When we think of the terms “Disaster Recovery” and “Backup,” we often think of them as synonyms of one another. While the two are connected in a way, it is important to know that backing up your data is not disaster recovery; it is only one part of disaster recovery. Data backup without a disaster recovery plan in place behind it is risky and can be costly in the long run.

What’s the difference?


Backup is the process of copying and saving your data in a secure location so that your data can be restored if it is suddenly lost. It can be the simple process of copying files to a thumb drive, or a more complex process of utilizing remote backup to back your files up to a remote location. The ultimate goal of backup is to verify that you have a ‘last known point of good data’ that can be easily accessed and restored if data loss occurs.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a bit more complex than just implementing a backup. Disasters happen more often than we realize and are more common than we think. Hurricanes, floods, and fires may not occur all too often, but what about technology failures and power outages? Those two events are never really considered when we think in terms of “disaster,” but they can take your systems completely down – the same way a hurricane, flood, or fire would – and they can happen at any moment. A proper disaster recovery plan enables you to restore your complete computing environment (data, systems, networks, and applications) on the other side of a crisis. It requires substantial planning and preparation, as well as regular training to make sure you can successfully duplicate your current environment.

Backup and disaster recovery are both crucial to prevent your business from coming to a complete halt after a crisis has passed – whether it be as large as a natural disaster or something smaller, like a technology failure or a power outage. Implementing a backup alone will still leave you with a chaotic environment after disaster strikes; you need the whole plan readily available to put in place so you can avoid as much downtime and chaos as possible.