Backup vs Disaster Recovery

Thu 1st Jun 2023 | IT Outsourcing, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Software Licensing

Why both are essential in 2023

Most people view backups as the standard ‘restoration point’ when something goes wrong and disaster strikes their computer or server. However, for an entire organisation, backups have a limit to how effective they are if a catastrophic situation arises.

IT disaster recovery is a different beast and represents a fully planned-out process aimed at getting an organisation up and running again as quickly as possible. Backups and disaster recovery are both important processes for ensuring that whatever goes wrong, you can get up and running as soon as possible.

What is a Backup?

A backup is the storage of duplicate data taken at a certain point in time and stored in a separate location, so that it can be used as a restoration point should it be needed.

Data backups should be easily accessible and have a quick restoration process to ensure efficient recovery and limit any downtime from system or infrastructure failure. This can be achieved in many ways including external drive storage, cloud backups, remote data centres, and storage arrays and partitions.

Backing up is typically at an individual level (user or system) rather than an infrastructural, organisation-wide level. Duplicating your entire system infrastructure can be a huge undertaking that can consume massive resources, making it unsuitable for many organisations. However, for individual employee devices, file systems and specific databases, backups are a crucial process.

Backup Best Practices

Here are some useful practices when implementing IT system backups in your organisation:

  • Backup frequently – the less regularly you back up, the larger the amount of time since your last restoration point and the more data you could lose.
  • The 3-2-1 rule ensures you have multiple backups. You should make three unique backups, on two different devices, with one of them stored off-site.
  • Encrypt your backup data – ensure that your organisation is secure from data attack or breaches via this route.
  • Test Your Backups – you need to ensure that your backup restore process works otherwise, they are basically pointless! Don’t discover there is a problem when you need the backup!

What is Disaster Recovery?

Backups are a part of disaster recovery, but this process is more complicated than that.

If disaster strikes, disaster recovery aims to get all areas of your business up and running quickly, with as little disruption and downtime as possible. This means that considerations for a disaster recovery strategy are far more complex.

Disaster Recovery Best Practices

Here are some best practice tactics for ensuring your organisation has a firm foundation for disaster recovery:

  • Strategise and plan for this eventuality. Getting expert knowledge to help create your plan is essential to ensure that your disaster recovery strategy works for your organisation.
  • Ensure that employees and partners know their key responsibilities. This often includes IT professionals, department heads, senior management and human resources.
  • Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) – breaking down your organisation into individual assets and services and planning for each one specifically.
  • Determine your expected downtime and put in place contingencies around this. Working out your recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) will allow you to set expectations.
  • Test your plan to ensure that it works seamlessly and to the timescales expected.

Why Both Backup and Disaster Recovery Are Essential

These processes are not mutually exclusive and are crucial for the smooth running of modern organisations.

Disaster recovery and backups apply to different parts of your organisation, and including both will ensure that you are protected from disaster.

Implement a Coherent Disaster Recovery and Backup Plan Today

Properly implemented backups and disaster recovery can mitigate disturbance and downtime relating to failure of either personal or organisational systems and devices. With effective backups and disaster recovery plans, your organisation will be prepared to overcome anything.

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If you’re looking for a professional, straightforward partner to help plan your backup and disaster recovery processes, reach out to us today. Get in touch now and see how we can help your organisation.

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