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Disaster Recovery is a vital part of a Business Continuity Plan. It’s one of those things that business owners don’t ever want to need, but are glad they had it sorted when the time comes.
In the realm of technology, Disaster Recovery is commonly associated with backups. There is much talk about both, and they are critical elements for any business to have in place. However, we find that not all SMEs understand the differences between them.
Furthermore, many SMEs do not know whether their chosen solution is tested and effective in addressing their recovery needs until it is too late. In this short article, we’ll explore the differences between them:
Backup is the process of copying data and storing it in a secure location – ideally away from business premises. The technology in this area is continually evolving, and traditional methods such as backup tapes are now rarely used as they are inadequate for the recovery needs of most companies.
Most IT firms now offer more secure backup to the cloud, which is faster and causes little interruption to employees. There is a range of options available for the type of backup, the frequency of backup and the storage of data depending on business needs.
Nowadays, technology risk has the potential to cause tremendous damage to most businesses, whether it’s from failed hardware, human error or a cyberattack. The majority of these incidents can be avoided with a trustworthy backup solution and a robust Disaster Recovery strategy in place.
Backup is an element of Disaster Recovery, as it is broader in scope. Disaster Recovery involves a set of policies and procedures to enable the recovery of vital technology infrastructure and business systems following a disaster (natural or human-made).
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An effective DR strategy will ensure operations persist or resume with minimal disruption to employees. Backup comes in as a company’s data will need to be retrieved in the event of system damage or failure.
Some of the most important things to consider when developing your Disaster Recovery strategy are your businesses Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). These are terms commonly used when defining standards for Disaster Recovery.
RTO is the acceptable amount of time to the organisation for recovering its data and systems after a disaster. In short, it defines how long it would take for the business to be back in action without suffering substantial financial or operational damage.
This interval could range from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the type of business and its dependence on technology to operate.
RPO, on the other hand, is related to the amount of data the organisation is willing to lose when performing a restore, and it depends on the frequency that the backups are made. It will define if your backups are performed, say, every 15 minutes or every hour, and how much data would be reasonable to lose in a restoration.
Some organisations will recover fine if they can access a backup from the previous day, while others will need to obtain their most recent data to recover successfully.
These aspects must be agreed with the client according to the business needs so that the price range is fair, and there are always enough resources available at the right time.
Both Backup and Disaster Recovery are necessary for businesses, regardless of their sizes, to survive technological disruption. They need a solution which is regularly tested to ensure it performs as expected in the event of an outage.
Disaster Recovery is all about recovery times and objectives, but in many small businesses, it is only taken seriously after a disaster strikes. New developments and products which combine both elements are now more affordable and, therefore, accessible to any size of business.
If you would like to discuss your Backup and Disaster Recovery requirements with Spector, we would be happy to help. We have always been at the forefront of this technology in Ireland and have proven tested solutions which we tailor for clients to meet their recovery objectives.
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