by George Demou
There are a lot of buzz words flying around in every company, some of the most common these days are Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity. These terms are often used to mean the same thing, but in my opinion they are very different. Most companies we meet with are looking for Business Continuity, but often use the term Disaster Recovery. Why the confusion? I think of the two as follows:
Business Continuity: Have a plan and method for continuing business at some level if any location is unreachable. (This could be a physical outage like a cut circuit or a snow emergency where employees can't reach the office.) Under a BC model it is assumed that you may not have access to every application you would use on a daily basis; but those applications that are critical are redundant and reachable. In short: You can make and take calls (if you are a contact center) but you may not be able to pull back full customer records.
Disaster Recovery: Have a full backup of every business application, solution and data point at more than one location. There are a lot of hidden costs involved in true DR. Replication, backups and multiple access points should all be considered. This means no single point of failure in the network, all databases, email, active directory...are replicated to a secure location (usually a data center). Often times full DR means spending lots of money on equipment that will (we hope) never be used. If an emergency occurs users should not notice any difference in their daily lives. They may need to log on differently (or in a new location) but they should have access to all business related applications regardless of the type of outage and where it occurred.
The difference in DR and BC can be considerable depending on what your business does and what you require to be "functional". So where do you start? How do you make the determination of what to replicate and what to put at risk? This is where Avtex can help. From our Consultation services down to the storage Avtex can provide numerous options and services that will allow you to create the right plan for your company.