What’s the difference between disaster recovery and business continuity? + 3 encouraging takeaways

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

Time to get ready: disaster recovery, business continuity, and the cloud

What’s the worst that can happen? No matter how you make your mark in the cloud, it’s wise to at least entertain that question from time to time. At SADA, we spend a lot of time contemplating worst-case scenarios so that we can offer strategies to organizations that have no room for error when it comes to protecting data and bouncing back from unforeseen catastrophes. In this blog post, we’ll investigate the difference between disaster recovery and business continuity, and offer three reasons to approach this issue with confidence rather than panic and dread. 

What’s the difference between disaster recovery and business continuity? 

Recover from disasters with a robust business continuity & disaster recovery strategy

Disaster recovery and business continuity are not synonymous, although they often intersect. Disaster recovery planning focuses on the process of restoring data, applications, and systems after a disruptive event—a cyber-attack, a hardware failure, natural disaster, or other unforeseen event. It’s the superhero swooping in to save the day with a disaster recovery plan when chaos strikes.

Business continuity is the strategic and proactive approach to ensure that essential business functions continue operating during and after a disruption. It’s more about being the wise, forward-thinking strategist who plans for the worst while hoping for the best. This process can include business impact analysis, or measuring your organization’s ability to recover data, restore business operations, and respond to time-consuming power outages, equipment failure, or human error.

Business continuity Disaster recovery
Objective: Ensures that critical business functions continue without interruption during and after a disaster or disruptive event.Objective: Focuses on the recovery of IT systems and data following a disaster to minimize downtime and data loss.
Scope: Encompasses a broad strategy that includes planning for the continuity of the entire business, including people, processes, and technology.Scope: Primarily includes IT systems and data recovery.
Emphasis: Focuses on maintaining business operations and providing uninterrupted services to customers.Emphasis: IT system restoration, often with the goal of returning to normal operations as soon as possible.
Components: Risk assessments, business impact analysis, redundant systems, remote work solutions, and crisis communication plans.Components: Data backup, system redundancy, off-site data storage, and disaster recovery plans.
Downtime tolerance: Generally aims for minimal to no downtime, especially for critical business functions.Downtime tolerance: Expects some level of downtime, with the goal of minimizing it.
Testing: Regularly tests and drills business continuity plans, often involving employees and external partners.Testing: System failover and data recovery testing.
Timeframe: Ongoing and continuous, with an emphasis on preparedness and resilience.Timeframe: Typically reactive, activated after a disaster or disruption occurs.

Business continuity and disaster recovery with Google Cloud

Google Cloud tools and software help businesses recover after disasters

Google Cloud offers an arsenal of solutions that cater to both disaster recovery and business continuity. Google Cloud’s robust infrastructure and services have proven critical for businesses that need to bounce back swiftly in difficult situations.

For disaster recovery, Google Cloud Platform offers services like Google Cloud Storage and Google Compute Engine, which provide reliable backups and swift restoration of data and applications. Data redundancy and multiple locations lower your risk of data loss considerably.

Google Cloud Platform provides tools like Google Cloud Spanner, which ensures seamless application availability and consistent performance, even during outages or disruptions. The distributed architecture and high availability options are instrumental in maintaining operations without a hitch.

Your business faces myriad risks—from cyber threats to unforeseen natural calamities. A robust strategy that includes both disaster recovery and business continuity measures is imperative.

Google Cloud’s suite of tools offers an excellent platform for creating and implementing strategies designed to keep your organization operational in the event of a major disruption. You can leverage Google Cloud’s scalability, security, and geographic redundancy to build comprehensive plans that cover both reactive recovery and proactive continuity.

Disaster recovery and business continuity: 3 encouraging takeaways

Given a choice, most of us would rather contemplate finding a $50 bill in the laundry than logging into work to discover that all our critical data has disappeared. Disaster recovery tends to be low on the list of things we like to ponder. But a predefined set of methods, including a recovery solution that empowers you to continue operations, access your entire database, and restore your data center with backups will instill confidence throughout your organization.

You’re in luck. Some of us at SADA spend our days imagining the very worst that can happen so that you don’t have to. Data breaches, natural disasters, power grid failures, you name it–we’ve immersed ourselves in catastrophic failures and epic face-plants. And we’re proud to say we’ve emerged through these harrowing thought exercises unscathed, with a wide variety of best practices that we’re eager to share with organizations of any size that conduct business in the cloud. 

In the spirit of calming nerves, we’re happy to share 3 encouraging takeaways as you assess your business’s disaster recovery strategy:

1. Google Cloud is built for business continuity

Google Cloud regions and availability zones; recover from disasters

One word that often comes up in conversations about business continuity in the aftermath of a disaster is redundancy. This simply means maintaining multiple systems that can be called upon when one of them goes down, for whatever reason. 

Google Cloud currently operates in 39 regions, with 10 under development, for a total of 49 by the end of 2024. Each Google Cloud region includes three to four deployment areas that map to clusters of data centers with distinct physical infrastructure, called availability zones.

What does this mean for your business, exactly? Prior to the cloud, any business that stored and moved a lot of data had to maintain on-premises servers, which could be vulnerable in the case of a power grid failure or natural disaster.

With clusters of data centers spread out worldwide, Google Cloud provides the peace of mind that your critical data can be backed up across multiple regions, so that even if a catastrophe were to strike one region, your data persists elsewhere.

“Without a proper disaster recovery plan, companies can suffer severe financial and brand reputation losses resulting from reduced access to data and lowered company productivity,” says Fabian Duarte, SADA Associate CTO of Storage. “To provide the highest level of business resiliency, SADA’s business continuity strategy bridges the Google Cloud ecosystem with on-premise solutions. As a result, organizations gain the advantage of having no single point of failure and receive quick disaster recovery.”

2. It’s never too late to plan ahead–you have the power!

Recover from business disasters, like a cyber attack, with a backup plan

The fact that you’re reading this blog post indicates that you’re already in the mindset of preventing lost data and minimizing potential threats. Making an effort ahead of time not only positions you to better handle any contingency, it gives your organization an opportunity to get your house in order and optimize your processes. 

Strategies that involve ranking your systems on a scale of what’s most critical, surveying your security vulnerabilities, and identifying the key people and resources you’ll call upon when disaster strikes pay off, no matter whether the worst-case scenario comes knocking or not. Defining your recovery process also has the added benefit of reaffirming your organization’s strengths and capabilities when it comes to infrastructure, resources, and software.

3. SADA can help you develop a business continuity and disaster recovery strategy before disaster strikes

SADA can help businesses recover from disaster

SADA’s disaster recovery and business continuity experts have developed strategies designed to protect critical assets and keep operations running for businesses, in a manner that’s cost-effective, in a wide array of industries. Distinct from our Security Solutions, Disaster recovery and business continuity draws from a unique set of skills, experiences, and expertise. 

Recognizing that every industry operates within a unique regulatory landscape and every business has its own set of strengths, challenges, and opportunities, your SADA team starts every engagement by understanding your desired business outcomes and helps you develop the custom strategy that’s right for you. 

SADA’s guide to disaster recovery and business continuity in the cloud: Best practices meet worst-case scenarios 

We suggest starting your journey to disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness by downloading SADA’s guide to disaster recovery and business continuity in the cloud. 

This in-depth look at business continuity best practices focuses on the technical resources you’ll need to consider as well as tips on how to engage your organization and ensure buy-in to your disaster recovery strategy.

We understand that you’ll need to rally multiple stakeholders around the importance of planning ahead to confront an emergency that may or may not happen. In this guide, you’ll get ideas on how to best frame the business continuity conversation within your organization in order to ensure maximum commitment from all who are involved. There’s never been a better time to prepare your organization for the worst contingencies than now. Reach out to us when you’re ready to fortify your organization against any disaster.


Our expert teams of consultants, architects, and solutions engineers are ready to help with your bold ambitions, provide you with more information on our services, and answer your technical questions. Contact us today to get started.

Scroll to Top