) represent two major models ensuring high availability for the enterprise. All companies want to protect their production data against such disasters as fire, flood or human faults. And, when such disasters happen, these companies want to minimize their losses and restore their data as soon as possible.

Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS)

In Backup-as-a-Service model a provider offers online data backup to its own off-site storage systems. So, when choosing this solution, a company shall decide what files will be backed up. If it’s application development, databases, images, source code and all other files are required to resume operation from the point when a disaster happens.

The provider’s function here is to ensure data consistency and restore backed up copies. If the client’s infrastructure goes out of order, the client is responsible for its redeployment and shall restore all other files beyond BaaS Service Level Agreement (SLA) manually. Therefore, after a serious interruption like fire, the company also has to install and configure required hardware.

In other words, BaaS provider restores only data.

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS/RaaS)

Although the backup function is often a part of DRaaS (or RaaS), the process of data recovery is still different. In this case, company servers are replicated (mirrored) off-site as recovery instances in a cloud. The replication level depends on a DR-scenario, so it could be a minimum, scaled-down running environment or a full-scale suspended copy of the infrastructure in a cloud.

A DRaaS provider ensures a replicated infrastructure consisting of the same components and it backs up client’s endpoints at the intervals specified by SLA. When a disaster hits the company, the duty of its provider is to deploy disaster recovery servers and provide the staff and applications with remote access. So, the only thing a client has to worry about is switching on replicated servers and proceeding to work as if nothing happened. In other words, a DRaaS provider restores infrastructure including all hosted applications, file systems and current system configurations.A DRaaS provider shall maintain the replicated infrastructure, therefore, its costs are heavier than those of a BaaS provider which only task is to maintain storage. In view of the above, DRaaS solutions are more expensive than BaaS.So, how to choose between BaaS and DRaaS? It, of course, depends on your infrastructure and business specifics. To summarize the differences, we listed just a few crucial factors that can influence this choice.

Choose BaaS if...

  • The company infrastructure can be easily reassembled in case of a disaster
  • Your business is not focused on application or web-service maintenance (e.g., access to the data is not required frequently)
  • Your measured RPO and RTO don’t exceed the expected rate
  • You have a disaster recovery specialist on board
  • You need a cheap solution

Choose DRaaS if...

  • The company infrastructure consists of multiple parts that can’t be easily reassembled in case of a disaster
  • You develop web-services or applications that require 24/7 access
  • The amount of data increases dramatically
  • You’ve hired generalists to deal with a lot of different tasks
  • You can bear additional expenses
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