Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity have many commonalities. So much so, they are often married under the acronym of BC/DR. However, understanding the nuances that define the two categories can help you better understand the proper success metrics when planning for the unanticipated.
Disaster Recovery refers to the process by which you resume business after a disruptive event, primarily referring to an event in which outside forces cause your vital systems to malfunction. This will be what your tactical IT team is most concerned about, getting everything up and running after a disruption or malfunction.
Business Continuity references a more holistic and comprehensive approach to ensuring that you can continue business production. This refers to not only systems disruptions, but also smaller disruptions such as departure of key staff and problems with key partners or vendors. Strategic planning in each business unit will be concerned with these success metrics as they have more control over their processes and reactions post-interruption.
See also: Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity
RaaS, DRaaS, Cloud Disaster Recovery... which one is right for me?
Further complicating the conversation, the terms “Disaster Recovery-as-a-Serivce” (DRaaS), “Recovery-as-a-Service” (RaaS) and “Cloud Disaster Recovery” can all be used interchangeably.
Each refers to solutions that allow customers to backup applications, including server images and data, to a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment for the ability to failover production to the target cloud during the time of declaration. The solution provides updated a recovery point objective (RPO) and a recovery time objective (RTO) in case of a disaster or system restore. These terms can also be referred to as cloud DR or cloud DRP.
Cloud computing IaaS is an on-demand service often operating within a pay-as-you-go structure, so many many believe DR is an ideal use case since resource utilization is low outside of testing and declaration.
See also: Recovery-as-a-Service
Backup-as-a-Service and Cloud Backups
While Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) and Cloud Backup can be used as interchangeable terms, it is important to note that each is very different from RaaS/DRaaS.
BaaS and Cloud Backups refer to data and file recovery performed remotely over the internet, through which cloud IaaS is used to manage and restore the data. BaaS and Cloud Backup can also be called online backup or remote backup.
Backups are usually performed once per day/night and will not deliver recovery point objectives or recovery time objectives of minutes. Enterprise disaster recovery options such as RaaS or DRaaS offer RTO and RPO options with various snapshot options to fail back over to in case the most recent point in time is corrupted. Also, disaster recovery solutions offer reverse replication to ensure the application is protected after declaration by replicating back to the source site, whereas BaaS only replicates from the source site.
Backups do not provide protection of mission-critical applications, but rather strictly backup files. This is a key differentiator from RaaS which can recover server images and data so that it can bring an entire application back up and running. Consider this scenario: BaaS or Cloud Backups could be used to backup the data files from your SalesForce account such as your lead, vendor and customer contact data, but not the application itself. Therefore, you could recover the files, but there’s only so much you can do with them without the application online.
These are important distinctions to note when planning your disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
See also: Cloud Backup