Disaster Recovery – What You Need to Know

disaster recovery
March 28, 2024

When disaster strikes, an organization’s ability to resume normal operations and business functions depends on having a solid disaster recovery plan.  

Surprisingly, the number of businesses with a thought-out disaster recovery (DR) plan at the ready is remarkably low. A little more than half of organizations have a company-wide disaster recovery plan in place, and just 50% of these organizations conduct regular disaster recovery testing once a year or even less. 

However, disaster events occur more often than people realize, and 73% of companies have had a failure in critical systems at some point in their business lifespan.  

With these figures in mind, it is essential for businesses to have DR strategies in place that allow for both business continuity and the ability to recover data – (especially sensitive data) – so that the recovery process is fast and streamlined and doesn’t severely impair normal operations.

Table of Contents

When is Disaster Recovery Needed?
Disaster Recovery Planning
The Elements of a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan
What are the Benefits of Having a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place?
How to Learn More About IT Disaster Recovery Solutions  

What is Disaster Recovery? 

Disaster recovery refers to the process by which an organization anticipates and formulates a plan to resume technology operations after a disaster occurs.  

This entails maintaining critical business operations and preventing data loss during a disaster at a company’s primary business location. Often, a third-party provider is utilized for data backup and data protection. This means that backup systems for organizations can operate as usual and prevent lost data due to equipment failure, power outages, network outages, or other impacts from a natural disaster or other crisis. 

data center for disaster recovery

When is Disaster Recovery Needed? 

There are a lot of situations that can put an organization in a crisis management mode. Moreover, a good disaster recovery plan considers these many situations to ensure rapid recovery. 

An example of situations that requires a disaster recovery plan include the following: 

Natural Disaster  

 Natural disasters are physical disasters that include tornados, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, or wildfires. Even if your company is located in a region where natural disasters have not been routinely impacted, there is no place in the country, or the world that is immune from a natural disaster.  

Pandemics or Epidemics  

As the pandemic era demonstrated, pandemics can throw a wrench in normal operations for companies across all industries, even those not directly impacted by an epidemic. 


Cyberattacks are frighteningly common and often lead to data loss or security breaches in critical assets.  

Technological Hazards  

Technological hazards can be as severe as explosions or other physical disasters or as simple as network or power outages.  Business continuity planning goes a long way to minimize recovery time and return to normal business operations. 

Machine and Hardware Failure 

Simple hardware or machine failures can hurt data protection or result in data loss, especially if they affect on-site backup storage equipment. Human error and everyday system failures can significantly impact the ability to maintain business operations and are another common cause of company-wide disasters. 

 Remember that this is just a sample of when disaster recovery is needed. Additionally, an effective disaster recovery plan anticipates the unexpected and has a disaster recovery strategy that can align with any disaster.  

Disaster Recovery Planning 

The first step in the disaster recovery process is to craft a detailed plan that outlines emergency response requirements, backup operations, and recovery procedures, in addition to other disaster recovery strategies. 

These organization-specific details are defined by the following metrics, also known as recovery objectives. 

Recovery time objective (RTO): A recovery time objective (RTO) refers to the maximum acceptable length of time that a company’s systems and applications can be down or unavailable without causing significant and lasting damage. For example, when determining recovery time objectives, you may notice that some applications used in your business can be offline for several hours while others must recover in minutes to ensure business continuity. 

Recovery point objective (RPO): The recovery point objective refers to the most recent acceptable data backup needed for recovery to resume operations after a major event, like a natural disaster. Recovery point objectives help define how often data backups need to occur to recover from a disaster in the optimal amount of time. 

Once the recovery point objective and recovery time objective have been defined, a disaster recovery team will better understand how to formulate a detailed recovery strategy going forward.  

These two metrics are also especially instrumental when conducting a risk assessment, risk analysis, and business impact analysis for potential disasters, from minimally invasive events like a power outage to worst-case scenarios. 

data backup, IT disaster recovery plan

The Elements of a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan 

Generally, a disaster recovery (DR) plan covers three elements for a complete recovery strategy. 


The preventative part of disaster recovery ensures that systems are as secure and reliable as possible by utilizing tools or strategies that prevent a disaster from occurring in the first place. This could include physical initiatives, like implementing fire suppression tools where sensitive data and equipment are stored or enlisting a data center from a third-party provider to ensure data is constantly protected and backed up by an expert in disaster recovery. 


When it comes to rapid recovery, fast detection is key to preventing data loss and minimizing the time that business operations are down. The detection area of a disaster recovery plan allows businesses to pinpoint when a threat is imminent or occurring, such as detecting a possible cyberattack. 


Corrective measures address the steps required for crisis management for varying disaster recovery scenarios. This includes how to recover important data, get business operations and systems back online, and utilize internal and external communication to keep everyone on the same page regarding the specifics of the disaster recovery plan. 

man frustrated with data loss

Let’s look at some IT disaster recovery solutions and other considerations for an effective disaster recovery plan. 

There are many options for identifying the best disaster recovery solution (or solutions) for your organization. These types of disaster recovery solutions can include cloud services, utilizing data centers, having a specific DR site or recovery site, or all the above. 

A sample of these varying disaster recovery methods includes the following. 

Backing Up to Prevent Data Loss  

Backing up sensitive and essential data is the easiest thing a company can do to prevent data loss. Often, the best data backup options entail identifying solutions outside of everyday business operations and systems.  

For example, cloud services can store a wealth of data, allowing you to access essential documents or other information easily and outside the disaster site. Cloud disaster recovery is often an easy method for storing data, although when it comes to cloud disaster recovery, there are some inherent drawbacks.  

For one thing, while cloud recovery methods can help to prevent data loss, the equipment that powers your business continuity is not protected as it would be at an outside disaster recovery site, like a data center. Simply put, a cloud disaster recovery plan can be a core part of your overall disaster recovery strategy, but it shouldn’t be your sole disaster recovery plan. 

Data Center Disaster Recovery 

For even more peace of mind, you can store your essential equipment, systems, and data at a third-party data center, off-premises DR site, or recovery site to ensure that all your businesses’ technological infrastructure is constantly protected.  

A data center is designed to protect an organization’s infrastructure. Data centers have fire suppression tools, backup power sources, and protected environments and are the safest disaster recovery sites, regardless of the worst-case scenarios that can hinder business continuity. A data center is also one of the fastest ways to prevent data loss and restore data in an emergency. Also, a data center located away from the business itself may be immune from a physical disaster (like a natural disaster) in the first place.  

Virtualized Disaster Recovery 

In virtualized disaster recovery, businesses back up their data and systems using off- premises virtual machines, or VMs, that may not be impacted by physical disasters. This virtualization allows businesses to automate some processes, such as the continual transference of workloads, in order to create a faster recovery time and help ensure business continuity. 

Cold Site Disaster Recovery 

Cold site disaster recovery entails having a second and mostly unused location where a business can move its operations and employees to work during the height of a disaster.  

However, there are some notable drawbacks to having an internal disaster recovery site in case of an emergency. For one thing, while having a cold or disaster recovery site helps ensure business continuity, it does not help prevent data loss like a third-party data center. In addition, having an in-house disaster recovery site can be expensive. Even if the business already owns the facilities (so no rent is required), the DR site still needs to be constantly available and functioning to be instantly used when a disaster strikes. 

Remember that the above types of disaster recovery methods are just the tip of the iceberg, and hybrid solutions may also be available to address an organization’s specific pain points.  

The best way to make disaster recovery work is to have several types of disaster recovery initiatives in place, such as utilizing a data center.  At the same time, it is also essential to create an in-house disaster recovery team focusing on internal data backups and cloud services. 

data center for disaster recovery IT solutions

What Are the Benefits of Having a Disaster Recovery Plan in Place? 

Assured business continuity

When it comes to the question, “Why is disaster recovery important?” The most obvious answer is that it ensures business continuity. A smart recovery strategy ensures that a business doesn’t lose time, resources, and data and can get back to normal as soon as possible without incurring further damage due to a loss of revenue or, perhaps more importantly, a loss in reputation and brand loyalty. 

Cost savings

 Data loss and a significant and noticeable gap in business continuity are expensive, and when all resources are focused on crisis management, the loss in revenue is huge. In addition, replacing equipment, systems, and data can be expensive when a natural disaster or other disaster occurs, and your infrastructure is not stored in an outside site, like a data center.  A comprehensive disaster recovery strategy mitigates this substantial financial risk and provides a safety net if or when the worst-case scenario occurs. 

Better compliance

 Some industries require a well-defined discovery recovery plan to ensure that organizations stay within a particular sector’s strict legal or other regulations, such as medical practices, financial institutions, and any business that handles sensitive and important data. As such, in these cases, recovery strategies aren’t just advisable. They must maintain compliance and avoid reprimands or legal issues that can also impact business continuity.  

Faster recovery time

 When a disaster occurs, the number one goal of crisis management is to get to the other side. A smart recovery strategy focuses on returning to normal business operations as soon as possible, and a comprehensive disaster recovery plan does exactly that. 

Better security 

One of the most immediate benefits of implementing recovery strategies is that you automatically create better protection for your data and business operations. For example, moving your IT infrastructure to a data center prevents data loss from on-site natural disasters, cyberattacks, or other events that may hurt your business’s physical location but not your data and systems. 

engineer working on disaster recovery plan

Learn More About IT Disaster Recovery Solutions   

The first step in creating a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy is to partner with an expert in disaster recovery services who can offer solutions tailored to your organization’s distinctive metrics, needs, and pain points. 

This is where DartPoints can fill in the gaps and help you craft the best disaster recovery plan for your business. 

Our cutting-edge technology and facilities provide limitless solutions for disasters as well as your everyday business operations.  

From lightning-fast interconnectivity for daily operations to 24/7/365 support when a disaster strikes, our experts can protect your critical infrastructure while providing opportunities to work faster and more efficiently every day. 

Reach out to us today to learn more about our many discovery recovery plan options. With a resource and partner like DartPoints behind the scenes, you can rest assured that your organization is well protected and will remain up and running, no matter what the future brings.    

Contact us today.