Is That a Business Continuity Plan in Your Pocket or a Bunch of Jargon?
Is That A Business Continuity Plan in Your Pocket, Or A Bunch of Jargon?
Technology is full of complicated jargon. To further complicate things, specific language is often used in a different subject between one publication or service provider and the next. A good example of this is the usage of backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity. These terms are commonly used interchangeably, often confusing. To reduce some of this confusion, let’s describe each physical process. You will see a plaster among all three, though they are different processes from each other.
Backup – In IT jargon, the standard definition of backup is the act of copying or duplicating data, could be programs or files, from its original location to another. The idea of this is to make sure that the original records or programs are retrievable in the event of any unwanted incidents like; hardware or software failure, accidental deletion, or any other type of tampering, theft, and corruption.
It is essential to remember that the word “backup” refers to the data only and does not apply to the physical machines, devices, or systems themselves. If there were a system failure, disk damage, or an onsite physical disaster, all systems would still have to be replaced, restore, and correctly configured before the backed-up data could be loaded onto them.
Disaster Recovery – Backups are a single, albeit crucial, component of any disaster recovery plan. Disaster recovery refers to the complete restoration of your physical systems, applications and data in the case of a physical calamity like a fire; hurricane or tornado; flood; earthquake; an act of terror, theft and many more.
A disaster recovery plan uses preset guidelines to define an acceptable recovery time frame. From there, the most acceptable recovery point is chosen to get your business up and operating with minimum data loss and operation intervention.
Business Continuity – Although backup and disaster recovery system ensures that a business can retrieve its systems, files and data within a feasible time frame, there is still a possibility of downtime from a few hours to couple days. The purpose of a business continuity plan is to provide businesses constant access to their technology, files and data regardless of the situation. Zero or minimum downtime is the goal.
Crucial business data can be backed up with configurable snapshots that are instantly virtualized. This allows files, folders, and data to be turned on and restored in seconds. Bare metal restores hardware, where an image of one machine is overlaid onto a different machine, is also utilized along with cloud reduplication for instant off-site virtualization.
Several businesses also keep additional systems and storage at a different physical location than their main site as part of their business continuity plan. They may even describe procedures for staff to work remotely off-site. Some businesses or organizations may go as far as to have printed contact lists and other critical data stored off-site to keep their business moving if a disaster wipes out power and their ability to access anything electronically.
This should emphasize the differences between business continuity solutions, backup, and disaster recovery. Knowing what works perfectly for your business will boil down to your existing IT infrastructure, your allowed budget and how much downtime you can logically accept.