Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR or BC/DR) are closely related terms that describe a company’s preparation for business hazards, disasters and other risks to ongoing operations. In recent years companies have often combined business continuity and disaster recovery into a single term due to the growing recognition that they are so closely associated.
Disaster recovery generally refers to specific actions implemented to resume operations in the aftermath of a catastrophic disaster. These disasters can be localized like a fire at an individual building or broader reaching to include hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters. In information technology, the primary goals of disaster recovery are to restore function to critical systems and ensure that data is recovered, so that the business can continue to operate.
Business continuity often describes the processes and procedures organizations put in place into continue normal operations once a disaster has happened. Comprehensive business continuity plans also address other issues associated with business failure including illness or death of a key employee and supply chain interruptions.
One of the keys to developing a proper BCDR plan will be to determine how long your business can wait to restore its systems; this is often referred to as a Restore Time Objective or RTO. Additionally, you will have to decide how much data you are willing to lose in case of a disaster, this is called a Recovery Point Objective or RPO.
Recently companies have begun to heavy leverage cloud computing, either through Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings or by using Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to enable their DR plans. If you would like more information on how to best leverage the cloud for BC/DR, please contact us.