What is a Backup and Are Backups Important for My Business?
Are backups important for your business?
Without a doubt, backing up and protecting business data is crucial for all organizations that create, store and use data. There are two particularly glaring trends that significantly increase the importance of backups and will make them a core component of business operations and risk management.
Data is Becoming a Crucial Asset for All Companies
Most organization are generating a lot of data. This includes accounting data, marketing data, customer data, emails and much more. Losing even a portion of this data can spell disaster for most businesses. So, protecting this data is becoming crucial.
Organizations Require Continued Operations
Most organizations that rely on computers and technology will require continued operations. This means the requirement of reliable uptime of IT networks and systems. Older backup systems just don’t cut it anymore. Backup technology now protect your files, folders and emails but also backs up the complete system. This enables organizations to restore a system in its entirety – sometimes within minutes.
What is a backup?
In basic terms, a backup is simple. It is your original data in its original location, copied from that location and placed in a different location. The purpose of a backup is to be able to recover that data in case you have an incident where the original data becomes unavailable, deleted, or corrupted. Backup systems vary in that some require a lot of time (even days) to complete a restoration of data or systems, while others enable IT teams to restore lost data in a few hours or sometimes minutes.
Backups are crucial because data loss is inevitable: hard drives fail, employees accidently delete data, natural disasters happen, and man-made threats exist whether it is ransomware or a malicious act such as theft.
Backup systems incorporate many different processes and there are many words which are used, sometimes interchangeably, when discussing backups. Let’s go over some of them and go over the differences.
Backup vs. Replication
Replication is the process of making a backup while a backup is a copy that is restored. In an ideal scenario, a backup copy will exist and will be updated minute by minute with a replication of any changed data.
Backup vs. Mirror
Backups are a copy of your data and systems. Mirroring involves making a replication of backups onto separate hard drives in real time. It is a technique used to ensure continuous availability of data. Mirroring is used in RAID 1 and hardware solutions such as disk arrays.
Backup vs. Archive
An archive includes a collection of records and files that are retained for long periods and used for reference only. The source of data has been removed from the original location so that backup copies are not made of the archived material.
Backup vs. Clone
Cloning is a process whereby an exact copy of a disk is made on a second hard drive with compression. A cloned copy is often used during data migration. Disk clones cannot be updated with new data and are a static copy of a hard drive at a specific point in time. To make a disc clone a second hard drive is needed with the same amount of disc space as the original disc.
Backup vs. System Image
A system image backup is a comprehensive back-up that includes all the contents of a hard drive including the operating system. Also referred to as a disk image, system images are often stored as compressed files and are used to restore and reinstall complete workstations and servers. Most backup solutions backup data but not all create and update system images.
Backup vs. Sync
Backing up means to copy files manually or automatically from one location to another, usually from one physical drive to another, although it could also be to an online location. Syncing means to manually or automatically copy or delete files as needed to ensure that two locations have an identical set of files.
Backup vs. Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery refers to a comprehensive strategy that is developed to respond to a disaster. Restoring backups is typically part of the disaster recovery strategy.
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