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Cloud Connect or Disaster Recovery as a Service: Which Should You Choose?

CIO’s and IT directors know the importance of Disaster Recovery planning and how complicated it can be. Disasters can strike at any time, and survival of the business may well depend on the quality and accuracy of the DR procedures that were put into place. When making the decision about which DR solution to go with—it is important to have a well-developed strategy. As Benjamin Franklin so eloquently stated “By failing to prepare, you are preparing for failure.”

There are two recommended DR Strategies that we propose to our clients: Element Four’s Cloud Connect Service and Element Four’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

Cloud Connect

Veeam Cloud Connect provides a fast and secure way to send backups to the cloud. It is a way to get physical and virtual backups offsite to a hosted cloud repository through a secure SSL connection. Cloud backups have multiple checkpoints going back in time depending on a set retention policy. Veeam Backup & Replication establishes a secure channel to transfer backup data to and from the cloud repository and offers data encryption capabilities to protect your data at rest. Keeping data in a cloud repository is like keeping valuable paperwork in a vault at a bank. It is away from your location, it is secure, it is isolated.

When utilizing Cloud Connect for a Disaster Recovery plan, it is important to note that the recovery time is always going to be based on the size of the machine or of the data. , the server environment would need to be rebuilt, applications reinstalled, and data restored from the cloud. This process is time consuming and systems can be down for hours to days. Service providers, like Element Four, can help with the rebuild, but they will charge time and material for the work.

Cloud Connect is a cost-effective DR option and, as a standalone DR plan, it is better suited for SMB’s or companies that rely less heavily on data to run their day to day operations. They are flexible enough to absorb the impact of the hours or days of downtime that it may take to restore their environment. It makes more sense financially for these businesses to utilize the least expensive service. Cloud Connect allows them to sleep well at night knowing that their data is offsite and in a secure location.

Element Four Disaster Recovery as a Service

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) focuses on the near continuous replication of data between sites. As data is being written to databases and flat files, that same data is being transmitted over a network to another storage system, usually to an alternate processing center or a cloud provider.

The main distinction between Cloud Connect and DRaaS is this: Cloud Connect copies the entirety of the backup data set in a one-time operation that is then repeated periodically; whereas DRaaS is the continuous or near continuous transference of updated server data.

DRaaS is a service that focuses entirely on a short RPO, meaning that the data that is being restored from is close to present time as possible. DRaaS solutions can reduce services downtime from hours to minutes. When a data loss scenario occurs at a primary site, the machine is brought up in a geographically different site that is protected from the disaster that occurred at the primary site.

Disaster Recovery as a Service is more expensive than Cloud Connect. This is because Disaster Recovery as a Service is tailored to fit the demanding availability needs of enterprise organizations. These organizations cannot afford to experience downtime and are willing to pay extra money for the setup and management of a DRaaS site to ensure that, in the event of a data loss scenario, business will continue as usual.

How to Choose

Choose Element Four Cloud Connect if…

Choose Element Four’s Cloud Connect service if your disaster recovery strategy is to have your data off-site and in a secure facility. Element Four’s Cloud Connect service makes it easy to get off-site backups while still maintaining complete control and visibility—it creates the ability to send Veeam backups from multiple locations to the Element Four cloud platform located in Switch’s Tier 5 Platinum rated data centers in Grand Rapids, Michigan or Las Vegas, Nevada.

Choose Element Four Disaster Recovery as a Service if…

Choose Element Four’s DRaaS if your Disaster Recovery strategy is to have your organization up and running quickly in the event of a data loss scenario. Element Four’s DRaaS solution includes full site failover to the Element Four cloud environment located in Switch’s Tier 5 Platinum data centers. Built in network extension appliances simplify networking complexity and preserve communication between running VM’s regardless of physical location.

Why Not Both?

Backup was once considered “good enough” for disaster recovery purposes. However, “good enough” implied that an organization was willing to wait hours or days to get their systems up and running again.

Conversely, if you are going to implement DRaaS, we would recommend that you also implement Cloud Connect. It is important to have an offsite copy of your data on hand in the event of a cyber-security attack. DRaaS can protect you from a lot of things, but it cannot protect your environment from malware. 

The best strategy for today’s DR needs requires both backup and replication. Frequent backup of VM images and the replication of critical data. Together these provide system recovery synergy that facilitates the rapid restoration of critical systems.

 Fill out Element Four’s DRaaS questionnaire below and email it to to receive free disaster recovery consultation.


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