How Should DR Work in a SaaS World?

All Products Are Becoming SaaS Products (including vSphere)

All products in the enterprise are becoming SaaS products if they’re not already. The convenience and on-demand economics of SaaS products in the public cloud make it an unstoppable trend. Most innovations in the enterprise vendor landscape are no longer just “cloud-first,” but more “cloud-only.” That’s visible in most enterprise products and their future roadmaps.

VMware has 300K+ customers with about 70+ million VMs deployed. VMware is now available as a SaaS platform on most public clouds. When the biggest enterprise on-prem platform is rapidly transitioning into a SaaS world, it’s inevitable that all the other products in the ecosystem will transform as well.


VMware Runs Everywhere


Traditional Methods of Disaster Recovery (DR) Are Obsolete

On-Prem or in the cloud, disasters can happen for many reasons. Servers can fail, Availability Zones (AZs) can fail, Regions can fail, Data centers can fail, or you can get hit by ransomware. According to the recent report, The State of Enterprise Data Resiliency and Disaster Recovery 2019, one in two companies have experienced a DR event in the past two years, and ransomware was the leading cause. These increased threats are causing companies to reconsider their DR plans with more than 88% stating they would shift their DR site to the public cloud if they could pay for it only when they need it. 

Enterprises are reevaluating their DR plans because traditional methods are falling short. Traditional methods deployed on-prem leverage a variety of techniques and tools like data mirroring, backup storage systems, etc. However, that makes DR costly and complex because it requires IT to stitch together many disconnected tools manually. This problem becomes even worse as VMware workloads are deployed across clouds. A new breed of backup storage systems are now available in the public cloud and claim to help with disaster recovery. But, unfortunately, it takes multiple days to copy the data from the backup storage system into a primary storage system after a disaster. No business can wait for days for recovery. Backup != DR.


Old DR Method


How Should DR Really Work?

You need a simple SaaS product that can provide:

  1. A centralized DR strategy for VMware workloads running anywhere
  2. Deep backups with minimal cost in steady-state
  3. On-demand compute of VMware SDDC servers when needed
  4. Instant RTO — this is critical


Datrium DRaaS Connect

Datrium DRaaS is a SaaS service that runs in AWS. It stores deep deduped backups in S3 at a very low cost, and it has runbook orchestration to bring up workloads in an orderly fashion. DRaaS Connect is a lightweight software agent that customers can download and run as a VM in any of their production vSphere environments. Customers use a central portal to configure backup and DR policies. The Connect agents use these policies to back up data with the appropriate policies.

Unlike traditional software, Datrium DRaaS is fully automated software without any need for manual upgrades, maintenance, etc. Innovations are continuously applied to the DRaaS service.


In case of a disaster at a production site, the VMware workloads can be instantly failed over to VMWare Cloud on AWS. Datrium DRaaS automatically creates and launches the VMware SDDC services on AWS, and directly live mounts the backups via NFS into the SSDC as a live datastore. VMs are restarted instantly following the runbook rules. There is no lengthy rehydration required. And importantly, the VMs remain in their native format in a failover and failback. Customers tell us that RTO (i.e., time to recover) is the top most critical objective after a disaster, and hence our singular focus on restarting VMs as fast as possible after a disaster.

When the disaster has been fixed at the original production site, the VMware workloads can be moved back to the original site. With one-click, the workloads will follow a planned failback procedure using the runbook rules, and the VMware SDDC in AWS is automatically shut down.


SaaS Simplicity Wins

DR has traditionally been a manually intensive process that ties together many disparate products. It’s been a very fragile process with expensive implications for businesses. Enterprises need a modern new way to gain confidence in their DR strategy. Datrium’s Disaster Recovery as a Service with VMware Cloud on AWS offers a concrete and inexpensive global DR strategy for all VMware workloads to handle cloud AZ failures or on-prem data center failures with failproof, one-click SaaS experience.

To learn more, join us for our upcoming webinar on November 21 at 9 am PT, Secrets to Recovering from Ransomware and Disasters with VMware Cloud on AWS featuring Jason Crandall, Staff Cloud Solution Engineer at VMware, and me.