12-27-21 | Blog Post

Disaster Recovery VS Backup: What You Need to Know

Blog Posts

We often hear about the importance of disaster recovery and backup to the success of our businesses. Often lumped together under the umbrella “BDR”, backup and disaster recovery are mentioned so much in the IT industry that they seem to be more like buzz words than actual business solutions. For this reason, backup and DR have become heavily associated terms, sometimes used interchangeably.

In the midst of all of this jargon and confusion, the crucial thing to understand is that backup and DR are NOT one in the same, but two separate concepts. These two concepts are, however, both important to include in your business strategy. For the purpose of creating two plans (one for backup and one for DR) you will first need to understand the difference between the two.

Understanding Data Backup

Data backup is the process of backing up and retrieving your business information from one device to another. Often, devices are backed up to tape, disk or, more likely, to the cloud. Backups should be done frequently, in compliance with your company policies on recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives, to avoid excess downtime.

However, there are instances in which backing up data is not enough to ensure the continuity of your business. For example, what if the backup you created earlier is damaged or stolen? What if your company stores its backups in the same location as the original file and there is a disaster?  This is where an offsite disaster recovery solution comes into play.

Deciphering Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery (DR) is a broad term that tends to encompass a wide range of concepts and solutions. These solutions ultimately work together to recover your IT environment and restore it to working condition immediately following a disaster. One way to understand the difference between DR and backup is that backup is a subcategory and important part of DR. This means that backup can be considered DR, but not all DR is backup. There are three specific things that can decipher disaster recovery from backup.

  • DR provides a shorter RTO than backup
  • DR is a live replica of the production environment, where backups may only be taken nightly.
  • DR should always be placed in a geographically diverse, offsite network.

Backup and DR in the Cloud

A large portion of businesses without backup and disaster recovery plans never recover from the cost of downtime. If you are looking for a quick and simple solution to remedy your lack of a backup or DR strategy, the cloud is a great place to start. Not only is the cloud easy to deploy and scalable, it is the fastest way to get your data offsite. While a server in-house can fail or be destroyed in a disaster, data hosted in the cloud is safe from harm. You can take the fist step by choosing a leading and professional cloud provider.

The Bottom Line

The goal for any business with IT demands is to remain up and functioning even in a moment of crisis or devastation. Having a strategy when it comes to data backup and disaster recovery is essential for any size business in this globalized, high-tech world. Let Otava help you plan for the unexpected. Contact Otava today to speak with a tech professional about the best options for your business.

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