Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud WAN Optimization Holds the Key to Driving Enterprise RaaS Adoption

Cost-effective, easy-to-implement, and easy-to-manage disaster recovery and business continuity

In a constant effort to improve customers' cloud experience and increase adoption, cloud providers are starting to introduce WAN optimization capabilities into their service offerings. This technology will allow organizations to realize significant performance improvements for cloud applications. For providers who have global cloud ecosystems, this is an extremely important step forward. One area in particular that will benefit from WAN optimization is Recovery as a Service (RaaS), a cloud-based solution that uses predetermined sets of processes to allow enterprises to implement disaster recovery in the cloud. Traditional disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) solutions, including hot sites and secondary data centers, have commonly been costly to implement, and RaaS solutions have emerged as a better alternative.

RaaS is still a fairly young technology, but coupled with the advantages of WAN optimization, could be poised for impressive growth. To date, much of the traction for RaaS has been with small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). This is mainly due to the fact that companies of this size, particularly the mid-tier businesses, have been among the most prevalent early adopters of the cloud. Many have IT infrastructures that aren't large enough to reap all of the benefits of virtualization but can still gain significant savings and operational improvements by moving to the cloud. In addition, the amount of data involved in the SMB recovery process is typically more moderate in scope, so the bandwidth requirements are manageable from a cost perspective, even with limited data reduction mechanisms. However, while RaaS can dramatically reduce the amount of data being sent to the recovery site (via block level replication, compression, de-duplication, multi-threading, network "throttling, caching), the bandwidth requirements and associated costs can still be quite substantial for larger organizations with massive amounts of data to be protected.

These enterprises, which have been slower than their smaller business counterparts to adopt cloud computing, are now migrating at a faster rate. One of the primary reasons for this is the increasing rate of adoption of virtualization in their environments, which research firm Gartner now estimates to be close to 50 percent. As virtualization takes hold, moving production servers to the cloud has become easier and more cost-effective. Instead of refreshing hardware and continuing to run IT as they always have, CIOs are increasingly seeing the cloud as a viable alternative.

In addition to increased virtualization, larger companies are now more comfortable with the security profiles that most cloud providers have adopted. Cloud providers have worked hard to upgrade the security features they provide and have made improvements spanning a variety of areas, including facilities, network and user access, perimeter controls, data encryption, compliance, enhanced monitoring and management and operating system updates, among others.

These improvements have facilitated the migration of more production environments to the cloud. As larger companies undertake these migrations, DR/BC in the cloud becomes of paramount importance. Even if a company decides to keep its production servers in-house, the cloud is becoming a very attractive alternative to having a secondary data center for DR/BC purposes. The biggest challenge then becomes how to efficiently and cost-effectively move all of the data that needs to be protected. Don't forget, large enterprises may have hundreds of terabytes (TBs) or petabytes (PBs) of data they need to secure.

This is where WAN optimization comes into play. By combining all of the inherent benefits of WAN optimization with the aforementioned features built into RaaS offerings, a powerful solution to the data movement challenge is enabled. It will allow for large volumes of data to be transferred quickly and cost-effectively and will make RaaS an extremely viable solution for large enterprises.

On a more granular level, the key benefits that WAN optimization brings to the RaaS market include:

  • More efficient use of a network link. Depending upon a customer's Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which is the maximum amount of time in which data may be lost from an IT service outage, and Recovery Time Objective (RTO), which is the maximum amount of time before a customer is operational after an IT service outage, they can either push greater amounts of data over an existing link or similar amounts of data over a smaller link. Either way, the customer is receiving performance and cost benefits.
  • Improved RPOs and RTOs. For example, if a customer is conducting daily backups, which translates to a 24-hour RPO, and has an RTO of 12 hours (about the best that can be achieved in a backup environment), these could be reduced to minutes via the use of RaaS and WAN optimization. On the surface, the cost of RaaS will appear to be more expensive than straight backup, but in reality it is not, if the cost of downtime is factored in. Often, just saving one to two hours of downtime is more than enough to tip the scales in favor of RaaS
  • Fast and effective failback and failover. RaaS software provides companies with the ability to reverse the replication process whereby data is replicated from the recovery site to the primary site and users are "failedback" when data is synched at both sites. The key here is that the failback replication process is taking place in the background with no impact on the production environment that is running at the recovery site. An additional benefit of this process, especially when augmented by WAN optimization, is that companies can failover to their secondary site for short periods of time knowing how easy it is to failback. This is an important requirement for the enterprise market.
  • Enhanced data caching. Raas with WAN optimization provides the ability to cache data for longer periods of time for asynchronous replication before sending data to the secondary site. This lets customers suspend servers at the secondary site when data is not being sent, offering further cost reductions to an already cost-effective solution

With cloud providers beginning to incorporate WAN optimization into their global architectures, this could be a tipping point for RaaS, finally driving significant adoption beyond SMBs and making it a viable solution for the enterprise market as well. All of the pieces are now in place for the cloud to become the site of choice for cost-effective, easy-to-implement, and easy-to-manage disaster recovery and business continuity.

More Stories By Geoff Sinn

Geoff Sinn is Principal Cloud Consultant for Dimension Data, Americas. He is recognized as a pioneer and thought leader in the area of Managed Services and Cloud Computing and has successfully implemented a Managed Services business six times, both as new ventures inside larger companies and as stand-alone entities. Geoff has over two decades of experience covering a wide range of disciplines including storage; backup; replication; disaster recovery/business continuity; e-discovery, software-as-a-service; archiving; security; remote monitoring and management; and hosting.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...