Differences Between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: How VMware Horizon Can Help with Both

Mar 5, 2020
Gabe Knuth

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Gabe Knuth is a member of the EUC Product Marketing team VMware. He has spent 22 years in EUC, including eleven years as an independent industry analyst at BrianMadden.com. Prior to joining VMware, he worked in Product Marketing at Microsoft, focusing on FSLogix and Windows Virtual Desktop.

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In light of current events, many organizations are feeling the effects of life’s unpredictability. With many organizations canceling in-person events and meetings and mandating temporary work-from-home policies, companies are quickly realizing just how prepared they really are in the wake of unexpected events. In the second blog of our business continuity series, we’ll identify the differences between disaster recovery and business continuity and the solutions that can help your organization stay afloat in times of uncertainty.  

When you look at all the reasons customers have for using desktop and app virtualization, some are more immediately impactful than others. Security, eliminating data at rest, working remotely, mergers and& acquisitions, follow-me desktops and apps, and more are all instantly valuable to organizations. Others, like disaster recovery and business continuity, only reveal their value when they’re needed.  

Someone recently asked me what the difference was between disaster recovery and business continuity, so I thought I’d explain my take on it here. While those two use cases might seem the same  after all, both are about enabling users to continue working in the event of a disruption  disaster recovery and business continuity do have their differences.

What is Disaster Recovery? 

Disaster recovery refers to an event that affects your infrastructure, like a tornado destroying a datacenter or a massive power outage. In a disaster recovery scenario, you’ll likely need workloads to spin up quickly in another location. With traditional PCs, companies might use “hot sites” in another location that must be maintained and ready in case of an emergency. These are not only expensive to maintain, but also have to be reasonably close to the users  so close that they might also be affected by a widespread disaster. Moving desktops and applications into the datacenter or to the public cloud allows those workloads to spin up faster and be accessed remotely in the event of a disaster. 

What is Business Continuity? 

Business continuity, on the other hand, refers to situations when the infrastructure is intact, but something is preventing the users from getting to work. Blizzards or hurricanes are good examples, but there are many other reasons why a disruption might force users to stay home. If a company is using traditional desktops that are only accessible from the office, a disruption of this nature could be catastrophic, but with desktop and app virtualization, users can simply connect to their work desktops and applications from home. 

In either case, deploying virtual desktops and applications from the datacenter with VMware Horizon rather than using more traditional means like physical PCs allows your organization to be more flexible and adaptive should a disruption occur. Additionally, if virtual desktops and applications are the primary way users do their job, their experience will be the same regardless of their location, which reduces the impact of disruptions even more! 

How Horizon Can Support Both 

VMware Horizon Service gives you a platform that is flexible enough to adapt to your day-to-day use cases while providing additional features that support disaster recovery or business continuity efforts. By providing a single pane of glass for management and a common set of cloud-based services, companies can deploy virtual desktops and applications to on-premises vSphere environments, VMware Cloud on AWS, and Microsoft Azure, all at the same time and with the same broad client support and remoting protocols. We also have desktop virtualization offerings on IBM Cloud and partner solutions, which means even more flexibility when you need it the most. 

VMware Named a Leader in the 2019-2020 IDC MarketScape for Virtual Client Computing. Learn more here.

With VMware Horizon, you can quickly deliver a comprehensive and agile desktop virtualization environment to support your users in any situation. Combined with VMware Workspace ONE, your company can ensure consistent user experience, zero-trust security, continuous communications via Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub, and  most importantly  uninterrupted productivity. 

If you haven’t yet made plans for disaster recovery and business continuityit may be time to start thinking about how your organization might deal with these potentially disruptive issues.   

Looking for more Horizon resources? Check out these assets below:  

• Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Datasheet  

Tech Zone’s 5 Videos on Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure (including disaster recovery considerations) 

Horizon 7 Webpage 

Horizon 7 Hands-on Lab 

 

What’s Next?  

Each day over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a series of posts and resources around business continuity. We also hosted a business continuity webinar, Pandemic Preparedness and Response: How to Quickly Set Up a Remote Workforce for Success, that you can watch on-demand.