The difference between Backup Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Like many things in the IT industry, terms that are similar could be used interchangeably. This occurs a lot when discussing business continuity and disaster recovery. Understanding the difference between Backup Continuity and Disaster Recovery means that it’s easier to plan both effectively. The main reason these two terms become thrown in as one is due to cloud computing – as it’s easily used to address both.
Disaster Recovery (DR) is based around the capability of restoring data and applications back in the event that they’re no longer available.
An example of this could be equipment being stolen, damaged or unusable.
Business Continuity (BC) is based on having a strategy to provide your business resilience around service outages. The main goal is to get business back to pre-crisis levels. To put it in an analogy – it’s like a duck in water. Everything is calm on the surface (external view) while paddling frantically underneath (internal reality) to stay afloat.
The planning difference between Backup Continuity and Disaster Recovery
With Business Continuity Planning (BCP); the idea is to focus on and protect mission critical services and processes so they’re still functional during a crisis. The BCP can also include how to re-establish the services as quickly and efficiently as possible after the incident.
A basic concept which is a good test for any BCP is by looking at a building the business utilises and asking ‘what would we do if we lost everything in this building?’
A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) can sometimes be a part of the overall Business Continuity plan. Typically DR plans are implemented for different groups within the business – with the main aim to recover a particular business application in the event of a failure.
The most common DR plan is the IT disaster recovery plan.
Mistakes that occur by not understanding the difference between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
It’s common to see a DR plan used as a BCP; it’ll protect the business from everything. However; this isn’t the case. A DR plan doesn’t cover anything around what needs to occur with key stakeholders or business processes.
It’s also a known mistake is not testing an organisations BCP or DR plan effectively can make things worse. Test My Backups suggest a full scale test occur at least twice a year (instead of the standard once). The reason for the difference is that staff and working environments are ever changing – meaning the chances of a first time run through will be within a live disaster.
When used properly…
By implementing a solid Business Continuity plan and Disaster Recovery plan; an unexpected disaster causing a complete shut down is low.
These two plans will fit together like a jig-saw; and will guide the organisation through tough, unexpected outages.
Hopefully this makes it easier to understand the difference between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans. As a result; if you’ve got any questions around this – feel free to post a comment below or fill in the web form to get in touch with us.