The four most common types of data backup

The four most common types of data backup

Toy Story is one of the most beloved animated film franchises of all time. What many fans of the series don’t know is that Toy Story 2 almost didn’t happen. Back in 1998 when the film was being made, a Pixar employee accidentally entered a delete command on the drive where the movie’s files were being stored. Every file on the drive was permanently deleted. Unfortunately for Pixar, their backup system failed as well so no copy of the film in progress was stored on their servers either. Their saving grace was the film’s technical director who had just had a baby and was working on the film from home. She took home a copy of all of the film’s files each week and so the film was saved.

Disasters and near-disasters like Pixar experienced happen all the time in the world of business. Data loss can be a huge setback and in some cases can even lead to a business having to close up shop for good. Pixar’s experience underscores an important aspect to data backup—it isn’t enough to have a backup system. That system needs to be tested so that it can be relied upon when it’s needed.

There are more than ten different types of data backup. Here are four of the most common ones.

Full backup

As the name implies, a full backup is when every single file and folder in the system is backed up. A full backup takes longer and requires more space than other types of backups but the process of restoring lost data from backup is much faster.

Incremental backup

With incremental backup, only the initial backup is a full one. Subsequent backups only stores changes that were made since the previous backup. The process of restoring lost data from backup is longer but the backup process is much quicker.

Differential backup

Differential backup is similar to incremental backup. With both, the initial backup is full and subsequent backups only store changes made to files since the last backup. This type of backup requires more storage space than incremental backup does, however, but it also allows for a faster restore time.

Mirror backup

A mirror backup, as the name implies, is when an exact copy is made of the source data. The advantage of mirror backup as opposed to full, incremental, or differential backups, is that you’re not storing old, obsolete files. When obsolete files are deleted, they disappear from the mirror backup as well when the system backs up. The downside to mirror backup is that if files are accidentally deleted, they can be lost from the backup is well if the deletion isn’t discovered before the next scheduled backup.

Source: Business 2 Community 

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