Any modern company, no matter how small, relies on a few basic IT services to carry out its daily activities.
We will use as an example a company that has an office in the U.S. (New York) and another office in the UK (London).
The services used by this company will include: email, some form of document storage and sharing, a phone system, and some form of web presence such as a company website.
To host all these services (email, documents, phone and website) the company can use a server installed in its office, or can get all these things from a service provider.
Hosting Services Locally vs. Using a Service Provider
Large document storage
If you have very large documents stored on site such as: video files, design files or any other large documents is much easier to access and download those documents if they are stored locally.
Local area networks and even wide area networks, have often much larger capacity and speed (being hosted locally) than the storage and download speed provided by an IT service provider over an internet connection.
You can access and download much faster large files hosted on a local server, compared to a remote server.
For email, you don't have the same constraints, so you can host the service at your IT service provider.
When hosting any service (email, documents, website) at the service provider, you need to know if the provider also covers disaster recovery and backup.
When choosing your service provider always look for these services because they are very important to keep all your documents safe.
What is Disaster Recovery?
If you lose your website, let's say that you are hosting all your website data in the London office, the customers and the office in New York will not be able to access those files.
If the server in London is down, the New York office will no longer be able to access email, phone system, documents, website data, etc. hosted in the London office.
Using the disaster recovery solution from the service provider, the company will be able restore all the company's services using the data stored at the service provider.
What is Backup?
Backup is separate from disaster recovery because it can provide a copy stored a couple of days or weeks ago.
The difference between these two services: backup and disaster recovery is represented by the data recovered and the resources involved.
The backup service provides a copy from the past (you don't lose everything), while disaster recovery can restore everything as it was because uses multiple places to store data, so if one source is compromised, all data can be stored from the other location.
If you rely on a service provider that offers both disaster recovery and backup you are 100% covered.