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Cloud data backup is only one piece of the disaster recovery puzzle

Cloud data backup can help you with part of your disaster recovery solution, but it's only one small piece of the disaster recovery puzzle.

I read your article "Cloud data backup is not cloud disaster recovery". Great piece. But, what about the notion that disaster recovery can be interpreted as moving data away from the primary site to an area potentially unaffected from a disaster? Doesn't cloud data backup fit this definition?

Cloud data backup services do move data away from the primary data center to an alternate location. However, the only reason one performs backups is in case the data needs to be recovered. Having a data backup or data protection solution in place is only one part of the full disaster recovery process.

There are five Rs in recovery that really matter if you want to stay in business after a disaster:

  1. Restoration of affected services (e.g., restore IT systems and data from backups).
  2. Resumption of critical business processing/transactions (e.g., get back in business -- your business activities that drive cash flow and revenue recognition).
  3. Recovery of business data and Information (e.g., some supply-chain safety nets may allow for resending of orders, etc.).
  4. Remediation of losses (e.g., calls out to clients and see if they placed orders that were lost to try to recapture).
  5. Returning to normalcy (e.g., returning home or to a new home from temporary alternate site).

By this definition of disaster recovery, cloud data backup doesn't even allow you to complete step one. Data backup is certainly one of the most critical steps. However, having your data without the ability to restore it quickly and complete the rest of these steps won't allow you to resume business as usual.

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