Why Are Backups Not the Same as Disaster Recovery?

You are too smart to risk losing your data and you are taking all the necessary precautions to make sure it is protected.  You have all systems backed up both locally and offsite.  You are prepared.  Suddenly, an unfortunate disaster strikes:  A power surge comes through the building and takes out your servers destroying all data, including the backup server.  You have an offsite copy of your data, but what happens next? 

Having backups is a critical component to Disaster Recovery, but they are only that: a component. 

To be able to recover from the scenario above, you will need to have a plan of how you would get the data back in production.  

The first step of building this plan is defining how long you can go without your data.  Could you survive one month, one week, or one day?  This concept of time is called RTO, or Recovery Time Objective.  If your RTO is one week, then you couldn’t wait to order replacement hardware, have it configured, then restore your data to it over an internet connection, as this process could possibly take weeks.  

Another important thing to consider is how far back in time could you restore to?  If your offsite backups occur weekly, you risk losing up to 6 days of data but if your offsite backups are mirroring, you will be able to restore to the point in time the failure occurred.  This concept is Recovery Point Objective, or RPO.  

If you don’t want to be caught off guard, make sure you have an answer to these questions: 

  1. What data is most critical to the business? 
  2. How long could your business survive without that data? 
  3. What steps will be taken to get your data back in production and who will complete each step? 

If you want to learn more about your backups and how they fit into a Disaster Recovery plan, reach out to us. Don't rely on backups alone, make a plan of how you will recover. 

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