Data Backup and Disaster Recovery – What’s the Difference?

When a computer glitch strikes and you get the “Blue Screen of Death,” your heart leaps into your throat. Then you remember your automated backup program. Whew, everything is safe.

But is it?

Backups can give us a sense of security, yet there’s a significant difference between backing up your data and recovering it after a disaster. Despite their distinctions, both are critical for a healthy information technology system.

Data backup is a standard and sometimes simple process—saving a copy (or multiple copies) of information in case the original or working copy has a problem. Backup may occur as a process automated by software, a physical action required of a human being, or as part of Managed IT or cloud services. Backed-up data might be stored in an external hard drive on your desktop, on CD- or DVD-ROM, on an offsite server, or even with a cloud-based service. Regular data backup is an essential part of business, often done on a daily basis to keep copies of records.

But data backup alone isn’t enough. Backed-up data is like a parachute: good to have, but not very helpful if you can’t use it! A recovery plan is the parachute pack and deployment system. A tested, staged, and properly deployable pack is mandatory if you hope to survive disaster.

Disaster recovery includes the processes and people that make backed-up data usable. Since disasters happen at any time, it’s essential that your recovery system be ready and available whenever needed, and your staff must know how to activate that system. Disaster recovery is about the outcome.

There are numerous failure points (human or software), and faith in untested systems can provide a false sense of security. Moreover, everything must be accessible when you need it. Do you know who to call? How to get your data back into use?

Using a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be a critical part of a robust backup and disaster recovery system. Through service-level agreements, your provider becomes an extension of your company, but one with industry-specific expertise and tested recovery systems. A relationship with a Managed Service Provider also functions across your organization, rather than through isolated departments or individual sets of files.

To make sure you’re prepared to bounce back if the worst ever happens, contact Infomax about backup and disaster recovery solutions.