22/02/2015 maryba73

Understanding Backup Methods: Advantages and Disadvantages

If you were to ask a person that was not familiar with computer backups, most would think that a backup was just an identical copy of all the data on the computer. In other words, if it was created Tuesday evening, and nothing changed on the computer all day Wednesday, the backup created Wednesday evening would be identical to the one created on Tuesday.While it is possible to configure backups in this way, it is likely that you would not.

To understand more about this, we must first understand the different types of backups that can be created.

They are:

      •Normal (Full) Backups

 

      •Incremental Backups

 

      •Differential Backups

 

    •Mirror Backups

Full Backups

These is the starting point for all other backups, and contains all the data in the folders and files that are selected to be backed up. Because it stores all files and folders, frequent full backups result in faster and simpler restore operations. Remember that when you choose other backup types, restore jobs may take longer. This approach is good when the project includes not so large amounts of data.

Incremental Backups

These store all files that have changed since the last backup. The advantage is that it takes the least time to complete. However, during a restore operation, each incremental backup must be processed, which could result in a lengthy restore job.

This approach is good when the project includes too many files to back up all of them each time. It’s fast and takes less time for incremental backups. They also take less disk space. It allows you to create backups frequently. However, to restore all the files, you have to restore the last full backup, and all the following incremental backups.

Differential Backups

These contains all files that have changed since the Previous full backup. The advantage is that it shortens restore time compared to an incremental backup. However, if you perform it too many times, the size of the it might grow to be larger than the baseline full backup. Is intermediate between the first two approaches. It is also good when the conditions are intermediate.

Each differential backup includes all the project files changed since the last full backup. It takes less time and space than “Always Full”, but more than “Full+Incremental”. The good thing is that restoring is simpler than for (2) – you’ll have to restore the last full backup and the last differential backup.

Mirror Backups

These include all files that have changed since the last normal (full) or mirror backup, missing files are also to be deleted from the backup set. The resulting backup archive consists of either one compressed file or one folder.

Description of Full Backup:

It would be ideal to make full backups all the time, because they are the most comprehensive and are self-contained. However, the amount of time it takes to run full backups often prevents us from using this type.

Full backups, if you have the time to perform them, offer the best and easiest solution in data protection. In effect, a single backup can provide the ability to completely restore all backed-up files.

However, you should be aware of a significant security issue. Each full backup contains an entire copy of the data. If the backup media were to be illegally accessed or stolen, the hacker or thief would then have access to an entire copy of your data.

Advantages:

1.Restore is the fastest

Disadvantages:

  • 1.Backing up is the slowest
    2.The storage space requirements are the highest if kept more than one copy

 

Description of Incremental Backup:

This provides a much faster method of backing up data than repeatedly running full backups. During an incremental backup only the files that have changed since the most recent backup are included. That is where it gets its name: each backup is an increment since the most recent backup.
The time it takes to execute the backup may be a fraction of the time it takes to perform a full backup. Genie Backup Manager uses the information it has recorded in its index files to determine whether each file has changed since the most recent backup.

The advantage of lower backup times comes with a price: increased restore time. When restoring from incremental backup, you need the most recent full backup as well as every incremental backup you’ve made since the last full backup.

For example, if you did a full backup on Friday and incremental on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and the PC crashes Thursday morning, you would need all four backup container files: Friday’s full backup plus the incremental backup for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. As a comparison, if you had done differential backup on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then to restore on Thursday morning you’d only need Friday’s full backup plus Wednesday’s differential.

Advantages:

      1.Backing up is the fastest

 

    2.The storage space requirements are the lowest

Disadvantages:

1.Restore is the slowest

Description of Differential Backup:

There is a significant, but sometimes confusing, distinction between differential and incremental backup.Whereas incremental backs up all the files modified since the last full backup or incremental backup, differential backup offers a middle ground by backing up all the files that have changed since the last full backup. That is where it gets its name: it backs up everything that’s different since the last full backup.

Restoring a differential backup is a faster process than restoring an incremental backup because only two backup container files are needed: the latest full backup and the latest differential.
Genie Backup Manager uses the information it has recorded in its index files to determine whether each file has changed since the last full backup.

Use differential backup if you have a reasonable amount of time to perform backups. The upside is that only two backup container files are needed to perform a complete restore. The downside is if you run multiple differential backups after your full backup, you’re probably including some files in each differential backup that were already included in earlier differential backups, but haven’t been recently modified.

Advantages:

      1.Restore is faster than restoring from incremental backup

 

      2.Backing up is faster than a full backup

 

    3.The storage space requirements are lower than for full backup if more than one full version is kept

Disadvantages:

1.Restore is slower than restoring from full backup
2.Backing up is slower than incremental backup
3.The storage space requirements are higher than for incremental backup

Description of Mirror Backup:

A mirror backup is a straight copy of the selected folders and files at a given instant in time. That is, the destination becomes a “mirror” of the source.

Any mirror operation after the first will only copy new and modified files, making the operation faster. And deleted files will be removed from the set as well.

Advantages:

1.It creates a snapshot of selected files and folders in the destination which you can browse and access later.

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