Data is one of the most important resources in an organization: it helps the organizations operate efficiently. Day to day decisions are made with respect to the data in the organization’s system, organizations can’t afford to loose it as it would lead to massive losses. Data backup is the procedure of making a duplicate copy of the data in the system or a computer and storing it in a different location so as to be used if the data in the main system or computer is lost or corrupted. Data backup is essential not only to organizations but also to individual, data that is important to a person or an organization should be backed up to avoid the losses that come with data loss.
Data backup can be done in external drives, flash disks, the cloud etc. Today the most famous tool used to do data backups is the cloud, this is due to the ease of backup and the ease of access of the backup, also cloud data backup can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Data backup methods
1. Full backup method.
This is a method of data backup where the entire data set is backed-up. In this method, an identical copy of data set is every time the backup happens. Although this method provides the best data protection, most people and organizations prefer it during the first time but for the subsequent turns, other methods are used this is because this type of data backup is time-consuming, occupies a lot of space, slow and consume network bandwidth at high rates. This method of data backup is suitable for small data sets its major advantage is the ease of data restoration as it is almost straightforward and fast.
2. Incremental backup method.
This method of data backup tends to save disk space by backing up only the changed or created files/portions since the last backup. This method is efficient on space as the volume of data backup done each iteration is much small (only the changed or created part). Other advantages of this method include low consumption of network bandwidth. The cons of this method include the process being slow as each and every file has to be compared to detect changes or new files this makes the process complex, also, doing data recovery from a certain date could be harder and consume a longer period of time in comparison to the other methods.
3. Differential backup method.
This method is similar to incremental method except for the fact that the backup operations will store the new and updated files or portions of data since the last full backup. The advantages of this method are that it shortens the restore time compared to incremental backup. The cons of this method include the fact that more storage space is required and also network bandwidth in comparison to the incremental method.
4. Virtual full backup.
This method uses a database to manage and track backups. In this method, a full copy of data is needed only once and it will not be needed again if the backup medium remains unchanged. In virtual full backup, synchronization of the backup is done to the database on a periodic basis. Recovery of data backup using this method is easy and entails selecting the recovery point and the data to recover.