What’s the difference between Disaster Recovery and High Availability?
Our customers are demanding more resilience and protection of their data from their computer systems than ever before. In competitive environments businesses cannot afford “down time” and want to avoid loss of critical data at all costs. Fortunately, today’s hardware and hosting services have become far more reliable; but which solution would suit your business?
In a nutshell, Disaster Recovery (DR) is recovering your data after a disaster takes place, whereas High Availability aims to prevent a disaster from happening. Understanding your goal is important, and will vary depending on how your business operates.
High volume businesses cannot tolerate sustained periods of “down time” as the direct result is lost revenue. Order processing, invoicing and customer deliveries need to continue in order for the business to suffer as little as possible. Servers, power supplies and storage can all be configured so that in the event of a disaster your backup devices can immediately take over the running of the system. In this instance there will be no loss of service to the operators and the staff may not even notice it happening! This level of cover can handle just your core business system or extend to protect all of the software that you use.
Opting for High Availability reduces, but does not remove, the need for a disaster recovery plan. High Availability rarely addresses the problems caused by a major fire, flood or lightning strike. A DR plan is therefore necessary to counteract the unforeseeable of both natural and human induced disasters. DR plans can range from temporary paperwork whilst the server is repaired to having a mirror of your system copied live to a remote hosting centre (accessible from the home or office).
Unfortunately both High Availability and Disaster Recovery are viewed very much like insurance. You may invest in these services and never have to use them; but if you are subject to a disastrous occurrence then you’ll be forever grateful for it. When so much of your business is dependent on the complex systems you have in place to run it, don’t you think it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenario rather than not prepared at all?