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‘Backup’ and ‘Disaster Recovery’ are two related but distinct concepts in the field of Data Management and IT Infrastructure. They both play crucial roles in ensuring the availability, integrity, and resilience of data and systems, but they serve different purposes and involve different strategies and techniques.


  • The primary purpose of backup is to create copies of data and files so that they can be restored in case of accidental data loss, corruption, or hardware failures. It is essentially a precautionary measure to protect against data loss caused by everyday events.
  • Backups typically focus on specific files, folders, databases, or even entire systems. They can be selective, backing up only critical data, or comprehensive, covering all data.
  • Backups can be scheduled to occur regularly, ranging from hourly, daily, weekly, to monthly, depending on the organisations needs and data change rate.
  • Backups are often retained for a specific period, with older backups being replaced by newer ones. Retention policies vary based on organisational requirements and compliance regulations.
  • Common backup methods include full backups (copying all data), incremental backups (copying only changed data since the last backup), and differential backups (copying data changed since the last full backup).

Disaster Recovery

  • Disaster Recovery is a comprehensive strategy aimed at ensuring the continuity of IT operations and data accessibility in the event of major disasters or disruptions. These disruptions can be natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, floods), cyber-attacks, hardware failures, or other catastrophic events.
  • Disaster Recovery encompasses a broader range of planning and infrastructure. It includes not only data backup but also strategies for system failover, redundant infrastructure, off-site data storage, and procedures for re-establishing operations.
  • Disaster Recovery planning should always include setting Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO). RTO specifies the acceptable downtime, while RPO defines the maximum data loss allowed.
  • Regular testing and validation of disaster recovery plans and procedures are essential to ensure they work as intended during a crisis.
  • Disaster Recovery measures may involve creating geographically dispersed data centres, using virtualisation and cloud computing for redundancy, and having failover systems in place.

Backups are a fundamental component of Disaster Recovery but are not the entire strategy. Backups protect against common data loss scenarios, while Disaster Recovery encompasses a broader set of measures to ensure business continuity in the face of major disruptions. Organisations typically need both Backup and Disaster Recovery plans to safeguard their data and operations effectively.

If you require more information about Backup and / or Disaster Recovery, don’t hesitate to contact us today by email or call us on 01329 888444.

Matrix Business IT | Company number: 10099930