3 DR Challenges for Mid-sized Companies, Why Many Adopt DRaaS, and What’s New on VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
Caught in the Middle
Being “in the middle” is not easy. I remember my transitional middle school years, when I didn’t yet enjoy the freedoms of high school but gone were the simple joys of the elementary school playground. I hear friends complain about being the middle child, where the oldest sibling got to do everything first and the third child got special treatment as the youngest in the family. And then there’s sitting in the middle seat on a plane. Enough said.
Being a mid-sized organization can feel similar — not big (yet), but not small anymore. They don’t have the full scale and resources of large-sized organizations. But they need more robust solutions than what’s good enough for small-sized organizations. Finding a suitable DR solution is no different.
That’s why it has been very exciting to see VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery resonate so well with mid-sized organizations (and large-sized ones too)!
3 DR Challenges for Mid-sized Organizations
What are the top DR challenges that mid-sized organizations face? Based on customer conversations, I’m seeing three things.
- Mid-sized organizations usually have smaller IT teams compared to their larger counterparts, so they often don’t have someone who focuses on DR. Hence, they need an easy-to-use, highly automated solution that doesn’t require dedicated DR experts on staff.
- They have to spend their limited DR budget very wisely, so need a solution that gives them the flexibility to match DR SLAs with a total cost of ownership (TCO) for different workloads. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.
- Ransomware gangs target mid-sized organizations because they are seen as easier targets. Therefore, they can’t afford to wait a long time to modernize their DR. And when ransomware strikes, they need to recover quickly. Fast deployment and rapid recovery times are both critical.
Why Adopt DRaaS and How does VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery Address these Challenges?
First, it’s an end-to-end SaaS solution with built-in automation, such as continuous DR health checks every 30 minutes, daily data integrity checks, and fully integrated failback workflows. This significantly reduces the time that IT spends in deploying and maintaining DR plans and datacenters.
Next, it offers a 100% on-demand deployment model that optimizes for TCO or a Pilot Light deployment model that enables faster recovery times, allowing IT to flexibly adjust for different application requirements.
Finally, the ability to rapidly evaluate many immutable recovery points, going back hours to months, in a short period of time is crucial for rapid ransomware recovery. As a DRaaS solution delivered and maintained by VMware DR experts, mid-sized organizations can be DR Ready in as little as five days.
VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery = Rapid Recovery + Low TCO + Ease of Use.
What Are Mid-Sized Organizations Doing with VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery projects with mid-sized organizations span across many industry segments, including local and regional government, education, financial services, banking, life sciences, health care equipment and services, and engineering services.
To date, projects for mid-sized organizations range from 10-200 TiBs of protected data (used VM data, data change rate, recovery points to meet retention policy) and up to 200 VMs. (Note: our projects with large-sized organizations are up to 1+ PiBs of protected data.) About half start with the 100% on-demand deployment model to optimize for TCO, while the other half design in a Pilot Light cluster to speed up recovery times for more business-critical applications.
These organizations value VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery and adopt DRaaS because it enables them to:
- Simplify their DR operations and reduce their IT burden by getting out of the business of managing their own DR datacenter
- Realize cost savings by shifting from CapEx to Opex – one organization estimates $480,000 annual savings by adopting VMware Cloud DR
- Flexibly adjust their application’s DR SLAs, to meet their TCO requirements
- Increase their DR confidence with non-disruptive DR testing performed multiple times a quarter (or more frequently, if so desired)
- Adopt the cloud at their own pace, since in many cases this DR project represents their first foray into the public cloud
- Not spend time doing on-premises DR software upgrades to benefit from the latest enhancements
What’s New in VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
As an example of the last point, the VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery R&D team recently updated the service to give all its customers the following new benefits:
- Smaller entry point for customers wanting faster recovery times (2-node Pilot Light clusters now supported)
- More flexible consumption and payment options (a new 5 TiBs / 25 VMs monthly paid pilot SKU, support for a monthly payment option for term subscriptions)
- Faster recovery times (improved Storage vMotion performance during data rehydration, accelerated cache in the scale-out cloud file system)
- New regions supported in South America, Europe, and Asia (São Paulo, Stockholm, and Seoul VMware Cloud on AWS regions)
- Better replication and failback performance (AWS Direct Connect (Public VIF) support for replication and failback traffic)
- DR protection for applications already running in VMware Cloud on AWS (VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC as a source site)
- Greater scalability for customers with large environments (federated management of multiple instances)
Check out the release notes for more details and other recent enhancements.
Consider a New Approach to DR
With VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, mid-sized organizations get a fully capable DRaaS solution that is suitable for their larger counterparts, but without the need for a huge IT team or IT budget. Simplifying DR operations, reducing the IT burden, and increasing DR confidence is why more and more organizations are adopting DRaaS solutions like VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery.
To learn more about why your organization should adopt DRaaS for your DR needs, check out these resources:
- Get an overview of VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery
- Check out the Gartner report “How to Determine If DRaaS Will Save Money” 
- See how VMware Cloud DR can deliver 60% lower TCO
- Watch VMware Cloud DR product videos of common workflows
 Gartner, How to Determine If DRaaS Will Save Money, Jeffrey Hewitt, Rob Blair, 29 September 2020. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.