In the world of IT, backup and disaster recovery is something you hear or read about a lot – but what exactly does it mean? In a nutshell, backup and disaster recovery are mechanisms put in place to protect your organization’s mission-critical data.
This blog will cover the basics of backup and disaster recovery and include helpful tips to consider and best practices to incorporate into your overall backup and disaster recovery solution.
Understanding the Difference Between Backup and Disaster Recovery
Backup and disaster recovery are oftentimes lumped into a single term, and while they do go hand-in-hand, it’s important to note the differences between the two.
Backup is the process of creating one or multiple copies of existing data, which is commonly replicated in another location. There are numerous instances where you may need to restore data and a backup is needed, including:
- Technical errors such as a glitch during a software upgrade or database corruption
- Lost or stolen files
- Human error
- Natural disasters
Disaster recovery comes into play in the aftermath of a human-made or natural disaster that has destroyed a location housing important data. A successful disaster recovery plan will help organizations achieve business continuity after a disaster has taken place. With a disaster recovery plan, all the data and applications that have been saved during a previous backup can be recovered and restored to their last functioning version. This is usually accomplished through a third-party disaster recovery software program.
Backups are Not Optional
Now that we’ve discussed the differences between backup and disaster recovery, let’s dive into why these tools are so important for organizations to implement.
Data is at the core of every organizations’ operational strategy. Without data, it is impossible for the core functions of your business to succeed. By not regularly backing up your data and having a response plan in place to restore it if needed, you are putting your organization at risk.
As previously discussed, there are many reasons why you would need to restore a backup of your data and applications. Errors occur all the time, whether human or technical, and hackers are always on the lookout to intercept or corrupt confidential files.
While data backups play an essential role in ensuring continued productivity for your company, they are only one component of a much larger picture.
Don’t Wait for a Disaster
Having a recovery response plan in place is the second piece to an effective backup and disaster recovery solution. Data recovery plans are only successful if they are planned out and tested well before they are needed. Once a catastrophe has struck, it is too late to enforce a disaster recovery plan. All the data that has been lost is likely gone forever, leaving your organization wondering how to begin picking up the pieces.
Furthermore, if you do not have access to the data fundamental to your business, you will undergo months – if not years – of financial strain due to the inability to service your customers and operate business as usual.
Though backup and disaster recovery plans can be expensive, the key is to simply start the conversation and consult with an expert to begin building out your plan. Ideally, these plans will be in place long before they are needed, as it will most certainly be detrimental to your company and more costly in the long run to recover from interrupted business operations.
Diversify your Technologies
Once you have made the decision to execute a backup and disaster recovery plan, it is in your organization’s best interest to explore various methods to strengthen your response plan and protect your assets from vulnerabilities. If you “put all your eggs in one basket” – or rather, store all your data on one server – the likelihood of it being wiped out in one fell swoop significantly increases.
Many organizations initially back up their data on local, in-house devices for a number of reasons, including adhering to compliance measures and centralized management of backup files. However, the vulnerabilities that come with an on-premises solution – such as failed recoveries, hidden costs, and hardware failure to name a few – far outweigh the benefits.
We are seeing more and more often a shift to a virtual environment for data backups. Backing your data up in the cloud offers countless benefits to an organization, including faster recovery times for minimized downtime, enhanced security with redundancy and 24/7 surveillance, and cost savings with a predictable monthly spend.
An on-premises backup with a cloud hybrid replication solution provides faster on-site recovery and off-site resiliency, ensuring you have access to your critical data when you need it and allowing your business to keep moving forward in the event of an emergency.