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Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a champion among disaster recovery solutions for protecting your business’s data and applications. But how exactly does this service work? With terms like RPO, hypervisor, and more, it’s easy to get lost in the technical details or even sidetracked by myths about DRaaS.

In this blog, we share what LightBound’s DRaaS is, the technology behind it, and a basic breakdown of what DRaaS looks like in action. This will help you gain a clear understanding of how this business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) service keeps your data safe.

What is DRaaS?

Every second it takes for your business to recover from data loss or downtime matters to your bottom line. That’s why it’s key to be able to achieve a quick and easy recovery from a crisis, which is exactly what Disaster Recovery as a Service is designed to do.

With DRaaS, a third-party provider like LightBound hosts and continually replicates your servers. This allows your business to failover in a disaster scenario so you can continue normal business operations until your on-premises environment is restored to normal.

DRaaS protects both your data and infrastructure. Any time there are file changes, DRaaS automatically replicates those changes to a different location geographically—that of your provider.

All in all, DRaaS means that any time you experience downtime, it won’t be for long. With basic backup procedures, downtime can last hours or even days, but DRaaS reduces downtime to mere minutes:

  • RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is the time in the future your business will be up again, which is measured in only minutes with DRaaS
  • RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is the point in time you recover to in the past, which is measured in only seconds with DRaaS
Orange and blue document icon symbolizing a Copy, Duplicate, or Replication

How Does the Replication Technology Behind DRaaS Work?

From a more technical standpoint, LightBound’s Disaster Recovery as a Service is what’s known as a hypervisor-based replication solution. With hypervisor-based replication, each time a virtual machine (VM) writes to its virtual disk, the written command is automatically and continuously captured, cloned, and sent to the recovery site with no impact on application performance.

Regardless of underlying infrastructure at a virtual level for both storage and server locations, enterprise applications are recovered with consistency through hypervisor-based replication. The replication technology consists of:

  • A virtual manager that manages disaster recovery, business continuity, and offsite backup functionality at the site level
  • A virtual replication appliance that replicates the VMs and associated virtual disks and copies I/O (input/output) as it is created before it leaves the hypervisor

Other physically-bound disaster recovery solutions, including array-based replication and appliance-based replication, work in the virtual environment, but they aren’t optimized for it. This prevents the full benefits and capabilities of virtualization from being received.

Hypervisor-based replication bridges this gap in the data protection strategy because it is perfectly optimized for virtual environments, offering major benefits without the drawbacks of other solutions.

Benefits of hypervisor-based replication include:

  • The virtual manager, installed directly inside the virtual infrastructure, is able to tap into a virtual machine’s IO stream, making it more efficient, accurate, and responsive than prior methods
  • Continuous replication with zero impact on application performance
  • There are no guest-host requirements or additional hardware footprint
  • You can quickly move virtual machines around from one physical server or array logical unit (data store) to another
  • It’s fully hardware-agnostic to storage source and destination, able to replicate to anything from anything
  • Achieves RPO in seconds and RTO in minutes
The word "recovery" written on a notepad for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

How Does Disaster Recovery as a Service Work?

1. Getting started with LightBound’s DRaaS.

Choosing your provider is a crucial first step and can make or break your DRaaS experience. Once you’ve found the right provider, it’s time to get set up.

With LightBound as your provider, we will work personally with you to create a custom plan for your company. Deployment is extremely fast, only taking a fraction of the time needed for traditional disaster recovery setups. The failover is fully configured to simplify your recovery process to only a few clicks.

Once deployed, your servers will be continuously replicated over LightBound’s private fiber optics. With LightBound you can expect:

  • Testing 2x annually to ensure a fast and efficient recovery
  • Your data is stored in an SSAE 16 SOC 2 Certified data center
  • 24/7/365  monitoring by skilled support staff
  • Guaranteed resource pool reservation

2. Disaster strikes your business.

You never know when disaster will strike your business, but when it does, you’ll want to be ready. Whether an employee accidentally formats a company hard drive or a major hurricane strikes your office building, disaster can take on many forms, big and small. Thankfully, choosing DRaaS means that no matter the cause of the disaster, you are ready.

3. Automated switch to failover operations.

Even after a disaster has struck your business, your applications are still being served through the cloud with minimal or no data loss thanks to the seconds-long RPO DRaaS is able to provide.

DRaaS fails over processing to the cloud so your organization can continue to operate during a disaster. The failover notice can be automated or manual. In a high-pressure scenario, your IT can count on DRaaS to provide automated and orchestrated processes that can be executed in just a few clicks.

For manual initiation of failover, the process is simple:

  1. Click “failover” in your management console
  2. Select the applications that need recovery
  3. Choose the point in time to which your apps need to be restored (to the point when they were not corrupted)
  4. Start the failover process

4. Automated failback.

The DRaaS operation remains in effect until your IT team can repair the on-premises environment and issue a failback order. Many businesses without DRaaS avoid failover because failback can be a huge ordeal, but LightBound’s DRaaS makes failback easy. After your environment is back up and running, it is only a few clicks to failback.

Ready to Get Started with DRaaS?

DRaaS makes recovering from disaster affordable, achievable, and fast. If you’re interested in learning more about Disaster Recovery as a Service or its benefits, contact LightBound today. Our experts will help answer any questions you might have about cloud data recovery and more.


A hard disk damaged by fire and water meaning data loss and a need for disaster recovery as a service

From lengthy downtime, to a damaged brand reputation and bottom line, no one wants to face the brutal costs of data loss. Unfortunately, every business will experience data loss at some point thanks to the variety of common ways it can occur. This leaves a cloud of dread hanging over many, but the good news is that data loss is preventable with the right preparation.

This blog shares key ways you can take action to prevent a data loss disaster and minimize any negative impact on your business, including how Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can help keep your data safe.

What Causes Data Loss

Here are some examples of the many causes of data loss, varying from rare to everyday occurrences:

  • Power loss from equipment failure or wildlife interference
  • Power surges damaging computer hardware
  • An overheated server room shutting down in an uncontrolled manner
  • Accidental fiber cuts from nearby construction equipment
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and fire
  • Leaks from the water heater or air conditioning
  • Spilled coffee, or other liquid, onto a computer
  • Human error, including accidentally formatting a hard drive or unwittingly deleting a file
  • Cyber attacks such as ransomware, viruses, or malware
  • Hard drive failure due to software or file corruption
  • Stolen devices, such as laptops, that hold critical or confidential data
Utility truck lifts a severed power pole and lines after an accident

Key Ways to Prevent Data Loss

Thankfully there are many actions you can take to prevent data loss and banish your fears, including finding a Disaster Recovery as a Service provider.

Store computers and equipment in the right environment, which should be dust-free and dry with proper heating and cooling. Be sure the environment is maintained and kept in pristine condition. Consider a generator or UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to protect computers in the event of a power failure as well as physical security measures to deter theft.

Use a firewall and antivirus software. These are basic essentials that your business should utilize for protection against viruses and malware, so be sure that you not only use them but keep them up-to-date.

Train employees to recognize suspicious attachments. Employees often serve as the greatest point of vulnerability for cybercriminals to take advantage of, but keeping your employees educated and informed with regular cybersecurity training will help prevent clicks on suspicious links or other actions that could lead to malware or a virus. Restrict access to important data from certain employees that don’t need it and encrypt any sensitive data.

Backup your files regularly and save often. This is one of the most basic, yet essential, tasks to prevent data loss that should not be neglected. To increase protection, be sure to create more than one backup, store them in different locations, verify the success of backups, perform backups routinely, and keep a close eye on your hard drives for signs of failure before they happen. You may also want to consider cloud-based disaster recovery solutions for further data security.

Hard drive from array at server cloud equipment being held in a hand

Create a disaster recovery (DR) plan so that in the event of a disaster, and in the midst of chaos, your team knows exactly how to restore data quickly and effectively, without causing further problems or delays. Test your DR plan regularly, including testing that employees are able to follow through when it comes to restoring lost data. This can reveal weak points while also encouraging employees to stay informed and ready.

Backup as a Service (BaaS) gives you an alternative to handling backup on-premises with an IT department. With BaaS, maintenance and management are offloaded to a third-party provider at an off-site storage system. This is a great option for those who want to pass off the burden of backing up data to a trusted provider that will ensure your data is in good hands.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) goes further beyond the capabilities of BaaS. With 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, protecting both your data and infrastructure.

Disasters that lead to data loss, such as hurricanes, fire, and ransomware, don’t stand a chance against DRaaS, because you can easily get all your data back with the push of a button. Disaster Recovery as a Service is the perfect solution to recover quickly from data loss, with benefits of DRaaS including:

  • Continual, automatic replication to a different location geographically any time there are file changes.
  • Your provider will handle getting all your apps, files, and systems right back up and running with lightning speed, minimizing downtime.
  • You can utilize the DRaaS failover to continue normal business operations until you can restore your on-premises environment.
  • Excellent for business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR).
  • With the right provider, it will be tested regularly, customized, and perfectly executable.

The more of these data loss prevention methods you are able to implement, the safer your data will be. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your data.

Interested in Disaster Recovery as a Service? Be sure to choose a DRaaS provider like LightBound, who will work with you as a true partner to customize a DRaaS solution specific to your unique business needs. Contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer any questions about data loss or disaster recovery solutions you might have.

Businessman using tablet pc and selecting IaaS, or "Infrastructure as a Service"

The ocean of information surrounding cloud services IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS can be a lot to sort through, but the incredible benefits these services offer make it essential to understand how each of these solutions can improve business operations through cloud computing.

In this blog, we break down the techspeak surrounding Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and put all the need-to-know information about this valuable cloud service in one spot. This way, you can gain an understanding of whether or not IaaS is right for your business, in addition to the key details to consider before signing a contract.

What is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)?

To help you understand IaaS, you’ll want to first understand cloud services and cloud computing. Cloud services are the delivery of cloud computing resources (servers, software, storage, and more) over the Internet rather than locally.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one type of cloud service that delivers data center infrastructure, which refers to all of the physical components that make up a data center, including:

  • Servers
  • Network
  • Operating systems
  • Data storage
  • Server racks, power, cooling

A third-party provider delivers use of these resources to you via the Internet. Meanwhile, your IaaS provider handles all of the purchasing, installation, and management of all data center infrastructure so you don’t have to.

IaaS is a pay-as-you-go service, so you can choose the infrastructure elements that you need, easily scaling up and down as your needs change—only paying for what you need when you need it.

Illustration of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with cloud, server, and storage icons

What are the benefits of IaaS?

There are several benefits to Infrastructure as a Service in cloud computing, including:

Scalability. IaaS allows you to quickly, and easily, scale infrastructure up and down as you need it, granting you flexibility and speed to market. This is great for new and growing businesses or those that are constantly testing new products.  

Cost savings. With IaaS, all hardware is taken care of for you, so you don’t have a large capital expenditure right off the bat, nor do you have to worry about having enough manpower or expertise. You also save money thanks to easy scalability, because you only pay for as much infrastructure as you need when you need it.

Improved security. The right provider will adhere to strict industry standards, protecting your environment and data both physically and virtually. This can include redundant power, cooling, fire suppression, and physical security access, plus Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

Time savings. Managing and maintaining a data center is no easy task. IaaS takes this responsibility off of you and your team so you can focus on what you do best. IaaS will increase your manpower and available expertise to ensure smooth operations.

24/7/365 monitoring. Thanks to a professionally designed and maintained environment, you’ll enjoy improved performance and reliability. Even better is if your provider offers 24/7/365 monitoring. This around-the-clock monitoring is essential to increasing your visibility, ensuring all is well and the ability to know right away when it’s not. Ensure that your provider also has always-available customer service so you’re never left hanging in a time of need.

Your data isn’t in your office building. This improves your business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) because if disaster strikes your business location, your data is safely secured at a separate location—that of your provider. Plus, if your office building moves, you won’t have to deal with the cost or burden of moving your data center with it.

Is IaaS right for me?

IaaS is ideal for:

  • Businesses looking for improved data center scalability, security, cost savings and more
  • Small businesses or new businesses that can’t afford or don’t want to invest large amounts in infrastructure up front
  • Businesses that want products to move quickly to market or are constantly testing will enjoy the flexibility and scalability of IaaS
  • Businesses that don’t have the proper manpower, experience, or expertise to manage and maintain a data center

IaaS may not be right for:

  • Businesses that already have a large investment in data center experts/manpower and infrastructure
  • Some very large businesses that may benefit more from investing in their own infrastructure down the line
Data center Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) server with icons depicting security, gears, cloud computing, the internet, and communication

How Do I Choose an IaaS Provider?

To enjoy the full benefits of Infrastructure as a Service, it’s key that you choose the right provider. Seek a cloud infrastructure services provider that does the following, and more, such as LightBound:

  • Offers 24/7/365 monitoring and always-on, always-available, excellent customer service
  • Has top-notch security, follows industry standards, and offers DRaaS
  • Has a whole team of experts with experience in building and maintaining data center infrastructure
  • Will work with you personally to create a custom solution for your business
  • Is trustworthy, attentive, and a true partner that cares about the success of your business

Choosing LightBound as your provider will ensure an easy transition to IaaS and continued success into the future. Contact us today and we’ll answer any questions you might have about IaaS in cloud computing to help you determine if it’s right for your business.


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) concept with "IaaS" written in front of a spiral design and a businessman thinking in the background

How much of building and managing a data center should you handle on your own, and when should you seek out the help of a service provider? The answer to this question will determine whether cloud infrastructure services, colocation, or “DIY”-ing it, is right for you.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, taking the time to determine the best solution for your business can mean increased cost-efficiency, less stress, and improved business operations. In this blog, we help make your decision a little easier by breaking down the pros and cons of infrastructure as a service.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in cloud computing is a service in which a third-party provider purchases, installs, and manages data center infrastructure for you, allowing your business pay-as-you-go use of storage, networking, and computing resources via the Internet.

Team of network technicians in a datacenter checking security on servers

Pros of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • Less responsibility is on you and your team because both data center infrastructure and environment are handled for you.
  • You get a team of experts to manage your infrastructure for you, increasing your manpower and ensuring the success of your solution.
  • You don’t have to pay the initial start-up costs of purchasing and building infrastructure.
  • You gain increased cost-efficiency and flexibility because you only pay for what you need when you need it.
  • You enjoy improved performance and reliability thanks to a professionally designed and maintained environment.
  • You receive increased physical data center security handled by your provider.
  • If your provider also offers network services, you can enjoy improved performance and reliability.
  • You get peace of mind with a provider that offers 24/7/365 monitoring, which is difficult to achieve with a DIY solution.
  • You’ll know your data is in good hands with a provider that adheres to strict industry standards.
  • Your business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) will improve because your data won’t be in the same location as your office building.
  • You can quickly scale infrastructure up and down as needed, allowing you to quickly test new products and achieve a faster time to market.
  • You’ll enjoy increased flexibility if your office building moves geographic locations because your infrastructure won’t have to move with it.

Cons of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • If you already have a large team of experts on hand or have already invested in a lot of your own infrastructure, IaaS may not be as beneficial for you.
  • You don’t have fine-tuned control over the data center or any infrastructure within it, which means relinquishing some control.
  • Some very large businesses will save money down the line by investing in ownership of their infrastructure rather than renting it.
Technician checking server's wires in data center

Is infrastructure as a service (IaaS) the right fit for your business or is it a clear mismatch? Regardless of what solution you choose in the end, the key to successful services is choosing the right provider.

LightBound is ready to help with all of your data center needs, including IaaS and colocation services. With LightBound, you can count on a successful transition, top-notch support, and continued success with your chosen solution.

Do you have questions about IaaS in cloud computing? Want to speak with a LightBound expert about whether IaaS is the right choice for your business? Contact LightBound today to learn more!

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What should you ask a potential cloud services provider before signing the dotted line? While a provider can seem like they have their ducks in a row, don’t forget to vet them for how they will treat you as a client. Asking the right questions can help you reveal whether or not a provider will meet, and hopefully exceed, your expectations as you experience the transition to cloud computing.

Ask potential cloud services providers these five questions to ensure they will give you the best client experience for a successful transition:

1. Do I need a cloud storage or cloud computing solution?

This is more of a question to ask yourself, but it’s first on the list because you’ll need to clarify whether your business needs a cloud storage solution like DropBox or an enterprise-level IaaS cloud computing service with network, server, and storage resources for your application.  

Cloud storage solutions are used for basic data storage and backup while cloud computing allows you to run applications in the cloud—a huge leap beyond cloud storage. IaaS Cloud computing allows you to access and run applications or programs through the Internet rather than through a physical computer or server. If you only need to store some files, you can stick to a cloud storage solution, but if you’re ready to put your business applications in the Cloud, then you’re ready to look for a cloud computing provider.

Cloud computing offers benefits like scalability, flexibility, cost savings on capital expenditures, the ability to remotely access and transform your data, plus so much more. A cloud computing provider may also offer increased protection for your data, both physically and virtually, thanks to data security and disaster recovery capabilities.

2. Are you a reseller or do you provide cloud services directly?

Some providers resell cloud services while others provide cloud services directly. The problem with resellers is that they not only have a lack of contact with the services they’re selling, but if you have a downtime issue it can be costly not knowing whether to call the software/hardware OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), the hosting provider, or the VAR (value-added reseller) for support. Finding where the problem started can prove to be an expensive headache.

When you work with a provider like LightBound, we’re not resellers of these products—we actually provide these services directly to you. This means we are able to provide a better customer experience for you because we customize the solution for your business, handle all the project management, installation, and implementation. We also support your business with a dedicated Technical Account Manager, a 24×7 NOC, and a team of Tier 3 and Tier 4 Engineers if things go bump in the night. All of these compliment our resource pools and ensure a smooth and trouble-free customer experience.

 

3. What are your service hours?

Technology doesn’t wait for “office hours” to malfunction, and things tend to go wrong in the middle of the night when you’re least expecting it. Will your provider be there for you when you need them most?

Some providers limit the hours when you can actually reach them for assistance, which can mean increased downtime for your business, frustrated employees, unhappy customers, and halted business operations.

Choose a provider like LightBound that offers always-on, always-available service designed to solve your problems with lightning speed. We are there for you day or night and will work hard to get your services back up and running if there’s ever an issue. Your bottom line will thank you!

4. Who answers the phone when I call?

When you call for help, will you be speaking to an answering machine, robot, third-party assistant, or a personable and ready-to-help expert? Will they know what they’re talking about and be able to help you, or end up wasting your time?

When something goes wrong, having an experienced professional on the other end of the line makes all the difference in getting your problems solved. When you call LightBound for help, one of our expert employees will be ready to assist you 24/7/365, and you’ll be able to put names to faces with our team.

 

5. Who’s responsible for what?

Who’s responsible for the services you receive and who owns the datacenter? Will they be accountable for monitoring and ensuring uptime? Know what your provider promises and what their responsibilities are, only choosing a provider you know you can count on to have your back, make you a priority, and solve issues directly.

If your services will be handled by separate parties, it will be more difficult and time-consuming to resolve issues. This is because, in addition to not knowing where your problems are rooted, you may not be able to get any party to take responsibility for solving them or even care that you’re experiencing downtime.

This is yet another reason it’s important to choose a provider that offers you services directly rather than a reseller that can’t ensure the success of your cloud services all the way through. At LightBound, we are your single-source solution for cloud services, so you have only one phone number to call and we are accountable for your uptime.

Need help choosing the right cloud services provider for your business? Contact us today for direction!