If you already have Backup as a Service (BaaS), do you need Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and vice versa? What’s the difference between the two? Is one better than the other?

In this blog, we clear up any confusion between BaaS and DRaaS by defining what each solution is, compare and contrast their differences, and help you determine which solution might best fit your business.

Defining BaaS and DRaaS

You’ve likely experienced personal data loss at some point, losing photo memories to a water-logged camera or an important digital document to an ill-timed power surge. But for businesses, the sting of loss can be even worse.

Data loss can halt business operations and tarnish your brand reputation, crushing revenue and could even cost enough that a business must shut down. BaaS and DRaaS seek to minimize or eliminate those losses.

Businessman shows the words "data backup" written on red block in front of blocks lined up like dominoes and a hand stopping them from falling with icons showing types of data as a concept for backup as a service (BaaS)

Backup as a Service (BaaS): A third-party service provider backs up business data to an off-site storage system. Instead of handling backup on-premises with an IT department, maintenance and management are offloaded to the provider.

Like you might use DropBox or Google Drive, BaaS keeps files safe in the event your computers crash, an employee unwittingly formats a hard drive, or a construction crew accidentally severs your fiber optic cable. You decide what’s backed up, from applications to databases and more.

If your PC goes out and you have BaaS, you can simply get a new PC, relieved knowing your files are safely backed up with no data loss. Your provider will restore your backed-up data, but if any of your infrastructure is down, your business will be responsible for restoring it, which requires time, resources, and expertise.

Hand writing in marker the words "Disaster Recovery Plan" with the first letter of each circled in yellow, orange, and red respectively as a concept for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): A third-party service provider hosts and continually replicates your servers to enable failover in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe. This means both data and infrastructure are protected.

Any time there are file changes, DRaaS replicates those changes to a different location geographically. If you experience downtime, it won’t be for long because your provider will handle getting all your apps, files and systems right back up and running. You can utilize the DRaaS failover to continue business operations as normal until you can restore your on-premises environment to normal.

This ensures excellent business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR). Major disasters like hurricanes, fire, and the growing threat of ransomware don’t stand a chance against DRaaS, and the burden of recovery is placed on your provider so you and your team can get back to work without breaking a sweat.

Hand holding an open red umbrella which protects from a collision with a broken wrecking ball as a concept for data protection, disaster recovery, or backup as a service

Key Differences Between BaaS and DRaaS

1. Who’s Responsible for What?

With BaaS, only data is backed up, so if your infrastructure is out of order, then you are completely responsible for its redeployment.

With DRaaS, your data and infrastructure are backed up. Your provider takes care of deploying servers so your business doesn’t have to manage a thing.

2. BC/DR Capability

RPO (Recovery Point Objective), which is the point in time you recover to in the past, and RTO (Recovery Time Objective), which is the time in the future you will be up again, are parameters for a BC/DR solution.

With BaaS, effective BC/DR is difficult to achieve. While you have the data recovered, it could take a long time to get your infrastructure back up and running. Your RPO and RTO will be slower, measured in hours or even days.

With DRaaS, RPO is measured in seconds and RTO in minutes so you can recover with lightning speed. It’s a top-notch BC/DR solution, able to get your business back up and running in the face of floods, ransomware, and even spilled coffee. DRaaS can handle any worst-case scenario.

3. Cost

With BaaS, the cost is generally cheaper upfront because the provider is only maintaining the storage. However, you may pay later if you aren’t prepared with a disaster recovery plan.

With DRaaS, you will pay more upfront because the provider is handling the infrastructure as well, but with the promise that you are protected from potentially greater losses caused by downtime later on.

Check list and marker making yellow checks on it as a concept for comparison of features

How Do You Know What’s Best for Your Business?

There’s no universal “right answer” for which strategy is better when it comes to BaaS vs. DRaaS. Instead, the answer depends on which solution will best fit your unique business needs.

BaaS is a good fit for your business if:

  • Your business can survive potentially long stretches of downtime with only your data restored, from a few hours to a few days or weeks
  • The cost of downtime for your particular business would be measurably less than investing in DRaaS, and you’re on a tight budget
  • You have a full-fledged DR plan and are happy with your RPO and RTO times
  • You have a team that is well-equipped to restore infrastructure in the event of a disaster
  • You have large amounts of data that doesn’t change often

DRaaS is a good fit for your business if:

  • Your brand and revenue will suffer if downtime lasts more than a few minutes, and you could even be put out of business if it lasts for days or weeks
  • The cost of downtime for your business outweighs that of investing in DRaaS
  • You want the fastest RPO and RTO times without having to worry about a thing
  • You do not have the resources to restore infrastructure quickly enough
  • You need more than periodic backups—you need constant data replication to ensure no data is lost

What about both?

Your business may benefit from combining the services of both BaaS and DRaaS. Not all data is equal and combining BaaS and DRaaS can be a cost-effective way to ensure all of your data is safe.

LightBound’s DRaaS Has You Covered

If you’re interested in DRaaS, LightBound’s Disaster Recovery as a Service has you covered. We’ll work with you to customize a DRaaS solution specific to meet your unique business needs.