Backup

Backup refers to the copying of physical or virtual files or databases to a secondary site for preservation in the case of equipment failure or other catastrophes. The process of backing up data is pivotal to a successful disaster recovery plan.

What are backup and recovery?

Enterprises back up data they deem to be vulnerable in the event of buggy software, data corruption, hardware failure, malicious hacking, user error or other unforeseen events. Backups capture and synchronise a point-in-time snapshot that is then used to return data to its previous state.Backup and recovery testing examines an organisation’s practices and technologies for data security and data replication. The goal is to ensure rapid and reliable data retrieval should the need arise. The process of retrieving backed-up data files is known as file restoration.The terms data backup and data protection are often used interchangeably, although data protection encompasses the broader goals of business continuity, data security, information lifecycle management, and the prevention of malware and computer viruses.

What should I backup and how frequently?

A backup process is applied to critical databases or related line-of-business applications. The process is governed by predefined backup policies that specify how frequently the data is backed up and how many duplicate copies (known as replicas) are required, as well as by service-level agreements that stipulate how quickly data must be restored.

Best practices suggest a full data backup should be scheduled to occur at least once a week, often during weekends or off-business hours. To supplement weekly full backups, enterprises typically schedule a series of differential or incremental data backup jobs that back up only data that has changed since the last full backup took place.

Backup storage for PCs and mobile devices

PC users can consider both local back-ups from a computer’s internal hard disk to an attached external hard drive or removable media such as a thumb drive. Another alternative for consumers is to back up data on smartphones and tablets to personal cloud storage, which is available from vendors such as BoxCarbonite, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and others. These services are commonly used to provide a certain capacity for free, giving consumers the option to purchase additional storage as needed. Unlike enterprise cloud storage as a service, these consumer-based cloud offerings generally do not provide the level of data security businesses require.