Skip to content

Back to Glossary Home  | Failback


What is Failback?

Failback is the process of bringing back systems or services that were temporarily switched to a secondary or backup environment to the primary environment once it's deemed stable and functional after disaster or disruption. One of the goals of failback is to accomplish this switchover with minimal data loss.

Once the dust settles from a disaster, your organization needs a strong backup system to return to regular business operations and the entire process is made easier with failback in place.

Why is Failback Important?

Failback serves an important role in the grander scheme of business continuity management. Business continuity management includes a series of actions and best practices a business can take to ensure it will be able to handle and recover from disasters.


As part of a business continuity management plan, an organization will look at the impact different disasters will have on their business through a business impact analysis (BIA). From there, they will make a plan for preserving and restoring data through failover and failback. Without failback, businesses will not be able to meet their business continuity objectives.


What is the Difference Between Failover and Failback?

While failover and failback work together to protect and recover your systems during a disaster, the key difference between the two comes down to when each is used. Failover makes the switch from a production site to a backup system during a disaster. Failback, on the other hand, kicks in when the disaster is over, returning the system to an original or brand-new primary production location.

How Does Failback Work?

After a planned or unplanned disruption occurs, failback works byswitching back to the main production site. A snapshot will be taken of the recovery environment and restored to the regular production environment. The efficiency and overlap of the failover and failback systems can also help businesses meet their recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) - minimizing downtime and data loss.

What is an Example of Failback?

Say a company has a primary production site in Kansas. While the data center takes all reasonable precautions and is able to withstand some extreme weather, a tornado hits the building, affecting this company's production environment. When the signal drops at the Kansas data center, the system moves to a backup environment in Pennsylvania as part of a failover process. The damage from the tornado is minimal and the data center is able to get back up and running within a few days. At that point, failback returns the environment to Kansas.

How TierPoint Can Help With Failback

With 40 interconnected coast-to-coast data centers, TierPoint can offer failback in a geographically distinct location that makes sense for your business and your end users. We also offer disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), with solutions that can help you achieve failover and failback in mere minutes.

Related Services

Explore our 40 interconnected coast-to-coast data centers and achieve failback with minimal data loss today!

Related Terms