Backup VS Disaster Recovery

Its not uncommon to hear the question, “why do I need disaster recovery, when I have backups?”

Truth is, backup and disaster recovery serve 2 very different purposes.

Disaster recovery planning requires the business to determine it’s RTO (Recovery Time Objective).   The RTO is the maximum time a business can be without it’s I.T systems after a disaster. The directors or managers need to determine how quickly data needs to be accessible in order to minimise loss of business and productivity.

Most businesses need access to important company information and programs within 24 hours, and cannot afford the downtime while new hardware is procured and data restored. When new equipment needs to be ordered, parts installed, operating systems installed and data restored, the turn around time can be at least 2 weeks. If your business cant wait this long, you need a working copy of your servers in another location, that can be powered on immediately in the event of a disaster.

Traditionally, this meant having a duplicate of the I.T. Infrastructure in another location and information is replicated between the production site and DR site. This means that two sets of servers need to be maintained. That’s double the hardware upgrades and double the firmware upgrades.

Fortunately with server virtualisation, the entire virtual server can be replicated between sites onto a disaster recovery platform. The hardware at each end does not need to be the same for the virtual servers to replicate and power on if needed. When working with a service provider like CM Technology Group, the only cost to the business is bandwidth for replication and storage. Not bad for peace of mind.

So you may ask, if you are replicating your information offsite every day, do you still need to maintain daily backups?

The answer is absolutely yes!

Every time you replicate your server, the in formation is overwritten with the most up to date data. This means that if you delete a document on your working server, it will also be deleted on your replicated server.

9/10 Backup recovery requests, are to restore documents and e-mails that have been changed, overwritten or accidentally deleted.  Performing daily backups ensures necessary data retention. You can recover a file from last week or last month, depending on your retention policy.

In short, your disaster recovery plan, determines how quickly your business can be operational in the event of  a disaster, while backups assist with long term data retention.