EMC Glossary

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is the ability to resume complete IT operations within a specific amount of time or recovery time objective (RTO) and at a specific point in the IT process or recovery point objective (RPO). A shorter RTO indicates a quicker recovery time while a lower RPO indicates fewer transactions and information lost during the unplanned outage.

Who chooses disaster recovery, and why

Organizations protect against outages or information loss as a form of insurance. The cost of outages or data loss can be measured in monetary terms or as intangibles such as health and safety, market share, or reputation. Each organization has a unique risk tolerance, and it's common for different applications to have different requirements for RTO and RPO.

How disaster recovery works

Disaster recovery works by placing identical server, storage, and network devices at a secondary location—the disaster recovery (DR) site. Replication software is used to continuously copy information to the DR site. In the event of a failure or outage at the primary site, applications are restarted at the DR site using the most current information available.

Benefits of disaster recovery

A single point of failure is a risk of data loss or system unavailability. A single device, building, metropolitan area, power grid, flood zone, or hurricane zone all represent a single point of failure. Redundancy and the distance that spans those points of failure enables disaster recovery to keep businesses and agencies in operation regardless of the cause of the unplanned outage.