Data is the most important thing that we have as computer users. The ability to view, edit, and share these documents or music files with family, friends, and co-workers is the reason that the Internet and technology has grown to such heights.
But what would happen if you were to lose all of that data? For many individual computer users, data loss can result in the loss of their child first birthday video, graduation photos, and entire multimedia collection. For businesses, data loss is a monumental concern; client information, business information, finances, etc can be effected if a server goes down.
In both of these cases, having a complete and up to date backup is important. The types of backup methods used by businesses and corporation are usually different from the types that individuals can chose from. In the corporate world, there are three types of backup methods that a business can utilize to make sure that their information is safe and current.
Most Popular Types of Backup Technologies in the Enterprise
- Full Backup or System Imaging
- Incremental Backup
- Continuous Backup
What is a Full/System Imaging Backup?
A full backup or system imaging backup is where the entire computer is backed up; that means everything that has been saved on a particular is backed up. Any changes that occur after the backup will not be saved until another full or system image has been done.
This type of back up is very good for perhaps monthly back ups of a server; the start of the month and the end of the month are typically good times to do a full backup of the server.
Acronis and Norton Ghost are examples of the types of software that can be used to make full or system imaging backups.
What is an Incremental Backup?
An incremental backup is one where the data is saved if any changes have been done. This type of backup method allows for only those files that have changed since the last back up to be backed up.
In most cases, a full backup is done first and then incremental points are set up.
Microsoft Windows has a good backup system, especially for incremental backups.
What is a Continuous Backup?
A continuous backup is where the system is constantly saving and backing up any changes that are made. These types of backups can run in the background and also be set up for different time points.
For instance, the server could make a backup every hour or every day.
Many businesses are going to the cloud, that is cloud computing, by using Internet servers and web versions of popular software such as Google Docs and Office 360.
What Type of Backup Technology is right for you?
Understanding the types of backup methods that you have at your disposal will make it easier to know which one to use in which instance. For example, a full backup or system image is great for the occasional backup, such as on a monthly basis, either at the beginning or the end.
An incremental backup can be good for either certain days or certain departments. The finance or payroll department could benefit from having an incremental backup on the days when they start doing invoicing or payroll time sheets. Continuous backups can be used anytime and with the growing interest in cloud computing, this is especially good for collaborative groups or employees who don’t work in the office. The important part is making sure your technology investment matches the business problem you’re trying to solve.