Ask the Experts: Data Backup vs. DRaaS – What’s the Difference?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle talks about how data backup solutions have evolved from tapes to DRaaS with Evolve IP’s CTO Scott Kinka. Every customer is a prospect for Disaster Recovery as a Service–find out why from Scott and the Evolve IP team here:

Andrew: All right, guys. We’re back at it here with another Ask the Experts session. One of my favorite smart guys in the industry, Mr. Scott Kinka. Scott’s the CTO of Evolve IP. Scott, welcome again, man.
Scott: Fantastic to be here.
Andrew: All right. Always love to take a couple minutes and crawl inside that huge brain of yours. I want to talk to you quickly about data backup, and how do you design a data backup solution with the cloud in mind? How does the cloud change a data backup type of design? Why should our sales partners and customers care about that? What is the cloud really leverage for them? Give us a sense of that real quick.
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. I think as the cloud began to emerge on the computing side several years ago, the first place people went to leverage it was for backup solutions, right. That landscape’s changed over time, but a lot of it was, “If I can buy disks in the cloud instead of buying disks here, can I just throw some stuff up there?” That was one of the early adoptions of cloud for data backup.
That was a DIY solution–it’s disk here, it’s disk there, but it’s not really a service. The disk is a service but the backup’s not a service. I’ve got to know what to do with that data; think about how to bring it back. Swiftly after that, data backup solutions as a service emerged. This really is the–sort of from the cloud, install an agent locally on a machine, and then go to a control console and say, “I want to back this up on these time frames, I want to retain it at this length. It’s exchange so I need an agent to back up open files,” that type of thing. That is still a very prevalent type of backup use of the cloud right there: data backup solutions. I think there are probably multiple providers in the Intelisys portfolio, Evolve IP included, who offer a “by the gigabyte” approach to data backup. But that truly is data backup.
One of the things that we run into often with sales partners and their perspective clients is people thinking that backup is also DR. That’s, “Because I put it up in the cloud I’m good,” which is good in terms of being able to recover the data. The question that it doesn’t answer is, “How do I get it back? What do I get it back to? How do people get to it?” There’s the other side to that argument–and that’s really created the emergence of what many of us in the industry are calling DRaaS–which is really that new category which makes use of the disk, makes use of the computing in the infrastructure but has the failover/failback timing. All of that built into a service that’s controllable, in the cloud controllable via that service provider portal.
Andrew: Yeah. Got it, got it. This is a really important topic for our sales partners to understand because it’s a jumping off point for every single client. Do you agree with that? Seems like every customer out there is a prospect for a DRaaS.
Scott: There’s no question–I think for both of those reasons, right. Everybody has to back something up and even those who think they do it well, it’s funny. We talk to C-Level executives who are not in the IT side all the time, and we ask them the DR question and there’s, “Yeah, you know, somebody comes and picks up the tapes.” It’s amazing how often we still hear that.
Everybody’s backing something up. Chances are they’re not satisfied with it because if they’d ever tried to restore something from tape–as an example–tape has a fifty percent failure rate. Fifty percent. So most executives have run into that in some way. It’s a really, you know–you called it a stepping off point; we call them landing products. They’re the things you can discuss with every single prospect that you have; but certainly backup is and then that branches right into DR. I think weather events of late, things that are going on politically and in the international community, have really made people a bit uncomfortable about what’s going to happen on that day when something happens at the building.
DR is in people’s heads and most people really just have a backup solution, which is insufficient. They clearly don’t have a disaster recovery solution. It’s a great opportunity for our sales partners to talk about.
Andrew: Perfect, perfect. Great stuff. Hey Scott, thanks again, man. Always great to hear your insights. You’re again one of the smartest guys I know in this space, so I appreciate you carving out a few minutes for us. Guys, that’s Scott Kinka, CTO of Evolve IP. Hailing from the great state of Pennsylvania; a huge Eagles fan, and we’re sorry for that.
Scott: Don’t hold that against me.
Andrew: Cool. Hey Scott, thanks for the time. Guys, check out their learning center on University. Great stuff there and make sure you’re leveraging their resources to help you close big deals in the cloud. Scott, thanks for the time, bud.
Scott: You got it. Thanks a lot.
Andrew: All right. Good selling.