Last week we began looking at disaster recovery in our continuing series guiding you through the rich feature set of Operations Management Suite (OMS). Azure Site Recovery (ASR) plays a key role in enabling OMS customers to take advantage of cloud resources to protect critical applications and take a holistic approach to disaster recovery. ASR enables the orchestration and replication of workloads, both Windows and Linux, and regardless of whether they are running on Hyper-V, VMware or physical machines. By leveraging both OMS and Azure for DR, you can experience the reduced costs and ease of management that only a cloud-bred disaster recovery solution can offer.
Costly peace of mind
We can all agree that in today’s world of IT, having a recovery plan isn’t something that should be optional. Planning for the unexpected has to be something that every business embraces. Disruptions to a company’s critical workloads are inevitable, and businesses must be prepared for outages. Moreover, as companies experience the explosion of data, they must also recognize that the costs of an outage will rise. The latest estimates put the cost of an outage at around $100,000 for every hour a company remains offline. Yet many companies still consider disaster recovery as an afterthought and leave little to no budget to invest in keeping their businesses running.
Traditionally, companies with interest in disaster recovery needed to invest in a secondary site. Yes, that sounds expensive, and it is. While the costs can vary depending on an individual company’s needs, total impact includes the expense of the physical facility, utilities to power and cool the facility, hardware for compute, storage and networking and the software licenses. Let’s not forget to include the manpower needed to maintain this infrastructure. Some companies find relief by using a colocation datacenter to set up their DR site, but there can be some tradeoffs in regards to location, maintenance costs, and fluctuations in bandwidth usage that can result in varying monthly costs.
In the diagram below, we’ve made some estimates to reflect the costs for DR for roughly 400 virtual machines for a total of three years. Three scenarios are covered below: no DR solution in place, meaning that the costs are strictly the cost for datacenter disruptions; building your own solution, note that we did not include the costs associated with housing the datacenter as those can fluctuate greatly depending on location; and finally using Azure Site Recovery. This visual allows you to see the potential level of cost reduction from using cloud-based DR.
TCO over 3 years for approx. 400 V
Leveraging the Cloud
With the increased adoption of the cloud, companies have realized the cost benefits of leveraging it for their data protection needs. The managed Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) industry has grown rapidly in recent years as companies, both large and small, embrace the ease of use, lower capital expenditures, scalability and great service level agreements. Managed DRaaS providers offer excellent alternatives to home brewed DR solutions, but they can still be out of price range for some.
For those who cannot afford to purchase a managed DRaaS solution, leveraging a DR solution and a cloud service may make the most financial sense as it can eliminate capital and reduce operational expenditures. The caveat that is often experienced is that cost of lowing expenses can result in a solution that is difficult to manage as now you have to work with two separate vendors.
Microsoft helps bridge this gap by enabling customers to leverage Azure’s hyper-scale model, coupled with OMS to drastically reduce costs, as shown in the cost analysis above, and improve the management of their infrastructure. Leveraging ASR beyond DR can also provide companies a reduction in expenditures in cases such as migration, when hardware refreshes are needed, companies can simply migrate those workloads to Azure.
Read the IDC Whitepaper to learn more about Azure Site Recovery and IDC’s recommendations for disaster recovery.