Why Backup isn’t a DR solution

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What's covered
  • Learn the difference between backup and DR
  • Understand what an effective DR solution entails
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They can certainly sound similar, but DR is not at all glorified backup. Put simply, backup is about avoiding complete data loss. DR is about ensuring business applications and processes are always available – and this isn’t about just data. DR involves having your data, having access to a failover, and having a plan.

Looking at the data component alone, with Backup, data is typically backed up once every 24 hours overnight. With DR, data is replicated second for second. This means that relying on your backup alone, your business could loose an entire business day of data. You may think “easy, then I’ll just back up more often”. However, this will increase your costs and significantly slow your systems. This is because backup relies on point in time complete duplication of data while DR relies on replication technology that tracks changes in data, minimizing data storage and therefore minimizing cost and CPU usage. 

Beyond the data, DR involves having a failover and having a plan. A failover is owning or having access to a duplicate infrastructure in a geographically different location that you can use during a disaster. Having a failover is the foundation of being able to recover quickly if your infrastructure is compromised. Having a DR plan is how you recover. 

For most, a DR plan is more than a document of what to do; it is a tested and validated comprehensive plan that includes contingencies and pre-written scripts that automate the recovery process and remove human error from a stressful time. With DR as a service (DRaaS), providers layer on ongoing maintenance of your DR (including monitoring your data replication and keeping your plan up-to-date as your business evolves) and expert human support to help you through disasters.

To summarize, backup is a copy of all of your data. DR is a replication of your data, duplication of your infrastructure, a ready to implement plan, and may include disaster recovery support.

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Melanie Magier

Marketing manager, Able One

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