Disaster Recovery versus High Availability versus Business Continuity

Remarkably only 4% of IT emergencies are caused by natural disasters with a majority caused by hardware failure and human error.

This makes having high availability, Disaster Recovery and a business continuity plan vital to the function of any organisation whether on a local or global scale. Adopting this type of strategy minimises the impact of hardware failure and eliminates human error.

High Availability

High Availability is often misconstrued as Disaster Recovery, although this is not the case, the misconception is because the two are linked and ensuring you have a plan in place becomes of paramount of importance to your business.

When a system has high availability, it has the ability to ‘failover’ from one server to another should there be a hardware failure of any kind or from one datacentre to another if this is an issue at the primary datacentre. The ‘failover’ ability is what defines High Availability and plays an important factor in any organisations plan.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery has a wider footprint and is a thought-out process of re-establishing IT functions and there supporting components if they cannot be recovered in a reasonable time frame.

Many organisations have a recovery point objective (RPO) of under one hour which is detailed in their disaster recovery plan, this indicates the point at which a company’s IT systems restarts in the event of a disaster whereas the Recovery time objective (RTO) indicates the amount of acceptable time the system can feasibly be down before the RPO.

The RTO can be determined simply by running tests, however, a majority of organisations make the mistake of missing this as they deem themselves suitably covered just by backing up systems.

However, if a lot of data is stored continuously, even a one hour RPO could be detrimental to the operation. Further, if backups are overwritten, it could be that the latest backup is a copy of the corrupted system – incremental back-ups avoid this.

Business Continuity

Business continuity is defined as the capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.

Effectively, this is how and exactly will your entire business keep functioning during an emergency.

The task at hand is to have an in-depth understanding of your internal and external threats and includes logistics for all kinds of emergencies, like natural disasters, sabotage, fire and power grid failures.

In order to carry out a business continuity plan there are some questions you need to ask regarding the organisation.

For Example: –

  • How will you keep the supply chain flowing?
  • Where are people going to work?
  • What equipment will they use?
  • How will you communicate with one another?

It is a mammoth task but also a necessity as whether we like it or not, things can and will go wrong in business, but having high availability, a disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan can keep you operating and safely navigate the stormy seas of IT downtime.

For more information on how Qubic Group specialises in business continuity services, then visit our information page HERE or contact us on 0208 936 7091 today.

Watch our latest video below where the Qubic Group team talk about their disaster recovery and business continuity expertise.