High Availability is the art of designing a system that is hard to break. Disaster Recovery is designing a system that can recover from an unavoidable disaster.
Every company can benefit from both High Availability and Disaster Recovery, but the benefits must be proportional to the cost, and also align with a company’s risk appetite.
Generally speaking, High Availability is a game of diminishing returns. It gets exponentially more expensive to build platforms with an extra percentage point of predicted uptime and we can usually help you to find a balance that meets your company’s needs. If an hour of downtime per year is easily absorbed into your production schedule then it doesn’t make sense to invest huge sums of money into a platform with a predicted downtime of only 10 minutes. However, if downtime of 24 hours would be catastrophic to you then the good news is that it’s pragmatic and affordable to architect a system that will prevent such an
Disaster recovery tends to present a fixed cost based on the size, complexity and nature of a given business. It tends to encompass a variety of systems and working practices, not just IT equipment. At its simplest it’s an offsite backup of your data and systems, with a mechanism for restoring them. At its most complex and far-reaching it can be an entire shadow operation waiting to be activated in the event of disaster.