Anatomy of a DRaaS Event – A True Story from Hurricane Irma

With the increase in the number and types of threats to IT infrastructure, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) is becoming an important part of business continuity programs. Hurricanes are becoming more numerous, new and more powerful variants of ransomware are being distributed, and floods are effecting areas even far away from bodies of water.

Unitrends recently had a customer utilize our DRaaS services. Safety Products Inc. (SPI) is based in Lakeland Florida, 40 miles east of Tampa, placing them in the direct path of seasonal hurricanes. On May 5th 2017, Dennis Hershey, CTO of SPI, called Unitrends to activate his Disaster Recovery as-a-Service in anticipation of Hurricane Irma disabling his local data center. Irma was forecast to be the first Category 5 and most intense hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma, also in 2005. Irma had just destroyed much of the Caribbean, and Hershey did not want his company operations to be part of the toll.

Five days prior to Irma’s scheduled landfall Hershey wanted to be prepared. His team called Unitrends Support Engineering, declared a disaster, and “within 30 minutes implementation began.” Unitrends Customer Support Engineers stepped the SPI IT team through the process of aligning their networks and testing to ensure their applications were functional and running the latest backups. The entire SPI infrastructure was replicated in Unitrends Cloud. Especially important to SPI was their multi-tiered ERP application, since this is the brain of their operations.

SPI had chosen Unitrends partly because we operate our own purpose-built cloud. Hyperscale clouds such as AWS and Azure are general, purpose clouds not specifically designed to support DRaaS. For example, hyperscale clouds have a storage cloud and a separate recovery cloud. Data must be moved from storage to recovery which takes extra time and “retrieval fees” (Azure – $123/GB, AWS – $93/GB). Unitrends cloud keeps backups in a warm state so recovery is much faster with no retrieval fees. Additionally depending on Azure or AWS means managing the full DR program yourself.

SPI now depends fully on Unitrends Cloud and no longer needs to fund or staff an internal DR site. Traditionally IT has to dedicate time and budget to crafting, testing and maintaining their own DR services, all when they are heavily overloaded. Now that has changed for SPI. “The Unitrends solution worked as advertised. There is now no reason for us to have to actively manage our DR program anymore.” said Hershey. “We are looking to expand our DR capabilities now that we have seen how the process works. We know there are many other capabilities that the Unitrends solution provides and we want to see what else we can add to our DR strategy.”

Is outsourcing your DR to Unitrends affordable? How does the cost of Unitrends DRaaS compare to managing it yourself in a hyperscale cloud? We have built a cloud cost calculator for you to see the amount and types of charges you can expect for your exact DRaaS requirements.

Cloud Cost Comparison Calculator

See the cost advantages of DRaaS from Unitrends and then talk to an expert. We are managing DR services for many organizations of all sizes and know how to craft a solution that will meet your exact needs. Call Unitrends at 1-866-359-5411



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