Dan's Take

DRaaS: Keeping It Local

Cosentry emphasizes its nearness to the businesses it serves.

Cosentry recently announced a new extension to its Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) offering. The goal is helping small to medium size enterprises have the same DR capabilities as their larger cousins.

Cosentry describes its DRaaS offering in the following way:

Cosentry's DRaaS has been enhanced to meet varying recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs), with targets ranging from less than 15 minutes to several days based on application importance and budget. The tiered service maps the most efficient recovery solution to each application (such as SQL, financial applications, email, CRM, etc.), based on its mission-critical nature. The approach also ensures that the most urgent workloads are restored first with other less critical applications to follow.

While enterprises are increasingly considering services such as collocation, managed services and cloud computing, they need to know who's doing the work for them, where their processing and data is located, and prefer that the datacenter is close to home.

Location, Location, Location
Cosentry has targeted enterprises in the Midwest. Knowing this information and creating a warm, personal relationship with the cloud services provider is even more important for enterprises considering DR solutions. Since the enterprise's livelihood is based upon the ability to come back after a disaster, knowing the supplier, its expertise and where and how the data is storage is critical.

Cosentry has responded to the business requirements of enterprises in its target region by commissioning data centers in six Midwest cities. Cosentry would point out that any of them can be the center of a customer's DR activities. 

Dan's Take: This Time, It's Personal
Why is this important? Although cloud service providers such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM and many others have a larger share of the overall cloud services market, they often don't address some of the basic business needs of smaller, more conservative decision makers. They're simply too far away, hold themselves as remote and are too hard to have a warm, personal relationship. 

These decision makers want to be able to hop in a car and drive to the datacenter housing their applications and data. They want to be able to easily speak with the service provider's experts, engineers and administrators. They don't want to be shunted to a "customer service forum" and be forced to air what might be proprietary issues in a public forum. What company, after all, wants customers to know that a database was lost due to operator error and that the DR process in place didn't work? 

Cosentry has tightly focused on the needs of those conservative decision makers. They're not alone in this focus, however. Each region of the country is the home of a group of datacenter operators that offer similar services. Cosentry hopes to distinguish itself from its competitors by its warm, personal touch and the strength of its disaster recovery services, its compliant services for companies in regulated industries and helping its customers tame IT problems without needing to have the full complement of IT experts on staff.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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