Defining backup, disaster recovery and business continuity

OCTOBER 20TH, 2011

There is often confusion in the industry about certain terms. Some might want to know the applications of backup and the different types of backup. Others will ask about the difference between disaster recovery and business continuity.  It's a great idea to talk about and clarify terms - sometimes IT pros will use them in various ways throughout the industry. So let's try to define backup, disaster recovery and business continuity. We certainly appreciate any effort to explain these terms, but it's important for us to note that we're pretty particular with how we use them at StorageCraft. For some, these terms are more or less all descriptions of different types of disaster recovery. At StorageCraft, however, we see things more broadly. For us, backup is simply the act of securing data both locally and remotely. Disaster recovery (DR), on the other hand, is the restoration of that data in the event of any kind of disaster, large and small.

Disaster Recovery vs Business Continuity

While backup and DR are more or less events that occur at specific (though sometimes recurring) times, business continuity is a process. It’s that combination of best practices, procedures, and mindsets that keeps your business running no matter what happens. True business continuity includes physical processes like how to turn on the power after a blackout and such. That said, backup and DR are essential elements of good business continuity, especially in this day and age where data and applications are becoming more and more crucial to business operation and survival. Let's get a breakdown of how a complete backup and disaster recovery solution works:

  • ShadowProtect / ShadowProtect SPX is primarily a backup and dr solution. It makes backup images, replicates them offsite, and checks to make sure those backup images are up-to-date and working. When necessary, it also facilitates flawless disaster recovery.
  • VirtualBoot enables a business to literally continue operating from their laptop while they’re waiting for the real disaster recovery to take place on a new server.
  • A file backup solution like File Backup & Recovery can be used for laptops and other less essential business systems.
  • If you are using SaaS application, you can backup cloud apps data with Cloud Backup. Data in the cloud is not safe from human error, hackers or malicious deletes and sync problems.

What do these terms mean to you? Do you interpret them differently? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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