Disaster Recovery Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing disaster recovery and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • A

    array-based replication

    Array-based replication applies the functionality of data replication across one or more storage controllers, which eliminates the processing overhead from servers and makes it easier to copy large amounts of data.

  • B

    Business Continuity Institute (BCI)

    The Business Continuity Institute, which was started in 1994 and is headquartered out of the United Kingdom, is an international organization that offers accreditation and certification, networking, published resources, training and guidance for business continuity professionals.

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue operating during an unplanned event.

  • business continuity plan audit

    A business continuity plan audit is a formalized method for evaluating how business continuity processes are being managed.

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk management.

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity management (BCP/BCM) processes, metrics and compliance more efficient and accurate.

  • What is BCDR? Business continuity and disaster recovery guide

    Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) are closely related practices that support an organization's ability to remain operational after an adverse event.

  • What is business continuity and why is it important?

    Business continuity is the ability of an organization to maintain essential functions during, as well as after, a disaster has occurred.

  • C

    call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an event.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system. The purpose is to ensure that no unnecessary changes are made, that all changes are documented, that services are not unnecessarily disrupted and that resources are used efficiently.

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other resources to public cloud or dedicated service providers.

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • cloud outage

    A cloud outage is a period of time during which cloud services are unavailable.  

  • cloud uptime

    Cloud uptime is the amount of time that cloud systems and cloud services hosted by a cloud provider are up and accessible by end users.

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with the information they need to respond to the situation.

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) outlines how to respond to a critical situation that would negatively affect an organization's profitability, reputation or ability to operate.

  • D

    data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery works, causes of data loss and data recovery techniques.

  • data replication

    Data replication copies data from one location to another using a SAN, LAN or local WAN. This allows organizations to have current data available in case a disaster occurs. There are two types of data replication: synchronous and asynchronous.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an area of security planning that aims to protect an organization from the effects of significant negative events.

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) planning process.

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a natural catastrophe, power outage or another type of business disruption.

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work after an unplanned incident.

  • disaster recovery site (DR site)

    An organization uses a disaster recovery (DR) site to recover and restore its technology infrastructure and operations when its primary facility becomes unavailable. In deciding the location and setup of a disaster recovery site, a business must weigh costs against any risks, and heavily consider distance between the DR facility and the primary data center.

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an organization’s procedures for business continuity (BC) and recovery.

  • E

    emergency communications plan (EC plan)

    An emergency communications plan (EC plan) provides guidelines, contact information and procedures for how information should be shared should a crisis that requires immediate action occur.

  • emergency management plan

    An emergency management plan should include measures that provide for the safety of personnel and, if possible, property and facilities.

  • emergency notification system

    Emergency notification systems contain names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses so crucial information can be communicated to employees during a disaster.

  • F

    fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

  • FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool

    The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council developed the Cybersecurity Assessment Tool to help organizations identify cybersecurity risks and determine their level of preparedness.

  • H

    high availability cluster (HA cluster)

    A high availability cluster is a group of hosts that act like a single system and provide continuous uptime.

  • I

    incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that helps an organization return to normal as quickly as possible following an unplanned event.

  • ISO 22301 (International Organization of Standardization standard 22301)

    International Organization of Standardization standard 22301 (ISO 22301) is a proposed standard that would call for meeting specific societal security requirements for disaster preparedness and business continuity management systems (BCMS). It is currently in draft form that, if approved, would call for requirements for creating a BCMS, as well as managing and improving that system.

  • ISO 22317 (International Standards Organization 22317)

    The ISO 22317 provides guidance on conducting a formal business impact analysis. The standard can be helpful for businesses that perform many BIAs each year.

  • M

    mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • maximum tolerable period of disruption (MTPOD)

    Maximum tolerable period of disruption (MTPOD) is the time following a disaster after which an organization’s viability will be irreversibly impacted if production isn't resumed.

  • N

    natural disaster recovery

    Natural disaster recovery is the process of recovering data and resuming business operations following a natural disaster.

  • network disaster recovery plan

    A network disaster recovery plan is a set of procedures designed to prepare an organization to respond to an interruption of network services during a natural or manmade catastrophe.

  • P

    pandemic plan

    A pandemic plan is a documented strategy for business continuity in the event of a widespread outbreak of a dangerous infectious disease.

  • R

    ransomware recovery

    Ransomware recovery is the process of resuming options following a cyberattack that demands payment in exchange for unlocking encrypted data.

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

  • S

    synchronous replication

    Synchronous replication copies data over a SAN, LAN or WAN so multiple copies are available. The technique is used for applications with low recovery time objectives.

  • T

    tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a simulated disaster scenario.

  • V

    virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized workloads.

  • W

    warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes down.

  • Z

    Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and cloud environments.

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