Let’s start with some definitions:

Disaster Recovery (DR): A strategic security planning model that works to protect a company from the effects of natural or human-induced disasters, such as a tornado or cyber attack. A DR plan aims to maintain critical functions before, during, and after a disaster event, thereby causing minimal disruption to business continuity.

Backup: The copying of data into a secondary form (i.e. archive file), which can be used to restore the original file in the event of a disaster event.

As you can see, disaster recovery and data backups go hand in hand to support business continuity.

However, recognizing the difference between disaster recovery and backups is essential to building a resilient business strategy.

So, What’s The Difference?

Backups are the copies of essential files that enable a full restore. While that may sound straightforward, and it is in theory, the actual process can be quite complicated. First off, there are different ways to manage backups. In fact, 49% of businesses utilize multiple backup solutions at the same time.

In addition to the different types of backups, the process by which those backups are created can vary. Virtualization now means traditional tape backups are being replaced by replication, snapshots, and live migrations. Snapshots protect data and enable quick restores. Replication tools automate a multi-cloud backup solution. Every backup solution is measured on its recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs).

In the end, a backup solution is only helpful if you understand the stategy behind it.

Backups refers to the actual copies or copying of files and data. Disaster recovery (DR) incorporates the full strategy for responding to a disaster event and putting the backups into action. DR is the umbrella under which backups reside. You may have a specific data backup strategy, but responding to a disaster means preparing for a worst-case scenario. Who is in charge of getting applications back online? How will you manage customer relations if there is a data breach? The difference between disaster recovery and backups is about answering these types of questions.

Creating a disaster recovery strategy means determining application priority, aligning your backup policy with your DR strategy, assigning RTOs and RPOs, as well as creating a testing and verification protocol.

Understanding the difference between disaster recovery and backups comes down to understanding the difference between a solution (backup) and a strategy (DR).

Contact us today for more information on how to we can help you create a disaster recovery strategy.