TECH GUIDE - Incremental Backup - How It Works
By Cloud Direct • 28 May 2014
Incremental backup is a form of backup where only files that have changed since the last backup are, err backed up. Synonymous with online backup technology, it is a more efficient alternative to differential backup and full backup methodology commonly used by tapes.
Incremental backup is fast because unlike full backups, where the entire components of a file are backed each time a backup is executed, only small amounts of data, at byte level, are saved on top of the original file. This means only very little amounts of data are saved during ongoing backups.
The key advantage with online incremental backups is that it not only drastically speeds up the backup window for data being transferred to the data centre, but also provides a user with multiple file versions to recover instantly and easily. For example, Cloud Direct's Connected PC backup technology gives the user a choice of ten historical files versions to restore from. Our LiveVault server backup technology can give you as many as 96 different historical file versions to recover from in the last 24 hours.
Example of how Incremental Backup works
Monday - The software performs the first full/initial backup of a user's selected files and/or folders. (Note: this usually takes a significant amount of time since you are sending all your protected data to the data centres in complete form)
Tuesday - The software scans for files that have changed since Monday's backup and only backs up the changes to those files - creating a second version of them.
Wednesday - The software scans for files that have changed since Monday and Tuesday's backup and only backs up the changes to those files - creating a second or third version of them.
And so it goes on, continually scanning and backing up changes to files - creating versions.
Those 'days' can also be hours, or even minutes, depending on the capabilities of your online backup software. It helps users recover to exact points in time before a file was corrupted and still in it's most up to date, and clean, form. Saving time and potentially hours of lost productivity.
If you would like to have a deeper conversation about how incremental backup works please call one of our solutions consultants on 0800 0789 437.
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