A Disaster Recovery plan is a process and a predefined set protocols coming into play in the event of a disaster. Disaster could be defined as any kind of accident caused by human error, technical failure, cyber attack or even a natural catastrophe.
Disasters such as these could result in the loss of critical company data which is why every business requires planning to ensure the continuity of business in the event one strikes.
Why Do You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Thanks to the rise of e-commerce and the consumerization of cloud computing services, the IT industry has seen a tremendous growth of data within the last decade. It’s estimated that by 2020 1.7 megabytes of data will be created every second. IT companies are subsequently dealing with large amounts of data on a daily basis.
This data consists of all kinds of information ranging from employee’s personal information to client details such as contact information and credit card information as well as other sensitive banking information.
In the event of a disaster, and regardless of the measures taken to secure their data, companies are still at risk of losing it. Contrary to what some businesses may believe, it can be quite difficult to recover from an event of such a scale.
According to a recent study by Chamber101, “Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent fail within one year according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Similar statistics from the United States Small Business Administration indicate that over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster.”
A well thought-out disaster recovery plan ensures that you are only dealing with the immediate disaster response and that your long-term plan for business continuity is not so severely affected that it is difficult to recover from it.
How Does Disaster Recovery Work?
Depending upon your service level agreements (SLA’s) with the company you purchase your disaster recovery plans from, your data is backed up in a secure and remote location. The location itself is usually a well-kept secret. Some businesses opt to go in as a shared tenant while some may exclusively prefer a one to one dealing.
A remote location may be a different state, country or perhaps a different continent, which is beneficial if the company faces a natural catastrophe such as an earthquake or tsunami. Data backed up in a different location will therefore likely not be affected.
In the event of a disaster, a business can safely focus on only the immediate responses and not worry about the long term future and the survival of the business.
How is Disaster Recovery different From Data Backup?
Disaster Recovery as a Service and Cloud-based data backup are commonly misconstrued terms. The key difference is the latter refers to “what is backed up?” and the former “how is it restored?” in the event of a disaster.
A cloud-based data backup only does precisely what is says – it backs up all the key information you signed up for and probably your databases as well. At the time of an event or afterward, you are provided with all the data you backed up. It is your responsibility to re-setup all your systems and applications.
Once done, you will be assisted in restoring your data. While this may seem a good enough option to some, it is really an extremely time-consuming process and more than a typical business can afford.
Disaster Recovery as a Service takes care of all the challenges faced above. It is far more than a data backup. In the event of a disaster, you are provided a working infrastructure to ensure business continuity. All the essential applications (the ones agreed upon) are already set up and are ready to operate.
You’ll have all your key data: databases, client information and much more along with the working set of applications to resume with. The damage control situation at the time of the disaster is perhaps the biggest of worries while the survival of the business is the least. And all of it is within the agreed upon timeframe defined in your SLA’s.
How quickly and effectively you respond to downtime and outages are some of the deciding factors ultimately affecting the reputation of your business. This comes as a huge challenge that many businesses aren’t prepared to meet which can result in their closure.
Clients remember how you dealt with the situation and this will be an influential factor for retention. Fortunately, unlike traditional disaster recovery services, disaster recovery as a service is relatively less expensive.
Of course, depending upon the scale of your business, the amount and type of data you want to recover, the services you wish to instantly retain, all combined with the agreed time frame will decide how much this service would cost you. However, most companies would agree that disaster recovery as a service is a necessary expense.
Feature Image Credit – DepositPhotos