Yes, backup and disaster recovery are two entirely different principles.
Backup is an essential element of a disaster recovery plan, but disaster recovery itself includes all aspects of the business operations, including employee communication and safety, not just the business data.
Whether a catastrophe is manmade or a natural disaster, businesses of every size must be prepared to resume normal operations as quickly as possible after an unexpected interruption. Part of that is having a DR plan in place for IT systems and data.
The goal is to create a roadmap of actions that will minimize downtime, reduce financial impact, and maintain access to mission-critical data and customer records to ensure business continuity. (The plan should also include crisis communication instructions for whom to contact to repair the damage or initiate failover systems, and protocols to alert external partners and customers in the event of a prolonged outage.)
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There are two ways to go about implementing a DR backup plan for IT systems and data:
One is to build an exact physical replica of the primary infrastructure. This is a huge undertaking. It may also be of little use if the failsafe system is on-premises and affected by the same disaster as the primary network. Duplicating the IT infrastructure at a remote location solves that but is still an expensive proposition and requires redundant connectivity with independent internet service providers.
The second way is through the cloud. Migrating backup data to a cloud service provider stores data safely in an off-site data center without the burdens – and costs – of owning the servers and storage assets or maintaining infrastructure.
Many cloud backup providers also offer services to assist with your DR planning and implementation. This popular new approach to disaster recovery is called disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).
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Whether you choose to implement DR directly or with the assistance of a partner, it all starts with backup. But what types and methods are best? Here are some terms and functions to help you decide:
Today, cloud backup is the recommended best practice. Besides eliminating the need and cost for a redundant IT environment and support resources, cloud backup services ensure you get all the latest data protection and redundancy technologies are in use for a fixed monthly fee. The onus is on the provider to maintain, test, and scale as necessary to meet service level agreements.
Cloud backup services like DRaaS are comprehensive and include all the hardware, software, infrastructure management and support personnel required to support your business continuity efforts.
Don’t wait until disaster strikes to formulate a plan and secure your data. By then it’s too late.