Understanding the essentials of backup and disaster recovery is critical for minimising the impact of unplanned business interruption. Across industries, companies recognise that downtime can quickly result in loss of income.
Unfortunately, human error, security breaches and ransomware attacks can all interrupt access to company applications and data. The importance of proper backups and effective recovery plans cannot be over emphasised.
What are Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions?
There’s an important distinction between backup and disaster recovery.
Backup is the process of making an extra copy (or multiple copies) of data. You back up data to protect it. You might need to restore backup after a cyber breach, accidental deletion, database corruption, or problem with a software upgrade.
Disaster recovery refers to the plan and processes for quickly re-establishing access to applications, data, and IT resources after an outage. The plan might involve switching over to a redundant set of servers and storage systems until your primary data centre is functional again.
It’s easy to mistake backup for disaster recovery. Simply having copies of data doesn’t mean you can keep your business running.
To ensure business continuity, you need a combination of secure backups and a robust disaster recovery plan.
There are several options for backup and recovery deployment. Broadly speaking you have the option of both an on-premises solution, cloud solution or a hybrid approach (which is a combination of both on-premise and cloud).
Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solutions are becoming increasingly popular among companies of all sizes.
Benefits of a cloud-based backup / disaster recovery solution include:
- No large capital investment for infrastructure.
- Rapid scalability plus the geographic separation necessary to keep data safe in the event of a regional disaster.
- Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions can support both on-premises and cloud-based environments.
- In a cloud-to-cloud model, both production and disaster recovery are located in the cloud, although at different sites to ensure enough physical separation.
In some cases, keeping certain backup or disaster recovery processes on-premises has its advantages:
- The ability to rapidly retrieve data and recover IT services.
- Retaining some sensitive data on premises might also be necessary if you need to comply with strict data privacy or data sovereignty regulations.
For disaster recovery, a plan that relies wholly on an on-premises environment would be challenging. If a natural disaster or power outage strikes, your entire data centre—with both primary and secondary systems—would be affected. That’s why most disaster recovery strategies employ a secondary site that is some distance away from the primary data centre. You might locate that other site across town, across the country depending on how you decide to balance factors such as performance, regulatory compliance and physical accessibility to the secondary site.
Don’t wait for disaster to strike before you consider your options
Preparing and planning for business interruption is an important part of the overall business strategy. It should allow for sufficient IT recovery and the prevention of data loss. For assistance with your backup and disaster recovery strategies please contact us