What is IT Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery is a critical process designed to help organizations regain access and functionality to IT systems after a natural disaster, human error, or cyberattack. Similar to determining the right level of high availability, developing a Disaster Recovery Plan starts with conducting a BIA (Business Impact Analysis) to understand what impact a particular disaster will have on the business. The BIA determines the likelihood of potential risks, evaluates steps an organization can take to avoid or mitigate the risks, prioritizes responses, and estimates the monetary impact on the business.
How does disaster recovery work?
Disaster recovery relies upon the replication of data and computer processing in an off-premises location not affected by the disaster. When servers go down because of a natural disaster, equipment failure, or cyberattack, a business needs to recover lost data from a second location where the data is backed up. Ideally, an organization can transfer its computer processing to that remote location as well to continue operations.
The different types of IT disaster recovery
There are multiple methods by which an organization can protect and recover its data from a disaster. These methods can range from having data backups in off-site locations, virtualization, and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), to having costly secondary hot sites with up-to-date data.
Having secure off-site backups might be sufficient for most organizations as it is the most cost-efficient. However, there are some limitations in that it only covers data and does not provide replacement infrastructure if your primary site suffers from a disaster. Again, as an organization, you need to decide on a Disaster recovery plan that meets your business requirements and for which you can justify the cost.
Differences between High Availability and Disaster Recovery
High Availability minimizes downtime.
Eliminating single points of failure is at the core of High Availability.
High Availability helps mitigate the risk of hardware failure but does not protect against data loss.
High Availability - Synchronous
Disaster recovery is at the center of dealing with worst-case scenarios and how to get your storage systems up as quickly as possible. It protects you from situations that could otherwise be detrimental to your business.
Geographically separated backups are at the center of disaster recovery.
Disaster recovery is high-level in design and consists of a combination of a plan and technology design. High Availability is more about the technology design, combining failovers and redundancy to eliminate single points of failure.
Disaster recovery – Asynchronous