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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.

Goldfish swimming in the ocean with a shark fin tied to its back and poking out above the water as a concept for deception, lies or myths

Disaster Recovery as a Service, or DRaaS, is an excellent business continuity and disaster recovery option (BC/DR) for many businesses, going beyond the capabilities of Backup as a Service (BaaS).

DRaaS offers huge benefits to protect your data and infrastructure in the event of both natural and manmade disasters, minimizing downtime and keeping your brand reputation intact at a pay-as-you-use low cost.

Unfortunately, many are unaware of the myths that have cropped up about DRaaS, leading to frustration, instead of what should be peace of mind, with this service. In this blog, we clear up five major myths about DRaaS so you can move forward with the information and confidence you need.

Businessman drawing on a chalkboard the words "FACTS," outlined in a green arrow, and "MYTHS," outlined in a red arrow

5 Myths about Disaster Recovery as a Service

1. It fixes all your problems.

False.

DRaaS is a top-notch recovery solution, but it can’t cover up all the problems you’ve already left unaddressed. If you have existing issues with your applications, application design, or data issues, then your recovery will be just as problematic as day-to-day operations.

As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” Make sure everything in place is already running smoothly so that your DRaaS will too.

2. It’s all I need.

False.

Yes, Disaster Recovery as a Service is the “executable” part of the plan, meaning it carries out the actual recovery. However, truly effective BC/DR solutions need to account for things like workspace, telephones, a plan for who to call, and what to do in various situations depending on the emergency.

Your BC/DR especially needs to take into account the human element that accompanies and compliments the system element. Make sure your DRaaS is supported by a well-designed plan so the human element it relies on to succeed isn’t a sinking ship.

3. It covers everything.

False.

DRaaS solutions typically include replication and recovery of existing virtualized systems; but they may or may not cover any legacy physical servers you have. What’s more is that most solutions do not cover replication or recovery for other platforms, including IBM’s iSeries, zSeries, or pSeries.

Be sure to check with your provider about traditional backup, archival, and retention of data based on your business and compliance requirements. Some industries are required to keep records for up to seven years. This typically involves a relatively large volume of data as well as policies and procedures to recover files based on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual backups. It is too costly for most large companies to just conduct a full backup of all their information every night and have it available for production systems.

It’s likely your DRaaS provider can help you with this, but it’s also not typically “included” in the base solution. Be sure to check the details of a potential provider’s offerings and how they can strategize with you to meet your priorities for recovery.

4. It’s an IT solution and therefore and IT decision.

Maybe.

While the IT department can typically scope and spec a DRaaS solution because they know the systems and requirements of IT, you’d be well advised to get buy-in from your executive team. That’s because your execs will likely be funding it to protect the assets, brand, and ongoing operations of the business.

As we all know, priorities change, markets change, and businesses change. That’s why it’s a good idea to approach your executive team before putting considerable effort into pursuing a solution.

5. All DRaaS solutions are the same.

False.

DRaaS providers can vary greatly from each other, including differences in:

  • What they are able/willing to cover
  • How fast they are able to recover and how much they can reduce downtime
  • The level at which they will manage/monitor your solution
  • Their level of compliance with industry standards
  • How physically and virtually secure they are
  • The quality of their customer service
  • Whether or not they are willing to customize your solution
  • How often they test, if at all, which is crucial to preventing failure

All of these qualities will vary from provider to provider, so be sure to get to know a potential provider well before signing the contract.

A word cloud of disaster recovery related items

Are You Interested in DRaaS?

With five major myths debunked, you can skip the surprises and make an informed decision about whether or not Disaster Recovery as a Service is right for you. At the end of the day, the key to success with DRaaS is choosing the right provider, especially one like LightBound who will work with you personally, explain the details of what you can expect from their solution, and be a true partner to your business.

With LightBound, you can rest assured knowing that our DRaaS services protect you with the most secure technology in the industry and can help you recover from downtime with lightning speed. Our data centers are SOC2 certified and we maintain complete compliance with industry standards set by HIPAA, PCI, SOX, and FISC. We care about the success of your solution, which is why we offer 24/7/365 monitoring by our skilled and experienced support staff.

Have more questions about DRaaS? Contact us today and we’ll answer any questions you might have about Disaster Recovery as a Service and share how DRaaS can help protect your data.

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"IaaS" (Infrastructure as a Service), "SaaS" (Software as a Service), and "PaaS" (Platform as a Service) written on colorful illustration of three gears next to a laptop with an illustrated Cloud on a background of the world map in grayscale

“The cloud” is a phrase thrown around casually as though it has one specific meaning, but in reality, the cloud is a broad concept used to reference many different services and deployment models.

If you’re speaking of “the cloud” generally, then it can refer to how and where data is stored—and where it isn’t. The cloud has become important for its improvements to modern business operations. Instead of being able to run only locally on one device, the cloud enables software and services to run and be accessible over the internet.

Interested in switching your business to the cloud? Then you’ll want to think of “the cloud” more specifically, with three primary cloud service options to consider: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Knowing the difference between each of these cloud services will help you discover which solution, or solutions, could most benefit your business or organization.

"IaaS" (Infrastructure as a Service), "SaaS" (Software as a Service), and "PaaS" (Platform as a Service) written with a diagram to explain briefly what each cloud service option does

SaaS

Software as a Service, or SaaS, is cloud-based software hosted online by a provider that is delivered via the internet and available for use on a subscription basis.

Beneficial for startups, e-commerce companies, and short-term projects that require collaboration, SaaS is the most common type of cloud computing service used by businesses.

Advantages of SaaS include:

  • It’s managed in one central location and hosted on a remote server accessible over the internet.
  • Users are not responsible for hardware or software updates because they are handled by the provider.
  • It doesn’t need to be downloaded and installed on individual devices in order to be deployed to an entire team or company.
  • It is ideal if you use applications that aren’t in demand very often or applications that need both web and mobile access.

PaaS

Platform as a Service, or PaaS, refers to cloud-based platform services that provide a framework for developers to build custom applications. Note that PaaS does not deliver software over the internet. Rather, it provides an online platform accessible to different developers so they can create software over the internet.

This allows developers to build custom applications online without having to deal with maintaining or managing infrastructure, software, and more.

There are several advantages to PaaS including:

  • It makes the development of apps simple, cost-effective, and scalable.
  • It gives developers the ability to create customized apps without maintaining any software.
  • It reduces the amount of coding needed.
  • If multiple developers are working on the same project, or if other vendors must be included, PaaS grants speed and flexibility to the entire process.

IaaS

Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, is the delivery of cloud-based infrastructure resources to organizations through virtualization technology, helping businesses organize and manage their servers, network, operating systems, and data storage.

With IaaS, customers have control over their own data without having to physically manage it on-site. IaaS is also known as a “virtual data center.”

The benefits of an IaaS include:

  • It is the most flexible cloud computing model, ideal for startups and reducing time to market.
  • It allows for automated deployment of storage, networking, servers, and processing power, all handled by your provider.
  • It allows resources to be rented in a flexible, pay-as-you-go model.
  • It gives you the ability to easily scale your infrastructure as needed.
  • It gives you increased security and 24/7 monitoring with the right provider.
"IaaS" (Infrastructure as a Service), "SaaS" (Software as a Service), and "PaaS" (Platform as a Service) written on colorful sticky notes and posted on a chalkboard illustration of a cloud that reads "CLOUD" for cloud services

Is SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS Right for You?

To put it simply, IaaS provides pay-as-you-go use of cloud computing infrastructure that can easily and flexibly scale with your business, PaaS provides developers with a maintenance-free platform to build custom apps, and SaaS is cloud-based software that makes it easy and less time-consuming for companies to use applications.

Although these services have similar acronyms, they all serve very different functions. However, at the end of the day, all three work together to help businesses improve operations through cloud computing.

When it comes to your business, are you ready to experience the power of the cloud? Choosing the right provider will make all the difference. Contact Lightbound today to learn which of our Indianapolis cloud services is the best fit for your business.

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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!