Difference between Backup and Disaster Recovery

IaaS Disaster Recovery

Difference between Backup and Disaster Recovery

IaaS Provider offers both backup and disaster recovery managed services. Often times, our clients are confused about the difference between these two services. In this article, we explain the key differences.

Backup and disaster recovery are not the same

First off, one needs to understand that these two services are entirely different, and should not be confused with one another. While it’s possible that a particular technology can take care of some needs of both, there’s no single technology solution that can achieve both these objectives.


Let’s start off by understanding two key terms, which are relevant both to backup as well as disaster recovery management.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) refers to the time in the past until which data can be recovered. For example if the RPO is 1 hour, you can recover data that was created as recent as 1 hour.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) refers to the time in the future when the data or the system will be ready for use again. For example, if the RTO is 4 hours, it will take 4 hours before all your data is fully recovered.

What is Backup?

The purpose of backup is recovering any files that may get lost or corrupted. Usually backups are scheduled at regular intervals. Depending on your need, the frequency of backups can range from anywhere between 1 hour to 24 hours. Tapes or disks are used for storing backup data, either at the cloud site or another geographical location. IaaS Provider’s backup services store data at a separate location.

If there is a lot of data involved, restoration of backup data can be a complex and time-consuming process. In terms of backup, RPO can be as less as 1 hour. RTOs can go into several days or weeks, depending on the amount of data to be recovered.

IaaS Provider partnered with Veeam Software, the world’s leading technology provider for backups.

What is Disaster Recovery Management?

Under disaster recovery management (DRM), the entire cloud environment is replicated at another place. This way, if there’s any issue at the main server location, the full cloud environment can be reestablished at the other location.

And once the primary location is back in order, the cloud environment can be replicated back in the reverse direction. All this is done without disrupting the business.

Replication of data is a continuous process, and therefore RPOs for disaster recovery can be less than a minute (or even in seconds). Also, RTOs can be as quick as 1 hour even if the volume of data is large.

We use VMware Site Recovery Manager for disaster recovery management services.

In summary, you can see that backup and disaster recovery are two separate things. Backup is usually for files and DRM is for the entire cloud environment. IaaS Provider has offered both these services to several organizations worldwide.

Contact us to know more about our backup and DRM services.

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