Latisys Data Center Services

What is Disaster Recovery?
So What Is DR Anyway (And What Isn't?)

When it comes to disaster recovery, there is a lot of noise out there. Industry terminology is often used interchangeably in ways that can be misleading or confusing.

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Here are the some important definitions:

business-continuityBusiness Continuity (BC):
All of the processes and planning required for keeping every aspect of your business functioning in the midst of disruptive events. Business Continuity planning typically goes beyond DR—making critical contingencies for people and business processes.

disaster-recoveryDisaster Recovery (DR):
A plan for bringing key IT resources (the technology that supports the business) — both data and systems — back online after a natural or human-induced disaster. As your IT infrastructure provider we offer a range of online backup solutions based on the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RPO) you select—more on that below.

An archive of data/files from a single server to mitigate against user failure and replicate your data out of region. Our disk-based managed online backup solutions are faster, more reliable, and better protected from corruption than old tape-based systems. This is just one of the many options you have for protecting your IT resources in support of DR.

continuous-availabilityContinuous Availability:
Plans to keep your IT systems always available, even after a disaster. You avoid downtime from either planned or unplanned outages — in other words, you seek an RTO of zero — but you don’t have full BC because you're only looking at IT resources.

Business Continuity is a macro term more focused on business operations. Disaster Recovery is a subset of Business Continuity and focused entirely IT resource failover. And Backup is a tactic—a simple way to ensure you can recover data and systems. These definitions are often used interchangeably, but the bottom line is that there are many options available to tailor a unique DR solution to your specific needs. Check out our disaster recovery case studies to learn more about how your peers are leveraging Latisys for DR.

Making the Business Case for Disaster Recovery

How much will it cost you to ensure your business can function when disaster strikes? It depends—and your budget for DR all comes down to your unique opportunity cost.


In order to make the case for disaster recovery, you will need to get familiar with these three key concepts:

Recovery Point Objective (RPO):
How much data can you afford to lose? With inexpensive daily backups, you might lose up to 24 hours of data. With more expensive solutions, you can cut your losses to virtually zero.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO):
How soon do you need to have your systems up and running? Again, the less expensive solutions may involve post-disaster reconfigurations, which take more time.

Cost of downtime:
How much does an hour of downtime cost your company? This figure puts your RTO in perspective: if downtime is costing you only $100 an hour, you can realistically afford an RTO of multiple hours or days much more easily than if it costs you $25,000 per hour.

When you call Latisys, our expert solution architects will ask you for these three figures. We ask because they're essential to developing your solution — and also because these figures are essential in justifying this expense to those who make the financial decisions for your organization.