Quite often in the media, the phrases disaster recovery and business continuity are used together. But they’re not the same thing, and it’s important to recognize the differences.
Business continuity is all about maintaining operations in the event of systems or equipment failure. It can often be planned for, and how you recover or cope with that failure can be rehearsed.
For example, if you use an application for studio playout to control your video servers or graphics servers, you might ask: What would happen if that control application goes down? And, can you manually control the video and graphics servers? You may need to build the video playlist and playlist of graphic items separately, but this is something that you can prepare for. It may not be a truly smooth transition if something like this happens when you are on air, but if the team is prepared for it and you have a plan in place, then you can recover from it and keep going—even with some limited functionality and a bit more manual intervention than your usual workflow.
Disaster recovery is about how to get back to a normal state after something catastrophic has happened. Such an event could be the loss of storage, a failure of infrastructure, a fire in the building, or even a malicious cyberattack.
Ofir Benovici, VP of Product Management, Media & Cloud at Avid says, “In both cases, it is critical to have plans in place, even if you think you may be unlikely to need them. It is like insurance; no one likes paying for it, until you need it.”
In the world of media, and with an “always on” news culture of content distribution, any disruption to the creation and distribution of content can have serious financial implications for an organization, never mind the reputational damage which can be done.
Benovici adds, "Investing in both business continuity and disaster recovery plans should always be part of routine planning and it is also worth noting that it is a responsibility which does not live just with the engineering or IT teams. Everyone can play their part—from the studio team planning for an equipment failure, to the journalists in the newsroom not clicking on links in emails from untrustworthy sources.”
Business continuity and disaster recovery are not the same thing. But planning for them is. Make sure you have given thought to both.