AutoNation spent years trying to establish a disaster recovery plan that inspired confidence. It went through multiple iterations, including failed attempts at a full on-premises solution and a solution completely in the cloud. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based auto retailer, which operates 300 locations across 16 states, finally found what it needed with a hybrid model featuring disaster recovery as a service.

“Both the on-premises and public cloud disaster recovery models were expensive, not tested often or thoroughly enough, and were true planning and implementation disasters that left us open to risk,” says Adam Rasner, AutoNation’s vice president of IT and operations, who was brought on two years ago in part to revamp the disaster recovery plan. The public cloud approach sported a hefty price tag: an estimated $3 million if it were needed in the wake of a three-month catastrophic outage. “We were probably a little bit too early in the adoption of disaster recovery in the cloud,” Rasner says, noting that the cloud providers have matured substantially in recent years.

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