3 Types of Data Backups to Keep Your Assets Safe

Many IT managers are focused on whether a data backup is needed rather than finding the type of backup that complies with their data and business needs. Indeed, not all backups are equal. 

Deciding on a data backup solution can be confusing as data is increasingly stored and processed in different locations, from local servers to Cloud solutions, to SaaS providers, and even to individual devices. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to data loss because the impacts are so high that the decisions become quite risky. 

As the way you work with data evolves, you want to feel assured that your data is protected from loss. In this article, we’ll present three solutions that can work for a variety of cases. 

Full Backups

These are the simplest form of backups in which a series of files are copied in their entirety to some kind of backup storage. The backup is only complete after all files are copied over. 

Keep a few issues in mind when implementing a full backup. When done on a regular basis, a full backup can take up a lot of costly-to-maintain space. Running a nightly backup of your data in full means you are copying that data many times. And, it takes a long time to copy so many files, meaning that performing a full backup during off hours is impossible if your data is too large and your backup window is too small.

Incremental Backups

Just as the name suggests, incremental backups are a small increment of data backup for copying changes to the data since the previous backup. For example, if you performed a full backup on Monday, an incremental backup on Wednesday only copies the data that has changed in that 48-hour period. Incremental backups take less time to complete than other backups because the majority of files are not changed each time. 

To successfully restore data, you will need a full backup and any incremental backups until the time of recovery. For instance, if you want to restore Thursday’s data, you would need Monday’s full backup and Tuesday – Thursday’s incremental backups. Therefore, it is important to maintain all incremental backups because they are needed for a restore.

One of the more common ways to manage backups is to conduct a full backup once per week, with incremental backups for each day until the next week’s backup. This plan can be adjusted according to your organization’s needs.

Differential Backups

This type of backup is when you copy any data that has changed since the last full backup. Although it sounds similar to incremental backups, there is a distinct difference. Incremental backups target changes since the last backup, whether it was full or incremental. However, differential backups always target changes since the last full backup only.

While it may seem that, with a differential backup, you would expect the sizes to grow over time since the more changes you have, the more files you back up (which can make the time required variable). But you only need the last full backup, plus the specific differential one, to restore data – an advantage over incremental backups – meaning it can be completed faster.

Your organization can’t afford to lose its valuable data. Contact a trusted IT partner to create a solution that preserves your data assets. 


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