Different Backup Options and What They Mean

You probably already know that data is nothing short of critical to the success of your business. Whether it’s the accounting and payroll system, business email or the documents your employees are working on, being able to rest in the knowledge that if something catastrophic happens to your company data, you’ll be able to recover from it, is essential for every modern business especially during complex IT tasks such as to Migrate SharePoint from one tenant to another, Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration or Azure Windows 10 VM deployment/migration etc. to avoid data loss. That’s where backups come in. Not all backups, however, are created equal. 

Types of Backup

In the world of data backups, there are full, differential, and incremental backup options – and these three terms are something you’ll see a lot when you are looking at backup solutions and the types of backup, so understanding them is fundamental to implementing a robust backup solution.

A full backup, like the name suggests, does a whole backup of all the data it is set to backup. It creates new archives from scratch, no matter when last the data was backed up or even if the data was changed. It’s the slowest but most complete option.

A differential backup, like the name suggests, looks for differences since you last ran a full backup, and makes a backup of any new files or files that have changed since the last full backup. The backup that is created each time it runs is a backup of all the changes from the last full backup, and not since the last differential backup.

An incremental backup can be run after either a full or a differential backup and backs up the incremental changes since the last backup, and not since the last full backup.

A typical running schedule for backups is to run a full backup once a week, and differential backups daily. Incremental backups could be run in place of differential backups, or even more frequently than differential backups.

A Quick Note on Backup Destinations

Many people think that keeping your files on a cloud storage service is enough, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Getting some professional guidance from Intouch IT on how to properly store and look after your backup media is essential if you’re going to be fully protected against any eventuality.

While a cloud drive does offer some protection against lost, stolen or failed devices, consider what happens if your files are synced with your cloud drive and you get a virus or ransomware. Those files on your cloud drive are going to get overwritten. Safe and secure backup archives that aren’t synchronized with your computer are important, and that’s where backup media like an external drive or network storage location comes in handy. If your data is absolutely critical, you should also consider keeping an off-site copy of your data.

Ensuring you have the right backup solution in place across your organization at every level is a big ask, but understanding the limitations and advantages of each type of backup will help you make the right decisions and, in the long run, ensure your data remains safe if the worst ever happens.

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