Progress on Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity

Carl Weinschenk
Slide Show

Five Disaster Recovery Tips for Businesses

New tips that can help businesses protect their data and recover quickly from disasters.

Brian Proffitt at ReadWriteWeb takes a look at what he considers to be the difference between disaster recovery and business continuity (DR/BC). His take is that disaster recovery lends itself more toward the type of big catastrophe we heard a lot about last summer. Business continuity, on the other hand, is more about keeping the ship afloat when a server goes down or some other more subtle - but troublesome - event occurs.


My take is similar: DR tends to cover the immediate aftermath of a problem - getting juice to all the servers, making sure everyone is safe and accounted for, keeping them in the know and the like. BC is the ongoing effort to maintain, or return to, some sort of normalcy. They are deeply entwined but have a different central focus. One is about recovery, the other about continuity.


Proffitt digs a bit deeper and defines business continuity appliances. As the name implies, these are devices - either physical or virtual - that are deployed ahead of time to make the BC job easier. He provides pricing and feature sets on products from SonicWALL, Blackbird, Zenith and QuorumLabs.


AT&T is offering some good news on the DR/BC front. A study the carrier performed this year revealed that 89 percent of local companies in the Washington, D.C., area have a BC plan in place. The company, which was slated to run a simulation in National Harbor, Md., last week, found that 66 percent of companies respond to federal or state alerts with specific protective actions. Sixty-one percent use or plan to use the cloud to augment DR/BC and 79 percent have arranged for communications with key executives if a natural disaster hits.


There is no reason to believe that findings for the D.C. area would be materially different than for other areas. Indeed, the results are especially encouraging because the fact that one area was focused upon suggests that it encompassed the attitudes of smaller businesses. In general, non-enterprises adopt new technology more slowly than enterprises.


More good news came from a study by PwC, the more manageable name now used by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The firm ran a massive survey that suggests that DR/BC is top of mind. The firm, working in conjunction with CIO and CSO magazines, ran an exhaustive survey that garnered 9,600 from 138 countries. DR/BC is a key to many of them:

The two most important business issues or factors driving their information security spending were economic conditions and the need to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery.

DR/BC is a frustrating area. As prepared as a company wants to be, it is impossible to predict where the next crisis will come from. But, at the end of the day, it clearly is prudent to err on the side of caution and deploy myriad backup systems. The good news, as pointed out in this piece at CIO Update, is that this attitude may finally be gaining acceptance among higher-level executives.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 16, 2011 12:16 PM Damian Damian  says:

Nice post to start with. DR and BC are explained quite nicely. Business continuity always remain a problem after disaster. Great post


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