Business Continuity vs. BDR | What’s the Difference?

March 22, 2012

Business Continuity vs. BDR | What’s the Difference?

By Matt Reilly

Understanding Business Continuity

Business continuity goes beyond a defined process or plan, it is in fact a state of being for a business. When full business continuity is achieved, it fully prepares a business to not only recover from a disaster, but also protects the business from the adverse effects of that disaster. Implementing business continuity practices ensure that the appropriate people have access to critical functions; customers, suppliers, managers, and everything that a business needs in order to function. This is why business continuity cannot be achieved simply through one solution or technology. There is still an intrinsic human element involved in business continuity. Necessary planning and processes need to be put in place in order for a business to fully recover.

For this reason, businesses must plan their business continuity strategy on two fronts; planning for how to continue business processes in the event of disaster and choosing the appropriate business continuity solution to support these processes.

Datto’s solutions allow a business to have undisrupted access to its servers and workstations. This is achieved through instant on-site and off-site virtualization technology. But if a business does not have the proper planning in place, (such as which servers and workstations need to be prioritized for virtualizations in disaster scenarios, or what the chain of command is for handling disasters), then the business will scramble to get back up to speed and will experience downtime. A good plan, processes and trained employees combined with Datto solutions will get businesses processes back up and running fast.

Understanding Backup/Disaster Recovery (BDR)

BDR, refers specifically to the safe retrieval of periodically archived data during or after a catastrophic event. For example, if a company’s physical server is damaged beyond repair, the company would implement their disaster recovery plan in order to retrieve missing or lost files. While many believe that a BDR plan is only relevant in the case of natural disasters, it’s not uncommon to see disasters caused by other less catastrophic events such as internal electrical fires or power surges.

If a business does not have the proper planning and the correct solution(s) in place, servers or workstations vital to business’s function could potentially be down for hours, days, or ever weeks depending on the level of damage and/or the amount of data that needs to be recovered. Depending on how critical this data is to the business this could potentially lead to a business losing clients, revenue, or in a worst case scenario, being forced to close its doors for good.

The key differentiator between the technology behind disaster recovery and business continuity solutions is the recovery time objective, or RTO. The RTO of a given backup solution is the time needed to restore data to the production environment. Datto’s technology offers solutions that achieve RTO objectives by giving clients the ability to restore data in seconds, not hours or days.

When assessing one’s disaster preparedness it is important to take every aspect of the planning process from both a technology and human standpoint. If a business is truly serious about achieving full business continuity, it needs to ensure that a proper plan with the right technological solution is in place.

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