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BackUp Definition

Backup refers to maintaining a separate database of all the essential files in case the original copy gets corrupted or deleted. The process of backing up is the cardinal step for a successful Disaster Recovery (DR) plan.

The terms backup and data protection are often used interchangeably to describe both operational backup of data and disaster recovery/business continuity (BC/DR), though the requirements of business continuity, data security, information lifecycle management, and the backup has to be fulfilled to achieve the overall data protection goals.". 

The goal of backup is to ensure rapid retrieval and restoration of files when the need arises. 

Enterprises are prone to software vulnerability, data corruption, hardware failure, or malicious hacking. Safeguarding critical data through effective backup strategy is thus a primary concern for the organizations. One can either backup using operating system commands or purchase special backup utility software. 

Types of backup:

There are four different types of Backups which are: Full, Incremental, Differential, and Incremental-forever

Based on the requirements of the company, the data can be backed up in numerous ways. Listed below are few of the techniques that organizations use to back up the data.

Full backup:

As the name suggests, it is the full copy of the resource data in the secondary storage space. Although full backup is considered as the best way to protect data, companies are averse to implement this method as the process takes up a lot of their valuable time and disk space.

Incremental backup:

To ease the time required for the backup process, the incremental backup was introduced. This process involves saving the new data that has changed since the last backup.

Differential backups:

A differential backup is quite similar to an incremental backup and saves only subsequent changes in data after one full backup. However, the difference is that while an incremental backup only includes the data that has changed since the previous backup, a differential backup contains all of the data that has changed since the last full backup.

For example, if you have created a full backup on Monday and want differential backups for the rest of the week, the following backups on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and so on would backup all the changes with respect to Monday. In incremental setup, the backup would have only corresponded to the previous day irrespective of the day when it was fully backed up.

Incremental-forever backup:

Incremental forever backups are often used by disk-to-disk followed by disk-to-tape backup systems. The basic idea of incremental-forever backup begins by taking a full backup of the data set and then permanently saving it on a tape.

Backup storage media:

There are dedicated backup devices for storing up a company’s valuable data. In case a company is dealing with a small data size that needs to be backed up, hard disk drives (HDDs) are equipped with software for setting backup policies.

However, for bigger databases, reduplication systems such as Virtual Tape Library (VTL), Solid State Drives (SSDs) and other superior flash storage devices are used. 

Which backup type is best for you?

As with any other important business considerations, the decision of adopting the right kind of backup process is equally important. To define the precise backup operation suited for the business, it is important to look into three important dimensions.

  • The data recovery time as stated in service agreements
  • Storage locations of the backups
  • The variety of backup processes offered by the application

In case the backups are far off from the actual location of the office and need to be shipped, then the incremental backup method becomes tedious and time-consuming since it would involve a large amount of tapes to be brought to the office during data recovery. 

The Cloud backup

As traditional offsite backup gets more time consuming, and costly, companies are adapting to cloud to save their valuable data. The cloud backup can be through a public cloud storage platform, private cloud or a hybrid where enterprises use both local and cloud storage.

Public cloud storage can be availed through monthly subscription fee based on the consumed storage. The companies at any point can buy additional space on the cloud or shrink current usage space depending upon their usage. 

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