You may have heard of disaster recovery companies quite often lately, but you may be unsure of what they actually do. Many people even confuse disaster recovery with disaster relief (organizations helping communities recover from disasters, like the Red Cross and so on). While the disaster relief is a term which refers to these humanitarian organizations and their activity, disaster recovery is mainly referring to helping businesses get back on their feet after major disruptive events.
As the world of business has become more and more reliant on information technology (IT), companies have also started to realize how much more vulnerable they became to disasters. These disasters can mean everything from natural disasters (earthquakes, tornados, really bad storms, floods, etc.) to mad-engineered disasters (like a cyber-attack or bombings in the local area). If company records and day to day operations are more and more reliant on the company’s computers, then the occurrence of any disaster can affect the business so much that it may even not recover afterward.
What Does Disaster Recovery Mean?
Disaster recovery is a service that started to be offered by specialized companies in the 70s, becoming more popular by the beginning of the 80s. Disaster recovery companies offer services that help other companies become better protected against the major strains which comes with disastrous events. The more general field of activity for helping businesses recover after such events is actually named business continuation services, and out of these, disaster recovery services are only a smaller part. Business continuation refers to the preservation and recovery of all aspects a business requires (including the actual work environment, physical materials and so on), while disaster recovery refers first and foremost to the more volatile parts (IT data, programs, know-how, sensitive data, etc.)
That means that disaster recovery companies are specialized in helping you pick up your business activity as soon as possible after a bad event. After all, you need to keep making money as much as possible though a time so trying (and financially trying as well). Usually, the best disaster recovery companies offer all of these:
- Cloud storage for all your business data, including procedures and company records, and organized through different access levels for the top members of your management hierarchy etc.;
- A team of special intervention experts that can show you how to pick up your activity as soon as possible, council you through this difficult time and diagnose the potential security breach (if any);
- The temporary use of office space for a few members of your team, so that the business activity can be picked up right away, at least partially (presuming that your former headquarters can’t be used at the time);
- All disaster recovery companies will also help you formulate a disaster recovery plan (and checklist) to initiate in case anything goes wrong, as well as counselling through every step of the plan, should it come to that necessity.
The Top 5 Disaster Recovery Companies
Now that we understand better what disaster recovery companies do, at least along general lines, we should also present you with just a few suggestions of companies to look into.
1. Acronis Disaster Recovery
The disaster recovery service from Acronis Backup is a super-specialized cloud storage service specially designed for companies, allowing them to be able to resume activity. You may be already familiar with their widely known online backup service, so you can definitely trust their expertise with disaster recovery as well.
2. Sungard Disaster Recovery
The complete name of this disaster recovery service pack from Sungard is RAAS, standing for Recovery-as-a-Service Solutions, and it’s one of the most popular service packs for big and small businesses alike. The main and declared purpose of Sungard is to strengthen your business’s resilience before the dreaded disastrous event even occurs, so that you will be best prepared and ready. This accent on preparedness and training is one of the best features of this company’s services, since most disaster recovery companies usually settle for only basic cloud storage.
3. Rackspace Disaster Recovery
Another great service you may have already heard of is Rackspace, a well-known company in the field of cloud storage and online backup. Their special pack of disaster recovery services would put many competing services to shame.
4. Quorum IT Solutions
One of the leading disaster recovery companies, the Quorum pack of solutions for business continuation is a highly advanced IT service you could really feel safe with. They use hybrid cloud technology, an appliance that allows the immediate resuming of your activity, continuous synchronization with your cloud and many other impressive features.
5. Iron Mountain Disaster Recovery
Iron Mountain is an all-inclusive disaster recovery company that focuses on a thorough recovery of every aspect of your business. That means that unlike some other disaster recovery companies that mainly offer just cloud storage, this team will also help with on-site audits, inventories, evaluations, creating a personalized disaster recovery plan template, implementing it and so on. You can check out their services pack here.
How to Choose a Good Disaster Recovery Team
Disaster recovery companies that are first and foremost cloud storage companies are the most widely spread and used services in this niche. Their extensive experience with virtualization and cloud storage is obviously a big plus. On the other hand, they are somewhat limited by the fact that they only offer the virtual side of disaster recovery, without the other features we discussed above (some temporary office space etc.) For a more all-inclusive approach, maybe it’s best if you contact some business continuation companies too and see what they can offer. Of course, you can expect them to be slightly more expensive than plain disaster recovery companies, since their services are more varied, and many of them include expenses on their behalf. Still, if you’re still interested in such services, you could try to discuss the matter with your insurance company and see if you can work out some sort of financial arrangement. After all, signing on with a company that can help you recover faster and better after a disaster is in a way a form of insurance for the future.
If the main parts of your business activity take place online anyway, and you’re confident that disaster recovery companies are thus the better choice for you, then feel free to sign up for a solutions pack from any of them. You can choose between any of the top cloud storage and online backup companies that also offers a disaster recovery pack, as long as you make sure their overall reviews in the field are good. Also, as far as features go, maybe it’s wiser to go for some extra additions to your disaster recovery contract with them, even if it means paying a little more yearly. It’s better to be safe than sorry afterwards, and whatever can help your business kick back into money-making gear after an unfortunate event is obviously worth its pennies.