Skip to content

Traditional Backup vs. Disaster Recovery: Which One Fits Your Strategy?

As more business operations, data, and assets are digitized, the more cybersecurity vulnerabilities there are to account for. More vulnerabilities to consider require even more to account for, such as disaster recovery and data backup. A solid and well-rounded data protection strategy, however, can help you consider and fortify every aspect of your cybersecurity landscape. 

But with many different strategies to consider, do you know which one is best for your organization?

Below, we’ll walk you through traditional backup vs. disaster recovery strategies to help you coordinate the best one for your data protection needs.


Understanding Traditional Backup

What Is Traditional Backup?

Traditional backup involves making copies of the files being backed up and moving those copies to a secondary location, including a secondary data center or into a cloud solution.


Types of Traditional Backup

Full backup: During a full backup, all data is backed up to a separate location.

Incremental backup: Any data altered since the last backup will be uploaded during an incremental backup.

Differential backup: Different from an incremental backup, a differential backup will only back up data that’s been altered since the last full backup.


Backup as a Service (BaaS)

Many service providers are still unable to find a workable solution that provides more control and safety for self-service backup recovery.

For big businesses and managed service providers (MSPs) looking for fresh approaches to improve their backup infrastructure and self-service offerings, BaaS has become more and more popular to help solve this issue. 

Organizations can save money and obtain backup and recovery services from their storage repositories quickly, easily, and with more adaptability with the help of a Backup as a Service provider.


Pros and Cons of Traditional Backup


  • Control over the backup process and infrastructure.
  • No dependence on internet connectivity for backups.
  • A one-time investment in hardware and software.


  • Time-consuming data recovery process.
  • Limited scalability and potential for data inconsistency.
  • Lack of geographical redundancy and disaster resilience.


Understanding Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery can be paired with traditional backup, however, the former is a much more complex yet advanced protective process that includes the following:

  • Extensive planning for disaster recovery.
  • Analyzing risks and business consequences.
  • Documenting and tiering your assets and information.
  • Understanding how each application or asset will affect others if it suffers from downtime.

While backups are simply copies of data uploaded/offloaded to an alternative location, disaster recovery will completely restore data during failover.


Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) Solutions

If you can't restore your backups, it makes the recovery process pointless. That’s where disaster recovery as a service can help.

Disaster recovery as a service has also seen a spike in adoption for many reasons. Businesses that need to get their most important assets and data back up and running as quickly as possible to prevent downtime can benefit from shorter recovery times with DRaaS.


Pros and Cons of Disaster Recovery Solutions



  • Ongoing subscription costs.
  • Dependence on internet connectivity for data replication.
  • Limited control over the infrastructure, as it is managed by the service provider.


Traditional Backup vs. Disaster Recovery

Similarities of Traditional Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions

While the conversation often centers around traditional backup vs. disaster recovery, both share many commonalities you should be aware of. They both have the same goal of protecting and recovering data; they both utilize data encryption and prioritize security; and they both focus on testing as well as monitoring.


Differences between Traditional Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions

Even though there are similarities between traditional backup and disaster recovery, there are differences that are crucial to understand before choosing the right one for you.

Pricing: In the short term, implementing traditional backups may be more costly, but in the long term, disaster recovery may cost more to maintain.

Time to complete: Traditional backup takes much more time to complete, while disaster recovery solutions occur almost instantly.

Complexity: Traditional backup can be a very long and complex process with many moving parts; disaster recovery solutions with the right provider can be a streamlined process.


Take the Next Step Toward Proactive Data Recovery

Let’s refresh and go over the key considerations when picking between traditional backup or disaster recovery services:

  1. Traditional backup can take more time, but it can be cheaper in the long term than disaster recovery solutions (provider-dependent).
  2. Traditional backup can be highly complex, while disaster recovery solutions, as complex as they are at first, can be streamlined.
  3. Disaster recovery provides a quick solution when downtime seems imminent, but a backup creates more than just a replica of the data.
  4. Disaster recovery requires more ongoing upkeep, while traditional backup requires a one-time investment into software and hardware.
  5. Disaster recovery is more scalable and flexible while minimizing downtime compared to traditional backup.

The choice between traditional backup and disaster recovery solutions is not always an easy one to make, but we’re here to help you get the support you need.

Learn more about backup and disaster recovery services from our highly skilled team of cybersecurity professionals today.