The Difference Between a Disaster Recovery and a Backup

One of the common questions we get asked is what’s the difference between Backup and Disaster Recovery, many people think that these are both the same. Both of these are important, backup is one part of the disaster recovery process.

If your company relies on IT support you will know that a backup isn’t a luxury, its required in the process of how your business recovers that data and how to use it. All of your data needs to be protected, it could be your business’ internal documents, customer applications or transactional data. It’s a disaster when you lose data, losing it also causes to have financial consequences if you aren’t able to restore it in time. Creating a secondary site to your primary site if that ever fails is called a disaster recovery.

Here are some questions to help you understand the difference between a backup and disaster recovery –

How fast can you recover your data? This is called the ‘Recovery Time Objective.’ If you have a cloud-based disaster recovery, then it might take minutes where as if your business only has a backup this could take up to hours or even days.

From when can you carry on using your data? This is called the ‘Recovery Point Objective.’ If your last replication happened 20 minutes ago this means you are 20 minutes behind on your secondary site. If you have DRaaSS then you can push this down to a couple of minutes.

A backup is for data, so having all your data stored somewhere that is safe is really important. Disaster recovery is more than just backing up the data or taking a showing the system image.

The basic test for a Backup vs DR is – if you lose some/all of your data but your computer is fine then a backup will allow you to bring your data back and get your company back on track where as if your IT environment is not available and you don’t have the IT systems to bring the data back then this is where you would need a disaster recovery.

A back up is taking care of your data by saving it periodically in a secure location and bringing it back when you need it, a disaster recovery is a function that will replicate your computing environment, so all of your data, systems, applications and networks. This makes it available when your primary environment is unavailable.

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