What is Disaster Recovery (DR)?
To better understand DR, we must first define a disaster in terms of business continuity. A disaster, in the most simple terms, is anything that puts an organization's operations at risk. This can be a cyberattack, a data breach, an equipment failure, a natural disaster, or even rats chewing through cables. Not to mention, any of the following can create an IT disaster:
- Data loss
- Human error
- Malware and viruses
- Network and internet blips
- Hardware and/or software failure
- Weather catastrophes
- Natural or pipe burst flooding
- Office vandalism or damage
When a disaster strikes, the goal of any DR plan is to ensure operations run as normal as possible. While the business will be aware of the crisis, ideally, its customers and end-users should not be affected.
In terms of IT, Disaster Recovery (DR) is a first line insurance strategy that protects a datacenter from the effects of a natural or man-made catastrophe. In the event of a disaster, a DR plan ensures a business can either quickly resume operations or maintain mission-critical functions during or after a disaster. The DR process includes planning and testing, and typically involves a separate physical site for restoring operations.
Many businesses also opt for a disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) strategy, a model that allows companies to duplicate and host servers in a separate datacenter through a third-party provider. Some cloud vendors offer a native DRaaS solution, which simplifies the installation and onboarding processes. Once onboarded, companies enjoy the immediate benefits of DR protection. And since this service is cloud-based, it is elastic, able to accommodate the growing or shrinking needs of the client.
There is no universal disaster recovery plan that can fit the unique needs of all businesses. And while the following criteria are meant to be guidelines for establishing a disaster recovery strategy, customization is expected.