Back Up and Disaster Recovery – What is the difference?
At Altron Karabina, when we speak to customers, we always ask what their disaster recovery strategies (DR) are. Sometimes we get good information from customers, but in some cases, it seems that customers have started on a strategy but not quite put it into practice. In most instances the feedback is that it is too costly, and they think they do not need it as they run their own backups. There is a belief that back up and disaster recovery is the same thing.
Here are some questions to think about. Can you afford downtime? Can your business get back up and running within minutes if malware hits your servers or disaster strikes? What will it mean to your bottom line if you are down for days, weeks or even months? Find out how our Microsoft Azure cloud architects can help you and learn what disaster recovery means and the difference between DR and a back-up.
According to TechTarget, disaster recovery is an area of security planning that aims to protect an organisation from the effects of significant negative events. Additionally, having a disaster recovery strategy in place enables an organisation to maintain or quickly resume mission-critical functions following a disruption.
Many small and mid-sized businesses in South Africa have not made the move to the cloud yet. This is for a number of reasons. For some, it is because they are used to an on-prem setup and they are still sweating their existing assets. For others, there’s genuine mistrust when it comes to the cloud – will their data be safe, how does it work, and what are the real benefits?
One of the biggest danger zones we see mid-sized businesses in, is the business continuity versus disaster recovery strategy quandary. Business owners believe they are safe because they have back ups in place, not realising that back ups alone do not protect a business’s ability to operate when disaster strikes.
The results of a disaster strike can be devastating. According to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 40% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster and another 25% that do reopen, fail within a year. A disaster strike or disruptive event can be anything that puts an organisation’s operations at risk, from a cyber-attack, load shedding/power outages, malware, equipment failures to natural disasters. The goal of disaster recovery is for a business to continue operating as close to normal as possible should any of these disasters occur.
Netapp describes back-up as the process of creating and storing copies of data that can be used to protect organisations against data loss (this is sometimes referred to as operational recovery). Recovery from a backup typically involves restoring the data to the original location, or to an alternate location where it can be used in place of the lost or damaged data.
Today, data is extremely valuable which is why many organisations have backups, and backups of backups. Because if the organisation had to lose its data, the business would have no history of their customers, their sales, invoicing and so on. Effectively the business would be blind as it would no longer have insights into its customers, no ability to deliver customised service to them, connect with them, sell to them or invoice them.
Here’s Why a Disaster Recovery Plan and a Back Up Plan Are Not the Same Thing
When you make backups, it is a disc to disc to tape process, and the tape is sent to Metrofile. If there’s a disaster, you need to restore from tape, which is a process, starting with finding the right sequence of tapes and having them delivered to you, and then restoring them and uploading them onto your backup servers. There’s an element of time lost here – from a day to possibly weeks and months. The reality is that you need to be back up and running within minutes, and that’s only possible if you have your system mirrored in the cloud.
Essentially, backups are far from enough, and not understanding the simple and cost-effective cloud solutions that are available leave businesses exposed and under threat.
Disaster recovery solutions were designed with this in mind – uninterrupted up-time. Businesses do not only need their data to get back up and running after a disaster, but they need servers, applications, and software as well. They need their entire IT infrastructure. In a world that is not based in a public cloud like Microsoft Azure, this means offsite hardware – backup servers that can be spun up when disaster strikes. But offsite hardware means maintenance of hardware, IT support, getting to hardware if systems go down, time to get it back up etc. Disaster recovery in Azure allows setting recovery time objectives in minutes and hours, instead of days and week.
Azure’s built-in disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) helps your business to keep doing business — even during major IT outages. Azure Site Recovery offers ease of deployment, cost effectiveness, and dependability.
We believe in expert support. This is why we have a small, focused team of experts who are all cloud architects. All engagements happen to plan, standards are met, and we don’t deviate from Microsoft best practice. We know what the end result should be, and that’s what we’re promising. We lead from an expert perspective, with our entire team Microsoft accredited and certified. Our service is 24/7 and ready to go – there is always someone on standby for an emergency/disaster situation.
Click here for a free DRaaS assessment and to access TWO GREAT OFFERS to assist in setting up your Disaster Recovery strategy and answers to most of the common DR questions.