Protecting Business with Data Backup and Replication
Backing up your company data is more important now than ever to keep data secure from being stolen or infected with malware or a virus. Depending on your network environment, the information you want to back up, how often you run backups, and other criteria will determine what type of backup is best for your business. Data backup involves keeping critical files, applications, projects, and folders secure and organized.
Minimizing downtime during restores needs to be considered when evaluating a backup process, and it’s based on a metric called the recovery time objective. Recovery time objective is how long a system can tolerate being down without a negative impact on the business. The method used to backup data plays a vital role in the data recovery process and business operations.
If you’ve never done a data backup on your system, make sure you do one this year, on or before World Backup Day (yes, it’s really a day – March 31, 2022). What are you waiting for?
An image-based backup is one of the most well-known and basic types of data backup operations. As the name suggests, this type of data backup is a comprehensive process where everything from the operating systems (OS) to settings, programs, folders, and files linked to your company network are captured at a certain point in time. With the company’s entire system copied and stored safely, restoring the system is fast. In fact, the quick-and-easy restore time is one of the main advantages of an image-based backup. Restoring a system from an image-based backup requires considerably less time than other backup restores and keeps downtime to a minimum.
Although, there are disadvantages to this type of backup. It’s slower and requires more time than other types of data backup (sometimes 10x more time). Also, since many files don’t change with image-based backup, unaltered files get backed up over and over and are an inefficient use of time and storage space. If your business requires frequent data restores, then this type of backup is the way to go. However, many companies will run incremental backups after an image-based backup to optimize the backup time and storage space required.
An incremental backup includes copying only the data that has changed since the last backup of any kind. One of the best things about this type of data backup is that it takes no time to copy new or edited data. Incremental backups require the least amount of time for data backup. It’s extremely fast, and backups can be done more frequently. Businesses can also set up automated backup intervals that create time stamps on the files, and keep track of the modifications using the time and date of each incremental backup.
Another advantage of this type of backup is the minimal storage space required, which is only for new or edited data — it doesn’t create duplicate files like the other types of backups. Old and new data are evaluated during a restore process for incremental backups before presenting the most current file. Restoring data from this type of backup takes the longest because of the multiple steps involved in applying the changes and additions to the initial full backup.
Backups are necessary for any business to protect data and keep a company operating smoothly. Regardless of the type of backup operation you use, it’s always a good practice to have multiple copies of your data stored in different locations. A best practice to follow is the “3 in 1 backup” rule— meaning, it’s a best practice to keep data in three places. We recommend that data is stored in production, as a local backup, and in the cloud.
Replication is the process of constantly duplicating data onto a separate server so that if one server goes down, the other server is available, and business operations continue without the loss of time and data. It provides an exact copy of whatever is on your network at a given moment and is ideal for restoring access quickly to critical data and applications.
Replication can be expensive because data is constantly being transferred between servers, so many companies use replication alongside data backups as an added layer of security for critical data.
Both data backups and replication protect your company data, allowing you to have access to it if something should happen. When performing backups or replication, you need to consider encrypting the data. Encrypting backups provides yet another layer of security and increases data protection when at rest or in transit. Your managed service provider can provide recommendations on the best process for your organization and can assist with data backups, replications and restores.
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