Ask The Experts: Advantages of Cloud-Based BCDR & DRaaS

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle talks about Disaster Recovery as a Service with Matrix’s CEO Neely Loring. Find out more about using cloud disaster recovery as a service to solve your customers’ business continuity issues from Neely and the Matrix team here:

Andrew: Okay, here we go guys. Another Ask the Experts session. People love these because we get to get inside the minds of some of the biggest thought leaders out there in the cloud. I’ve invited back to the studio one of our go-to smart guys in the cloud, Neely Loring, CEO of Matrix, headquartered out of Columbia, South Carolina. Neely, welcome man.
Neely: Thanks, good to be here Andrew.
Andrew: Always good to have you. We’re talking about Advanced Data Networking Solutions and that whole certification track. A big part of this is this whole session on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery. You’re a cloud guy, man. You guys have really adopted cloud as your go-to platform for solving customer problems and Business Continuity Disaster Recovery. This is really kind of a hot area right now. I wanted to get your opinion as to why cloud is such a natural place for DR plans to sit and how cloud can be leveraged to solve that, because I guess that comes with a cloud solution oftentimes—BCDR is kind of built-in. Talk about the advantages of cloud over a premises-based alternative, if you will.
Neely: Especially when it comes to DR, what we’re really talking about . . . as technology’s moved along, we’ve gotten way more addicted and dependent on it for everything. DR in a traditional sense is one where I have a disaster, how do I get backup and how fast? High availability is where it really is. The high availability of, “The CEO deleted a spreadsheet that’s about to be presented, how do I restore it?” What the cloud does in that perspective is you’re able to just drag and drop and make it available.
For the major—the DR, the real disasters—you’re able to then take your workloads and not have to worry about taint, or what’s on your local premise, or finding another location to put hardware. You have it in such a way in the cloud to where you can begin to spin those workloads up and begin using them rapidly. Even from the small disaster of, “I deleted a file,” or “I deleted a sub-directory,” or “I got the CryptoLocker virus,” or whatever it is, flavor of the day. It’s the “then-what question” and how quickly. We’re all going to be judged on cloud strategy by how do we impact change and how quickly to our end client. The cloud is able to deliver that very rapidly and really enable a partner, the client and the cloud provider.
Andrew: That’s really, really cool. It seems a lot of the discussion that seems to be somewhat washed over at times is the whole conversation around restoral. As an IT leader, I can check the box, “Yes I have my stuff backed up on tape, on a consumer-based web service,” or whatever it might be. How important is restoral to this conversation and how does cloud provide perhaps a big advantage around restoral, and the speed of restoral?
Neely: Backup is one of those things to where it’s a complete waste of time until you need it, and then it’s worth everything you’d ever have to do. I think what we find in most mid-market clients is it’s a little bit of an afterthought and if it fails, we’ll get it again tonight. Sometimes it’s not even happening.
When you get into a situation where you’re using the cloud, first of all you have a team where that’s their job: their reason for living is making sure the backups happen. It’s that economy of scale that we talk about all the time. And to make sure they happen; if they don’t, we fix it now and what do we do? Then to have near-line availability for restoral of files or restoral of everything; you’ve got enterprise-level equipment sitting there waiting that have already been spec’d out for what’s the decision path when this happens.
Lots of customers are able to restore their own files back if they delete a file, a subdirectory or whatever. They don’t even have to reach out. It’s as instant as the bandwidth will allow it. Others have a plan where if they have a full-blown disaster they can flip over and begin using the system in the cloud.
Andrew: Interesting, that brings up something. Is there an opportunity to use DRaaS, this Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service? It’s kind of a jumping off point for customers who haven’t yet adopted the cloud. Is this a first step to the cloud for many clients?
Neely: It really is because, as we were talking about earlier, we’re way more addicted to our technology. Businesses shut down when their technology isn’t available. There’s no more handwriting tickets. That’s something that every single customer if they’re not doing, should. If they are doing, we probably need to be talking about what they’re doing to make sure it’s the right thing. It’s the great toe in the water, just like we talked about in years gone by. Exchange is a great starting point. People are used to having that, not local. Well, disaster recovery doesn’t affect what they’re doing in a production. If there’s hesitation there, “I know how to run it in-house better than anyone else,” that’s great, but you still have to do solid disaster recovery—and the capital alone to duplicate everything that you have is always a tough one. To be able to make a choice to begin to be able to move to the cloud and not have to change what’s happening day-to-day for your workers, is an easy path. It’s a less path of resistance.
Andrew: Got it, got it. Very cool. Neely, as always man you never fail to step up and hit the mark. Appreciate it. Guys, that’s Neely Loring, President of Matrix. Neely, thanks for jumping in, man.
Neely: Thanks for having me.
Andrew: Guys, do make sure you check out the learning center for Matrix. Neely and his team have put together tons of great information there that can help you get educated and smarter about how to sell big cloud opportunities, manage services opportunities, help desks, mobile device management opportunities. They really have a strong breadth of services that can help you win big in the cloud. Good selling.