Editor’s Note: As of January 2022, iland is now 11:11 Systems, a managed infrastructure solutions provider at the forefront of cloud, connectivity, and security. As a legacy iland.com blog post, this article likely contains information that is no longer relevant. For the most up-to-date product information and resources, or if you have further questions, please refer to the 11:11 Systems Success Center or contact us directly.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is now a mainstream use of the cloud. This makes a lot of sense as it helps companies avoid doubling their infrastructure just to have half of it waiting to recover from full or partial outages. There’s also an advantage for many businesses in achieving further distance between primary and secondary data centers. Creating further distance leads to less risk because it reduces the likelihood of disaster affecting both sites and it means that staff will not be in direct connection with the disaster. With so many advantages, why aren’t all businesses using the cloud as their failover target?
Nephophobia – the fear of clouds – is usually associated with meteorological clouds. However, there is a definite trend of “fear of multi-tenant data center infrastructures” within the business world. This fear is somewhat justified. Some cloud providers make it difficult or expensive to remove your data from their storage due to steep egress costs, leading to fears of cloud lock-in. Unless a business can attach actual costs to the above advantages, cloud will often look more expensive than on-premises infrastructure. Allowing an external company to host data can have real security concerns around who actually owns the data and who’s responsible if there is an incident. Performance in a shared environment can also be suspect when the business doesn’t have visibility of the entire infrastructure. IT staff fear losing control and the learning curves that may be involved with new infrastructure. All are legitimate fears, but how the fears are addressed can vary from provider to provider. Listening to and partnering with customers over the years has helped 11:11 Systems develop secure cloud platforms that address these, and many other concerns.
DRaaS Built for Customers
Security and compliance are first-class citizens at 11:11 and permeate all of our products and processes. All customers gain access to a wide variety of security tools built into the 11:11 platform, including per-tenant firewall management, vulnerability scanning, anti-virus/malware, data at-rest encryption and security reporting among other security-focused features. Compliance is a huge part of our customers’ businesses, and therefore, is a huge part of our business. The entire product suite has been built to ensure compliance with all the major regulations. An in-house compliance team ensures products are designed appropriately and that customers have access to all the necessary documentation they need to pass audits. As an 11:11 customer, this team is available throughout a customer’s entire lifecycle with 11:11 to discuss and ensure the infrastructure, regulatory requirements and necessary reports are ready for all relevant auditors. Due to this focus and specialization, and the service provider economies of scale, 11:11 can focus on security far more than most customers can on their own, thus ensuring a safe platform for our customers’ data.
Most of the services 11:11 has developed, including DRaaS, bundle in bandwidth costs, so there are no hefty or hidden fees for customers to leave or egress their data. In fact, 11:11 Systems tries to be as simple, up-front and accurate with costs as possible. Using an 11:11 developed utility called 11:11 Catalyst, sizing can be done very accurately to ensure there are as few surprises as possible during a failover.
11:11’s cloud platform is based on VMware and enterprise-class infrastructure components, so IT administrators find the terminology and toolsets very familiar. There is much less of a learning curve to understand the 11:11 infrastructure and much less work and risk to convert over to during a disaster. Utilizing the custom-built 11:11 Cloud Console, customers have the infrastructure visibility and automation they desire already built-in, which greatly simplifies the entire management experience during and after failover. Most customer-owned DR sites are implemented without the benefit of additional IT staff, thereby doubling the system-to-admin ratio. Another corner cut with owned DR sites tends to be the use of older equipment, which results in performance that doesn’t match production. Selecting a DRaaS solution doesn’t mean that IT administrators are losing control or performance, it just means they’re not dramatically increasing the systems they need to maintain. Selecting 11:11 will not only make the entire DR process easier and production-ready but also includes a no-additional-cost human safety net to help during any part of the process — even if that means asking 11:11 to push the failover button during an emergency or assist with the failback months later.
These are just a few of the features that have resulted in 11:11 receiving numerous industry recognitions and awards, not least of which is a three-year run as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for DRaaS. But, more importantly, we have earned the trust of our customers to protect their data, ensure its availability and make the entire experience simple and efficient. These are critical components to a successful DR event, giving customers like RHD the peace of mind a DR solution should truly provide. “[11:11] has been able to deliver exactly what we needed in a DR solution – reliable, cost-effective DRaaS that is compliant to HIPAA and really works!” says Allen Howard, Manager Enterprise Architecture at RHD. “They are a true DR partner to RHD, not just a vendor.”
Data should be able to flow in and out effortlessly without unexpected costs. Fears about security shouldn’t be minimized because it’s “just the recovery site.” Customers need to be in control at every step of the process, even if that means working with human support to accomplish a task. When disaster strikes, fears and unknowns are the worst things to have to deal with, so a DR solution should be simple, well-understood, secure and available. With a strong base for successful DR, 11:11 customers can truly let go of their nephophobia.
Watch the webinar, 3 Reasons Why Disaster Recovery Is a Must-Have for 2019, to learn more about the benefits of cloud-based DR.