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BaaS vs. DRaaS: Which Data Protection Strategy is Right for Your Business?

By: Dataprise

Data Storage

Table of content

Managing and protecting business data is becoming increasingly complex as cyber threats escalate and companies generate exploding amounts of data across dynamic on-premises and cloud environments. Many organizations recognize the need to modernize their data protection strategy but face a key decision: whether to adopt a backup-as-a-service (BaaS) or disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) approach. Let’s discuss the critical differences between BaaS and DRaaS and when each solution makes sense.

Key Differences Between BaaS and DRaaS

BaaS is a popular starting point for companies considering a data protection strategy. BaaS provides a simple offsite repository to store backup data in the cloud. The focus of BaaS is on extended data retention rather than recovery capabilities. As long as you have a clean copy of your data, you’re able to recover — eventually. With BaaS, companies essentially “fire and forget” their data to the cloud. DRaaS, on the other hand, enhances BaaS by enabling backed-up servers and workloads to be spun up in the cloud in the event of a disaster scenario like ransomware or infrastructure failure. This facilitates much faster recovery times as apps and data can come back online within hours versus the standard recovery period for BaaS of several days.

With basic BaaS, recovering data after a disaster requires manually downloading backup copies from the cloud repository and restoring it wherever required. DRaaS removes this manual work by automating spin-up so applications, data, and systems can be brought back online quickly with minimal effort. DRaaS does require more involved configuration and specific networking capabilities to enable cloud-based workload recovery. Both solutions should be tested to ensure all the intended backup data is recoverable.

BaaS Use Cases

For many companies, BaaS offers an affordable and easily managed offsite option for data protection and basic disaster recovery needs. Organizations use BaaS for:

– Reduced onsite backup storage costs

– Encrypted offsite data storage for security 

– Ability to retain backups for months or years cost-effectively

– Turning capital expenditure into a predictable operating expenditure by eliminating hardware requirements

DRaaS Use Cases

For organizations running critical systems with demanding recovery time and uptime requirements, DRaaS enables:

– Quick spin-up of applications and workloads in a cloud environment

– Rapid recovery time objectives (RTOs) measured in hours rather than days

– Tight recovery point objectives (RPOs) with data loss as low as 1 hour

– Dramatically reduced downtime and business disruption

DRaaS is best suited for organizations that cannot tolerate extended outages and require fast uptime of mission-critical platforms.

It doesn’t have to be an either-or scenario

Here’s where it gets fun. You don’t have to choose between BaaS and DRaaS; many companies utilize both solutions. The least time-sensitive day-to-day operations may only need BaaS (marketing can wait for their data to come back), while critical workloads like billing systems and customer service ticketing can be protected with DRaaS. Drilling down even further, you can prioritize your application and data sets according to their specific RPO and RTOs within DRaaS as well.

Example Real Customer Scenario

We recently assisted one of our clients that got hit by a Conti ransomware attack, which encrypted all their servers. This century-old professional services firm needed to issue payroll by 3 p.m. that same day, or they would breach labor laws, face penalties, and not to mention, their employees were counting on their paychecks. With the DRaaS solution in place, the client called Dataprise’s 24/7 support, who immediately spun up the affected servers from backed-up VM images in the cloud. This enabled the company to download payroll data and issue employee payroll on time, avoiding business disruption.

That customer scenario features a DRaaS solution. Had they only subscribed to a BaaS solution, this client would have had to manually download backup data, which would have taken much longer than the payroll deadline – days longer. They would have missed payroll, they would have lost operating revenue for the time it took to restore their backups, and they would have lost goodwill with their customers and employees. Proper DRaaS enabled a rapid recovery, keeping the business running despite the ransomware attack.

Key BaaS vs DRaaS Takeaways

  • BaaS focuses on critical backup retention while DRaaS goes a step further to enable full workload spin-up
  • DRaaS has more demanding requirements but faster recovery capabilities
  • Organizations should evaluate their uptime needs and acceptable downtime windows
  • For mission-critical platforms, DRaaS delivers the automation and cloud infrastructure for rapid disaster recovery

In summary, the optimal data protection approach depends on an organization’s specific needs, recovery requirements, and tolerance for downtime. For basic encrypted offsite backup, BaaS offers a cost-effective solution. For faster recovery to maximize uptime and business continuity, DRaaS automates processes to resuscitate systems quickly after a disaster. Evaluating current gaps in recovery capabilities is key for determining the right modernization path. Discuss your specific needs with our team. You will find that the cost differential between BaaS and DRaaS far exceeds the value you receive, especially when factoring in the potential lost revenue due to data interruption. Contact us to learn more!

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