By 2014, 30 percent of midsize companies will have adopted recovery-in-the-cloud, also known as recovery-as-a-service (RaaS), to support IT operations recovery, up from just over 1 percent today, according to Gartner.
RaaS describes the managed replication of virtual machines (VMs) and production data in a service provider's cloud, together with the means to activate the VMs to support either recovery testing or actual recovery operations. The location of the data center equipment, the party housing the provider's cloud equipment and the price vary by provider.
The Gartner report sees the RaaS market being driven by midsize companies (with annual revenue between $150 million and $1 billion). Larger companies (with annual revenue or operating budgets of $1 billion or more) are more likely to have established recovery management facilities, infrastructures and support teams that are too complex to move fully to the cloud, while smaller businesses are less likely to have a formal strategy for managing disaster recovery, the report noted.
"RaaS has been hailed as a 'killer' cloud app for disaster recovery, but the reality is that there has been much hype and some truth," said John Morency, research vice president at Gartner. "Certainly, it addresses well-recognized 'pain points' in IT disaster recovery management, including the need for frequent recovery-readiness testing and the cost of dedicated recovery floor space and facilities."
Among the midsize companies using RaaS at present, two camps are forming, Morency explained. The first is using server virtualization recovery features and SAN-based replication to deploy in-house disaster recovery solutions for some applications. The second is implementing initial pilots for the use of cloud services as an alternative to more traditional disaster recovery resources.
"For organizations that have not yet trialed RaaS, Gartner recommends commencing cloud infrastructure due diligence, especially for systems that already reside primarily outside their data center," said Morency. "They should then qualify system image replication and failover support and probe how the provider can support application connectivity during recovery testing. They also need to check provider operations controls for potential regulatory compliance exposure and pilot a bounded implementation of the target configuration. This will clarify the potential service benefits as well as the level of management support that the in-house IT team will still need to provide."