Backup & Recovery

What is Backup Software?

Backup software is a application (a computer software) that automatically or manually takes the copy of your files, folders or computer system (including operating system, application and data). Backup and recovery describes the process of creating and storing copies of data that can be restored back and can protect organizations against data loss.

The backup software may be used for taking a data backup locally (like on an External Hard Ddrive, DVD, USB Flash Drive, Tape etc.) or at a storage at different remote location or on Cloud. 

The Backup Software can be a service called Backup as a Service (BaaS) or cloud-based. The term backup has become synonymous with data protection over the past few years. Backup software applications reduce the complexity of performing backup and recovery operations.

Why is Data Backup Important?

The purpose of the Backup Software is to securely store a copy of your data at another location or storage disk, so that in case of the data loss happening due to cyber attacks, hard disk physical damage, hard disk failure, data corruption, natural disaster or any other form of critical data loss, the data can be restored quickly and business continuity is maintained smoothly. You may also loose data due to accidental deletion of files or your computer is stolen. You may permanently lose your data unless you have a backup. For best results, backup copies are made on a consistent, regular basis to minimize the amount data lost between backups. 

Types of Backups:

The data backup may be accomplished via several methods. Backup applications offer several types of backup methods. The most common backup types are a full backup, incremental backup and differential backup. Other backup types include synthetic full backups and mirroring. These different types of backups are better in their own use cases based on backup locations. If you're performing cloud backup, incremental backups are generally a better fit because they consume fewer resources. You might start out with a full backup in the cloud and then shift to incremental backups. Mirror backup, is typically more of an on-premises approach and often involves physical disk drives.

1. Full backups

Full Backup is the most basic and complete type of backup operation. This type of backup makes a copy of all data to a storage device, such as a disk or tape. The advantage to performing a full backup during every operation is that a complete copy of all data is available with a single set of media. This results in a minimal time to restore data which is known by metric "Recovery Time Objective" or RTO. However, the disadvantages are that it takes longer to perform a full backup than other types, and it requires more storage space.

Full backups are typically run only periodically. Data Centers that have a small amount of data or critical applications may choose to run a full backup daily, or even more often. Typically, backup operations performs a full backup in combination with either incremental or differential backups.

2. Incremental backups

An incremental backup operation will result in copying only the data that has changed since the last backup operation of any type. An organization typically uses the modified time stamp on files and compares it to the time stamp of the last backup. Backup applications track and record the date and time at which backup operations occur in order to track files modified since these operations.

Because an incremental backup will only copy data since the last backup of any type, an organization may run it as often as desired, with only the most recent changes stored. The benefit of an incremental backup is that it copies a smaller amount of data than a full. Thus, these operations will have a faster backup speed, and require less media to store the backup.

3. Differential backups

A differential backup operation is similar to an incremental backup when it is performed for the first time. In this type of backup, it will copy all data changed from the previous backup. Each time when the backup is performed, it will continue to copy all data changed since the previous full backup. Thus, it will store more backed up data than an incremental on subsequent backup operations and typically far less than a full backup. Moreover, differential backups require more space and time to complete than incremental backups but less time than full backups.


Advantages of Data Backup

How Often Should You Back Up Your Data?

The frequency of data backup depends on the nature of the data and the level of acceptable risk. For critical business data, it is recommended to have a daily or even real-time back up to minimize potential loss. This ensures that the most up-to-date version of the data is always available for recovery. For less critical data, a weekly or monthly back up may be sufficient. It is important to strike a balance between the frequency of back up and the resources required, such as storage space, network bandwidth, and processing power. It is also advisable to implement an automated backup system to eliminate human error and ensure consistency in the back up process. Regular testing and verification of the backup data should also be conducted to ensure its integrity and recoverability.

Conclusion

The importance of data backup cannot be overstated in today’s digital world. Whether it is for individuals or businesses, the loss of critical data can have severe consequences. Data backup is a proactive approach to mitigate the risks associated with data loss, hardware failures, software glitches, and cyber threats. By creating duplicate copies of data and storing them in secure locations, individuals and organizations can ensure the availability, integrity, and recoverability of their data. Whether using cloud-based or physical back up methods, following best practices, implementing a disaster recovery plan, and considering data backup solutions tailored to specific needs are crucial for effective data protection. In a world where data is the new currency, investing in a robust data backup strategy is a wise decision to safeguard valuable information and ensure business continuity.