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Protect Your Company: A Guide to the Different Types of Data Backup

August 15, 2019

 
Are you worried about losing precious company data by either an external attack or internal mistake? Here's a guide to the different types of backup.
 

What if you were protecting company data the wrong way?

 

When it comes to data, there are many different types of backup. And some types are going to be better and safer for your company than others.

 

Wondering what kinds of data backup options are available? Keep reading to discover the answer!

 

Full Backup

 

We're going to start with one of the most robust types of data backup. And that is completing a full backup.

 

In this case, the name says it all. A full backup is a kind of backup in which you copy every single file and folder from one storage medium to another.

 

This is the most thorough option and makes it easy to restore your data. However, it takes a while to complete this backup, so it may not be the best option for every company.

 

This kind of backup, like others, can be accomplished by using different forms of media. Our guide will be touching on these different forms and what their pros and cons are.

 

Incremental Backup

Wondering what the alternatives to a full backup are? The first option is to go for an incremental backup.

 

This type of data backup starts out with a full backup. However, your later backups are "incremental" because they only save the things that have changed.

 

When you need to restore your information, your system must reconcile differences between the first backup and later backups. This form of data storage is very secure, but restoring information takes longer than it does with a full backup.

 

Differential Backup

 

Differential backup is basically the middle ground between the full backup and the incremental backup. Like both of them, it starts out with a full data backup.

 

Afterward, differential backup records things that have changed. In this way, it is similar to incremental backup.

 

However, it records all changes and data since the last complete backup. This means that it is storing more information each time than an incremental backup does.

 

While it may take a lot of storage to accomplish this kind of backup, it offers one of the speedier data restoration options for your company.

 

Mirror Backup

 

One of the most advanced kinds of data backup is the mirror backup. As the name implies, this is when your company's data is updating and backing things up in real time.

 

For example, let's say you delete some older files you no longer need. With most kinds of backup, you are still "stuck" with that data because it was there on your first backup.

 

With a mirror backup, information you add or delete updates in real-time. Just make sure no one accidentally deletes anything important because you will no longer have it on your backup, either!

 

Cloud Backup

 

Once upon a time, the idea of cloud backup seemed futuristic and maybe a little scary. Nowadays, though, almost all of us trust cloud storage to backup files on our phones and on our personal computers.

 

Cloud storage is good because it is relatively safe and secure. It keeps your information stored offsite, which adds additional layers of redundancy and security.

 

However, you must typically pay more for additional storage, meaning cloud backup costs may increase over time. And internet backup means you must have internet access to use it--a bad idea if your company network goes down.

 

If you go with cloud backup, be sure to choose a reliable company. The last thing you want is for your cloud company to go out of business and take your data with it! 

 

External Backup

 

Earlier, we mentioned that a weakness of cloud storage was that accessing your data requires internet access. An alternative, then, is to store your information on some form of external backup.

 

For example, many companies like external hard drives. These are basically "plug and play," and a variety of software options let you schedule data backups and go about your day. This is good if you don't want to rely on managed IT services to back things up.

 

One of the downsides of external hard drives is that they don't last forever. There is always a chance that a hard drive stops working and takes your data when it dies.

 

To maximize data safety, store your hard drive offsite so it will survive things like fire or water damage to your office.

 

Physical Media Backup

 

Are you worried about the relative safety of cloud storage or hard drives? Here's the classic alternative: getting physical.

 

Depending on the size of your data needs, you can burn data onto CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays. And doing so brings a number of benefits and drawbacks.

 

One good thing about physical media is that it is very easy to store. You can easily keep all of your discs in a single, portable folder.

 

And physical media means you aren't risking the mechanical failure of a hard drive. In fact, we bet you have some burned discs that lasted far longer than the computer that burned it.

 

However, it may take a lot of discs to back up all of your files. And the future of tech is moving away from discs--many computers no longer even come with a disc reader!

 

USB Backup

 

Some people prefer to keep things nice and simple. And if you want the simplest form of data backup, the answer is to use a USB drive.

 

This is the same way individuals have backed up their important files for many years. It's easy to see why: as a data storage device, USB drives are both portable and affordable. And thanks to USB 3.0, moving files is faster and easier than ever (assuming your computer also has 3.0).

 

However, these drives inherit many of the problems of external hard drives. That is, they can break over time or if damaged. And there are storage limitations, meaning you may need to get multiple jump drives.

 

Just make sure you don't lose any drives with important data on them!

 

Types of Backup: The Bottom Line

 

Now you know about different types of backup. But do you know who can help you back everything up?

 

We offer a variety of data backup and other IT services. To see how we can protect your company data, contact us today !

 

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