Modern organizations rely heavily on their data resources and IT environment to conduct business and service their customers. A company can quickly find itself in a precarious position if it loses access to its systems and data. In extreme cases, an extended outage or inability to efficiently access data can force a business to shut down.

Companies can implement several related strategies to protect their computing environment and data assets from accidental or deliberate data loss and disasters. Backup and recovery solutions are designed to protect individual systems and data resources. A disaster recovery solution addresses the recovery of the environment to facilitate business operations in the wake of a manmade or natural disaster.

Backup and recovery and disaster recovery solutions share many characteristics that sometimes lead to the terms being used interchangeably. This is a mistake, as there are distinct differences between the two types of solutions and the protection they provide for a business. Ideally, a company has both kinds of solutions in place to fully protect its data and IT environment.

We’re going to look at the details of these two data protection solutions and discuss why both are necessary to protect organizations in today’s data-centric business landscape.

What is a Backup and Recovery Solution?

A backup and recovery solution protects data resources by copying them and storing the copies in an alternate location. The copied data may be stored in an on-premises data center, a dedicated offsite storage repository, or in the cloud. Companies can manage the backup environment themselves or engage a managed service provider (MSP) to coordinate and maintain their backup infrastructure. In either case, it is necessary to ensure that the backup platform is running efficiently and copying the data it is meant to protect.

Backup tools typically create backups on a pre-defined schedule. Companies may opt to create tailored schedules to conserve resources. For example, they may choose to back up production data every day while only making copies of test or development data weekly. This can save on backup media when storing data locally or bandwidth when backing up to the cloud.

Backup and recovery tools are designed to address multiple tasks and situations that are required to maintain a viable and dynamic IT environment. The ways an organization makes use of its backup and recovery solution include:

  • Performing simple file or system recoveries to resolve accidental data deletion or corruption issues;
  • Recovering individual systems that may have been affected by an unexpected outage or malware such as ransomware;
  • Creating backup copies of systems before they are upgraded or have new software installed;
  • Copying production systems and data for use in test and development systems;
  • Migrating data and applications to new hardware or from an on-premises data center to the cloud;
  • Retaining copies of specific data resources to comply with regulatory standards such as HIPAA or GDPR.

Most modern backup solutions are automated, eliminating the need for administrators or operators to run manual procedures to back up data. There is usually an option for users to run ad-hoc backups when needed such as before making a major configuration change that may need to be rolled back.

Legacy backup solutions required a dedicated infrastructure and personnel to maintain and manage it. The cloud has provided new options that eliminate the need for onsite hardware and allow companies to efficiently back up their environment over the Internet.

What is a Disaster Recovery Solution?

A disaster recovery solution is a plan that enables a business to respond to a major incident or disaster. The purpose of a disaster recovery solution is to recover business-critical functionality as soon as possible. An extended outage of vital systems can cripple an organization and make it impossible to address customer expectations. Companies without a viable disaster recovery plan risk losing their business if disaster strikes.

A disaster recovery plan is a necessary component of a disaster recovery solution. The plan defines the personnel responsible for recovering critical business systems and an alternate location at which the recovery will be performed. The plan also typically includes recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) that must be met to restore business operations efficiently.

Traditional disaster recovery plans involved having a backup data center with the necessary hardware to support the recovered environment. Backup copies of the environment were stored offsite and shipped to the recovery location when necessary. The additional expense of maintaining an alternate site made it cost-prohibitive for some businesses to develop effective disaster recovery plans.

Just as the cloud has made it easier to create backups, it has also provided a streamlined path toward disaster recovery. Companies can leverage the cloud to eliminate the cost of maintaining a recovery site. When necessary, disaster recovery can be performed using cloud resources, enabling access to business applications from any location.

Why Your Company Needs Both Types of Data Protection Solutions

Companies need to implement both a data backup and recovery as well as a disaster recovery solution to protect their IT environment. Backups protect the organization from data loss scenarios and allow information to be migrated to other platforms.

While backups are an important component of a disaster recovery solution, they are not sufficient by themselves. Without the planning involved in identifying recovery steps and obtaining a recovery site, backups may be useless in a disaster.

VAST’s Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions Protect Your Business

VAST has your business covered with effective and advanced backup and disaster recovery solutions. Two of VAST’s offerings address the requirements of modern small and medium businesses (SMBs) that need to protect their computing environments without capital investment in an on-premises backup infrastructure.

Cloud Backup as a Service (CBaaS) – VAST’s CBaaS offering is built on Druva’s advanced data protection technology. It offers a simple and effective backup and recovery solution for companies of all sizes.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) – VAST’s DRaaS solution employs the AWS Elastic Disaster Recovery offering that provides a comprehensive plan to protect on-premises and cloud data in a disaster.

Call the data protection experts at VAST and learn how easy it is to give your IT environment and its valuable data the protection it deserves.