Regular backup of data is essential, especially for businesses. Without a consistent backup solution, you have no way to recover data in the event of a disaster.
Doing a full backup of all files gives you a good foundation for restoration, but it takes a lot of time and resources to perform. An incremental backup allow you to preserve large amounts of data without the continual system load of performing full backups.
What is an Incremental Backup?
Instead of making a copy of every file on a computer or server, backing up files incrementally stores just what has changed since the last backup was performed.
There are several different types of incremental backup:
- Standard incremental stores file changes made after a previous backup of any kind
- Multilevel saves changes made since the last incremental backup
- Block level backs up only blocks within files that have changed
- Byte level goes deeper to back up the tiniest changes within files
- Reverse creates an image based backup of the last full backup and stores copied files in multiple locations to increase reliability
Each method works by appending to the base image of the original backup to ensure that the newest versions of all files are available for restoration if necessary. A similar type of backup, called differential backup, stores copies of all files that have changed since the last full backup, a process that uses more space and bandwidth to perform.
Benefits of Incremental Backups
Compared to full backups, backing up incrementally involves a much smaller volume of data and therefore requires less time and resources. These types of backups are faster and can be performed on a daily basis if necessary without tying up your servers. Alternating a schedule of incremental backups with full system image backup processes is a reliable combination that provides multiple versions of all files to choose from should restoration be required.
If your business handles large amounts of data on a daily basis, setting up an incremental backup schedule is a smart choice. You’ll minimize the stress to your backup system while ensuring that you always have the newest versions of all of your files even if it’s been a while since the last full backup.
Please remember to VERIFY your backups, i.e. make sure that the incremental backups when rolled into the base image actually work and are accessible for file retrieval. This verification is most important in any backup scheme but it is especially important when using and incremental methodology.
Incremental Backup Drawbacks
Restoration from an incremental backup is simple-if your backup is actually usable! When an incremental backup occurs most systems ‘roll-up’ the incremental to the last ‘base image’. The best software tells you if this ‘roll-up’ was successful. Further, we always check the backups manually to ensure that files can actually be retrieved. Some packages actually turn on the backed up image and tell you that the image loaded successfully.
Business Solutions for Incremental Backups
The best way to make sure all of your important business data is preserved is to create a consistent backup schedule that includes both full and incremental processes. Many service and software solutions exist to help with this process.
Dell’s AppAssure is designed to backup multiple types of servers and provide the fastest possible recovery across platforms and locations.
Acronis offers backup solutions for personal, corporate, mobile and cloud applications with the goal of providing complete data recovery for businesses that store data in multiple locations.
Using incremental backups as part of your disaster recovery plan provides a fast solution to keeping copies of all essential business information.
Being able to sync and restore any version of a backed up file gives you the flexibility to revert to any previous state of the data system so you never lose anything important and can get back to business as quickly as possible should a hardware failure ever occur.
The best way to prevent catastrophic data losses is to hire a reliable IT solutions company. For over 20 years, H&D Technologies has been providing quality backup and IT services to midsize and small businesses.
If you own a business and are hoping to grow or maintain it, our team can help. Our team consists of industry professionals with a wide range of backgrounds, and our customer testimonials speak for themselves.
What makes our company unique is that we treat you and your unique needs with the consideration you deserve. Our professionals ask questions, take the time to learn about your business and goals and provide the best possible IT solutions for your needs.
If you have data that is valuable to your business, do not leave it at risk with inadequate backup. Trust it to professionals who know how to maintain it and protect it.
Contact us to learn how we can help you and protect your business’ future.