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Will you be prepared when disaster strikes? In today’s rapidly evolving IT infrastructure and cloud landscape, where massive amounts of data are collected, transmitted, and stored, threats can emerge quickly and leave lasting (and costly) damage to your operations and reputation. Threats can be physical – like a fire or flood – or they can be technological, like a disrupted connection to the server. Threats can be external – like a hacker or malware – or they can be internal, like a disgruntled employee. Given the innumerable threats your organization can face and the impact of data loss to your mission, the importance of an effective DRaaS solution has never been clearer.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) not only ensures that you have a detailed and appropriate-for-your-organization disaster recovery plan, it also helps future-proof that plan through continuous management, maintenance, monitoring, adaptation, and expansion. DRaaS solutions will alleviate your internal IT department, lowering both the cost of resources and employee time dedicated to disaster preparedness and recovery.

Implementing an effective DRaaS solution, however, may be quite complex. How do you select a DRaaS provider to be your disaster recovery partner? We’ve outlined a few key questions to ask that will help ensure an easy transition, smooth working relationship, and (if disaster comes knocking) complete business continuity.

What are their capabilities?

First and foremost: can the DRaaS vendor handle the requirements of your agency or organization? Specialized experience across a broad spectrum of services from a single provider is a good sign that the DRaaS vendor is capable in the short term while also being able to both grow and adapt to your mission as needs change in the future. Whether you are looking for simple file recovery or fault-tolerant, zero-downtime continuous data replication, a responsible DRaaS provider should have varying levels of configurations to suit your individual needs.

How do you quantify, measure, and track performance?

A robust service level agreement will include performance metrics, including Recovery Time and Recovery Point Objectives. Does the DRaaS provider have a record of meeting their SLA projections? It’s also helpful to know how many backups are available to you, how far back they are recoverable, and how quickly support is able to resolve issues should you experience data loss or corruption.

Where are data backups stored?

Location is a big factor when deciding which DRaaS provider is right for your organization. For compliance with federal regulations, some data is required to be kept within our national borders. Data can be stored both on-site and at an off-site recovery location. The recovery location should be close enough to avoid any latency between data transmission and access, but far enough away to mitigate the risk of localized disasters affecting multiple datacenters.

How is your data secured and who has access?

Evolving government regulations and your own organization’s level of risk tolerance will inform how your data is handled and stored. Are you subject to FISMA oversight or FedRAMP controls? Your DRaaS provider should fully understand the protocols required of your agency and be able to effectively defend your data from compromise. A comprehensive list of authorized users and their permitted access should be developed and routinely reassessed.

Do you have visibility into testing?

Disaster recovery and failover testing should be performed regularly, with a detailed report generated on system successes, weaknesses, and failures. The status and availability of the recovery site should be completely transparent in real time, and you should know when tests occur, how often they occur, and what are the results. Responsible testing will evaluate the resiliency of your system and data when confronted with disaster events of any magnitude.

What will this cost?

A clearly defined pricing structure is crucial to a successful working relationship between your organization and a DRaaS solution provider. Look out for vague assertions and hidden fees, costs that might fluctuate, or pricing tiers that could become prohibitive as you scale.

Have they worked with similar organizations before?

Ask to see a roster of current and past clients. A responsible DRaaS provider should be able to connect you with a breadth of performance references. It’s especially important to hear from organizations which have a system, data, and mission like yours. Start a frank and open conversation with any references you contact, and ask about their opinions, experiences, and working relationship with the DRaaS provider.

If you’re looking for a disaster recovery solution or DRaaS provider, it’s crucial to align with a partner that has both an exceptional record of performance working with complex disaster recovery infrastructures and a commitment to staying at the forefront of threat mitigation. GovDataHosting checks all the boxes. Our scalable solutions satisfy RMF for DoD, NIST, and FISMA requirements, among others, and we can customize recovery configurations to accommodate even the most demanding government system disaster recovery strategies. Get in touch to discuss your organizational needs with an industry-leading DRaaS solution provider today.

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