Organisations can choose from a variety of disaster recovery methods, or combine several:
Back-up: This is the simplest type of disaster recovery and entails storing data off-site or on a removable drive. However, just backing up data provides only minimal business continuity help, as the IT infrastructure itself is not backed up.
Cold Site: In this type of disaster recovery, an organization sets up basic infrastructure in a second, rarely used facility that provides a place for employees to work after a natural disaster or fire. It can help with business continuity because business operations can continue. Still, it does not provide a way to protect or recover important data, so a cold site must be combined with other methods of disaster recovery.
Hot Site: A hot site maintains up-to-date copies of data at all times. Hot sites are time-consuming to set up and more expensive than cold sites, but they dramatically reduce downtime.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): In the event of a disaster or ransomware attack, a DRaaS provider moves an organization’s computer processing to its own cloud infrastructure, allowing a business to continue operations seamlessly from the vendor’s location, even if an organization’s servers are down. DRaaS plans are available through either subscription or pay-per-use models. There are pros and cons to choosing a local DRaaS provider: latency will be lower after transferring to DRaaS servers that are closer to an organization’s location, but in the event of a widespread natural disaster, a DRaaS that is nearby may be affected by the same disaster.
Back-Up as a Service: Similar to backing up data at a remote location, with Back-Up as a Service, a third-party provider backs up an organization’s data, but not its IT infrastructure.
Datacenter disaster recovery: The physical elements of a data centre can protect data and contribute to faster disaster recovery in certain types of disasters. For instance, fire suppression tools will help data and computer equipment survive a fire. A backup power source will help businesses sail through power outages without grinding operations to a halt. Of course, none of these physical disaster recovery tools will help in the event of a cyber attack.
Virtualization: Organizations can back up certain operations, and data or even a working replica of an organization’s entire computing environment on off-site virtual machines that are unaffected by physical disasters. Using virtualization as part of a disaster recovery plan also allows businesses to automate some disaster recovery processes, bringing everything back online faster. For virtualization to be an effective disaster recovery tool, frequent transfer of data and workloads is essential, as is good communication within the IT team about how many virtual machines are operating within an organization.
Point-in-time copies: Point-in-time copies, also known as point-in-time snapshots, make a copy of the entire database at a given time. Data can be restored from this back-up, but only if the copy is stored off-site or on a virtual machine that is unaffected by the disaster.
Instant recovery: Instant recovery is similar to point-in-time copies, except that instead of copying a database, instant recovery takes a snapshot of an entire virtual machine.