Note: This is Blog 2 in our 5-part series on disaster recovery. Click here to read Blog 1, “Every season is hurricane season when it comes to protecting your data”

Downtime caused by man-made and natural IT disasters costs an organization an estimated $300,000 per hour, and that doesn’t include losses of productivity, reputation and market share. Further, a recent University of Texas study revealed that 94% of companies that lose their systems for 10 days or more due to a disaster don’t survive: 43% are forced to close immediately, and 51% go out of business within two years.

As businesses become more digital – and the data sphere becomes more vulnerable to threats from both man-made and natural disasters – organizations of all sizes are rethinking their strategies for data resiliency and data recovery. So what’s the difference between resiliency and data recovery? And do you need both?

In simple terms, data resiliency is proactive, and data recovery is reactive. That said, it should be noted that a solid resilience strategy includes traditional disaster recovery, backup and security components. Read on for a short primer on data resiliency and data recovery – and how to balance the two.

Data Resiliency

Resiliency is your infrastructure’s ability to avoid unexpected disruptions. A quality resilience strategy has the following characteristics:

  • A strong resilience strategy substantially reduces your systems’ vulnerability, minimizes downtime and impact, and reduces critical data loss.
  • Resiliency is often attained through the use of redundant systems or facilities. When one component fails or experiences disruption, the redundant element takes over seamlessly and continues to support your organization’s user base.
  • Ideally, users of a resilient system never even know that a disruption has occurred.
  • A resiliency plan enables you to execute planned activities like upgrades, migration and day-to-day maintenance with no downtime.

Disaster Recovery

A disaster recovery (DR) plan contains detailed instructions for responding to unplanned disruptions including human error, malicious attacks, natural disasters and more. At a minimum, it includes:

  • preventative measures that reduce the risk of a disaster taking place
  • discovery measures designed to identify disruptive events quickly
  • corrective measures to restore lost data and allow IT processes to return to normal

While traditional IT disaster recovery involves duplicating data through tape backup and imaging or replicating their production environment to a secondary DR location, backup solutions alone are inadequate for most relatively modern companies. A solid DR plan must include:

  • instructions for keeping critical applications and services online during a power outage and/or loss of connectivity
  • a communications plan for staff in case cell service and networks go down
  • a physical backup location where employees can work if offices are damaged or destroyed
  • steps to ensure constant adherence to security and compliance obligations

A disaster recovery plan is more focused than a business continuity plan and does not necessarily cover all contingencies for business processes, assets, human resources and business partners.

The Bottom Line

1. It’s critical for data-intensive organizations to create – and test – both a resilience strategy and an IT disaster recovery plan. A resilience plan is no substitute for an IT disaster recovery plan, and an IT disaster recovery plan is no substitute for a business continuity plan.

2. Development of both a resilience strategy plan and a disaster recovery plan starts with an assessment of your data center’s vulnerability.

3. You don’t have to go it alone. A disaster recovery service can augment internal teams when the worst happens.

For more information on IT resilience and DR planning, contact Flexential online or call us at 877.448.9378.

Craig Cook

V.P., Solutions Architecture & Engineering
Craig Cook Headshot
As V.P. of Solutions Architecture & Engineering at Flexential, Craig understands the challenges that Flexential customers face and designs solutions to solve their ever-evolving business problems. With over 20 years of experience in the Consulting & Service Provider space, Craig leverages his diverse technology background with his solution-engineering focus to drive transformational business outcomes for customers.