data backup terms

Do you know these 5 data backup terms?

Data backup is a big deal, mainly because losing data is not a pretty process for anyone involved.

Businesses everywhere are dreading the day they might lose their data to a group of hackers or to a run-of-the-mill natural disaster. It’d be one thing if these situations were few and far between … but that’s certainly not the case.

Data loss for a business is an everyday occurrence at this point.

Business Continuity & Remote Access: 2 crucial elements to consider

But to make sure your business has what it takes to successfully avoid the negative consequences of data loss, you must first understand what it means to protect your data.

Let’s start with the basics.

Data Backup

If you say that you’ve backed up your data, this means that you’ve copied and stored that data at a separate location. Doing this protects your data from anything destructive that might happen to the original data location — for example, a hardware failure, ransomware, or hurricane.  

Keep in mind a backup of your data doesn’t always have to be virtual. It could very well be a physical file that’s been duplicated.

Disaster Recovery Plan (DR Plan)

In its most basic form, a DR Plan details your company’s reaction and approach to disastrous events. This event could be a natural disaster or a simple power outage — ultimately, it’s any situation that could disrupt operations and result in downtime.

A DR Plan expands to cover everything from budget and recovery times to third-party suppliers and physical resources.


RTO is one component of a Disaster Recovery Plan. RTO stands for Recovery Time Objective, and it is the amount of time your business can be without its technology and data.

This can be addressed in terms of your overall network or by individual application.

RTO is measured in time, and to get this measurement, your business must answer the following question: How much downtime can your business allow to pass after a disaster?


RPO is another critical component of your DR Plan.

RPO stands for Recovery Point Objective, and like RTO, RPO is also measured in time.

However, instead of thinking forward, RPO addresses time backwards. How far back do you need to recover files or data for normal operations to resume?

In other words, your business needs to determine how long it can stand to lose data.

Data Colocation

With Data Colocation, your business can store its data offsite and reduce some of the costs involved with data backup.

In this situation, you rent space from a data center. Your business supplies the servers and other computing hardware, and the data center becomes responsible for the housing of it all (including security, energy costs, internet, and the building itself).

Data Colocation is a great option for companies who need control and security but would like to experience the maintenance and cost benefits of outsourced data backup.

If you’d like to learn more about how data backup fits into disaster recovery, check out Your disaster is not my disaster. So what’s a Disaster Recovery Plan?