With the ever growing dependence on IT, backup & disaster recovery are necessary services for every environment. Simplifying what is typically time consuming, Backup and Disaster Recovery services are getting more automated and smarted daily. When we consider the evolution of backup mediums across history tape devices, a technology still used today, is the oldest backup medium. The evolution of cloud and ‘as a Service’ offerings – Backup as a Service & Disaster Recovery as a Service are close to the most adopted services. Providing scalable and reliable infrastructure in hybrid and hyper scale cloud providers.


The impact of down time can be very costly for any business, a survey done by the Ponemon Institute shows, “The average cost of data center downtime across industries was approximately $5,600 per minute” (Ponemon Institute – Understanding the Cost of Data Center Downtime: An Analysis of the Financial Impact of Infrastructure Vulnerability).

Backup as a Service

Backup has become highly commoditised and for basic services the price point is trending to zero. Differentiation is key to avoid a cost only conversation.

The inclusion of Restore services is a basic requirement, but other areas such as automation of compliance reports, local data centres, high speed connects and compelling SLAs could also help your organisation to differentiate. When planning or procuring Backup as a Service – data management is a key consideration. While an on premise cloud may have the luxury of backing up ‘everything’. Moving to a cloud service you need to consider how much data is being moved which have network bandwidth ns financial impacts to the organisation. Retention and compliance are also major considerations.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

Disaster Recovery (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_recovery) is aimed at the business level recovery of IT services, which builds naturally on backup and restore capabilities.

“Almost 50% of people are still using untested recovery systems” Source: Plan B – Disaster Recovery Survey 2014

Disaster Recovery services as an OpEx are becoming widely adopted in place of spending Capital Expenditure to have duplicate infrastructure in a secondary location waiting for a ‘disaster’ to occur. Cost saving and peace of mind are major considerations for procuring Disaster Recovery as a Service. Differentiation goes beyond the physical technology and includes the services that define and document the Disaster Recovery process and procedures. Friction free setup and ease of ongoing use are the key attributes for success.

Business Continuity

Business Continuity encompasses the whole business, not just technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_continuity).  The scope to differentiate becomes much larger, with detailed domain knowledge playing a key role. When considering Business Continuity or developing services around Business Continuity – The International Organisation for Standardisation “Societal security — Business continuity management systems – ISO22301:2012” is a great place to start.


Developing services orientated around Backup, Disaster Recovery or Business Continuance can be highly profitable when done right. Leveraging SLA’s and tailor services that meet the needs of specific industry verticals establishes value that more standardised scale services cannot.



Consider the above graphic – Backup as mentioned is becoming highly commoditised – with Replication/Disaster Recovery sitting near the middle. At the high end of service offerings generally provided by Managed Service Providers as a Premium tier service. Always On infrastructure is a great starting conversation and critical when moving onto the final discussion of Business Continuance.

This post first appeared on rhipe.com


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