Each business has different priorities when it comes to the storage and protection of it’s data. There are a few different kinds of backup system available and it’s important to determine which one, or which combination of them, is best suited to your needs.
Here’s a brief rundown of the three types of data backup;
File backups are copies of a single or a group of files, achieved by selecting them either one by one or as whole directories.
Benefits: If only some of your data is important to you, file backups can save a lot of valuable space by only protecting those that really matter. The most common form of data loss is human error, in which case only single file restores are required. This is a huge benefit of file backups.
Drawbacks: Restoring from file backups is not always ideal, particularly if you are having hardware troubles, eg, a crashed server. This means that the operating system would have to be re-installed and re-configured, which is time consuming. Also, having to select files individually means that you risk missing an important one and are then unable to restore it if required.
Your enterprise is almost certainly going to have a large number of databases like SQL. These databases are going to need to be backed up, but they differ from normal files because they are likely to undergo constant change as information is added and altered. For this reason, they require special attention and constant maintenance.
Benefits: Very well suited to backing up databases and applications, due to the inclusion of independent retention schedules which allow different database retention between datasets. They also have log truncation which keeps your storage free of useless information and saves you time by directing you to the important stuff first.
Drawbacks: They are limiting because they can only be used to back up databases. If you use a lot of other file types, like PDFs, this may not be the right option for your business.
Server image backups are the most thorough way of securing your data. Everything is stored on the server, from files to the operating system, and will therefore be simple to restore.
Benefits: Absolutely all of your data is being backed up so there is no chance of losing everything. It’s also very easy to restore an entire server in one go.
Drawbacks: Server image backups are viewed as a last resort solution, due to the fact that it can be very difficult to restore one file if it is deleted. Often, the whole server will have to be restored, which obviously takes far longer than restoring a single file.
Server images are also almost always very memory intensive, which will mean that only a few backups can be made before storage spaces are exceeded.
If you’re in any doubt about how important a data backup system is for your business regardless of size, this article explains in more detail just how essential it is. It goes without saying that you should choose at least one of the storage options discussed to ensure that your data is safe. However, the best thing to do in reality is to use several types of data backup and make sure that you are equipped for recovery from any sort of disaster.