If the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters investigated, they’d find there are many misconceptions around the category of disaster recovery—myths that create a false sense of security for many businesses. IT professionals are often asked to justify decisions when it comes to data protection and disaster recovery; and though we couldn’t get Adam or Jamie to bust DR myths, we decided to help the IT department out by dispelling some of the most common misconceptions surrounding IT resiliency ourselves. Why? So IT can get the budget and support it needs to protect the business. Here are nine of the most common myths of DR, busted!

1. Natural disasters are the biggest concern when it comes to IT interruptions.

While hurricanes, blizzards, and fires make the headlines, manmade disasters occur at a much higher rate with equally devastating effects. These disasters include unintentionally infecting computers with malware, deleting files by accident, forgetting laptops at airports or in taxis … even unplugging the wrong cable in the data center.

2. Proper protection requires multiple products.

WRONG! When it comes to data recovery, the use of multiple different solutions hinders the IT Department’s ability to recover quickly. In fact, according to our “State of IT Recovery” survey, 91% of small to medium-sized businesses reported challenges with using multiple backup and recovery tools. Going for a single solution that covers all your business recovery needs is a better bet for most organizations.

3. Full disaster recovery testing is expensive and affects production environments.
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A common myth is that disaster recovery testing is cost prohibitive. Leveraging cloud-based disaster recovery solutions, companies can perform disaster recovery tests in sandbox environments, separate from production systems, in a short amount of time. That means zero risk and zero incremental cost to ensure that your business is protected.

4. Backup of critical data is enough.

Unfortunately having a backup of your critical data doesn’t guarantee business continuity. You need access to the infrastructure that runs your applications (servers, applications, databases, etc.) to support continued IT operations. A backup of the data isn’t useful if no one can access it.

5. We have servers replicated, so we are safe.
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Implementing redundancy in your network environment for application servers and SANs is an outdated way to save money. It is still costly (duplicate hardware and software), it is not scalable, and it is incomplete. If you replicate servers in the same environment, you won’t be able to bring the replicated servers online.

6. A few hours of downtime won’t cost us that much.
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Are you sure? Understanding the true cost of application downtime and IT interruption is the first step in budgeting for a practical disaster recovery initiative. Every company is different, so calculate your cost of downtime by using Axcient’s online calculator. You might be surprised. And in addition to the hard costs of downtime, you need to consider the impact on your customers and partners, and how that will affect your business reputation.

7. A secondary disaster site is for the large enterprise, not my midsize business.
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Small and midsize organizations are the ones that suffer the most when it comes to IT interruption. While traditional secondary disaster recovery sites can cost well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and be difficult to manage, cloud-based solutions now give SMBs a ‘data center on-demand’ approach that cuts those costs dramatically and ensures you can continue to operate.

8. Disaster recovery is an IT function.

Disaster recovery is a business function. It goes beyond recovering your technology environment and encompasses your processes and people. It is the responsibility of your senior management, regardless of function, to give input and sponsor a comprehensive disaster recovery plan and employee training to ensure your entire business can successfully weather any storm, or hardware or software failure.

9. You can only achieve very fast (minutes) recovery time objectives (RTOs) with “warm site” data centers.

In the pre-cloud era, companies had to build fully replicated sites that would house an exact copy of their IT environment. Fast forward to today’s cloud-enabled DRaaS solutions like Axcient, which gives you a complete mirror of your IT environment in the cloud, and you can achieve warm-site capabilities and RTO for a fraction of the cost.

However they originate, myths are myths. And most are created in order to cover knowledge gaps in a particular category or sphere of influence. These days, implementing a complete Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery process isn’t an insurance policy. It’s a business requirement and a strategic advantage.

Daniel Kuperman