The 2023 Guide to Data Backup
Data is by far the technological world’s most significant resource. Whether personal or business, protecting data is one of the most important considerations for any individual or organisation looking to manage the most critical parts of their computing.
Especially for organisations, data backup is one of the best ways to ensure that your data is protected from damage or any malicious actors looking to sabotage your organisation. The simple act of backing up your data can be one of the critical steps in ensuring that your data is effectively protected in case of a catastrophe — and that you have a solid recovery plan.
In this blog, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of data backup, the different types of data backup and other key information you need to know — as well as how to get started with data backup today.
What is Data Backup?
Data backup is the process of creating a copy of your system’s data that you can use for recovery if anything goes wrong with the original data.
This is usually a key part of a wider disaster recovery plan — backups are often one of the critical ways to restore functionality throughout your organisation and are usually vital to restoring lost data to work from.
When considering the severe importance of data, data backup and recovery solutions become increasingly imperative to implement within your organisation. Data is the key resource for businesses to be able to function day to day and endangering it can lead to catastrophe for your organisation.
Data backups will need to encapsulate your whole organisation — rather than choosing a solution that only protects one aspect of your organisation, it’s important to opt for a solution that makes sure that every part of your most important data is backed up and protected.
The key thing to remember about utilising data backups is that backing up everything, often is vital. Getting into this mindset will ensure that your data is constantly backed up and secure.
This ensures that the latest restore point that is available is as close as possible to the data that was there pre-catastrophe.
Types of Data Backup
A full backup is a full system backup, which will ensure that everything within your organisation is backed up thoroughly. This is the backup you’ll do the first time you back up your data, and when doing large organisation-wide backups. Obviously, this takes a lot of time to complete as you’re backing up the entire organisations data.
A differential backup will back up the files that have been altered since you last backed up your data, rather than backing up everything constantly. This means that you’ll only be backing up files that have been changed since the last full backup, significantly saving time.
However, this backup will grow exponentially over time as it only tracks changes since the last full backup — which means that data that has been altered multiple times since the last full backup will be backed up repeatedly.
Incremental backups are like differential backups, but, instead, they track changes since any backup was made instead of a full backup. These small backups are rapid, meaning that it’s much easier to get into a rhythm of backing up regularly.
However, restoring this backup takes far longer — as the backup will need to be reconstructed out of the incremental changes available due to having so many individual backups that form a full backup when put together.
Data Backup Storage
A local backup is an act of backing up to a local storage disk — from USB flash drives to physical hard drives, local backups will be stored on physical disk media.
These backups are far faster than using a non-local disk but are corruptible by physical damage — meaning that often choosing between safety and accessibility is a trade-off.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a storage device that is used throughout your network — meaning that your organisation’s data will be safe from any damage on a specific device.
However, this still doesn’t protect against organisation-wide destruction or catastrophe, as the NAS server will be physical hardware somewhere within your organisation — meaning that wider destruction will damage your backup as well.
A tape backup is a method of backing up onto tape media and shipping your data outside of your organisation. While this will protect it from any physical damage or disaster within your organisation, the process is unsustainable to do regularly.
Often, this will be done for large critical data and systems that don’t regularly change.
A cloud backup is a backup that uses cloud storage to be able to safely secure a backup off-site. This is the best way to leverage accessibility and safety, as cloud servers protect from targeted damage and physical damage within your organisation as well as being accessible, as long as you have access to the server.
This will need to be used in tandem with a physical solution, as cloud backups leave the vulnerability of not being available without internet access. Because of this, the cloud works best when used as part of a wider backup.
The 3-2-1 Rule
The 3-2-1 rule is a core rule that you should use to ensure that you back up effectively.
- 3 – Data Copies:
Ensure that you have at least three total backups.
- 2 – Media:
Store at least two of those copies on different storage media to avoid media-based catastrophe.
- 1 – Have one backup offsite:
Ensure that one backup is far away from your organisation to avoid any damage from wider organisation-wide damage.
How We Can Help
Data backups are a vital part of any modern organisation’s data recovery process. Ensuring that you have a data backup plan in place is the best you can do to mitigate the chance of catastrophe throughout your organisation’s data — and using the 3-2-1 method helps you ensure that you’re backing up effectively.
If you’re looking to get started with backups, get in touch with us today. Our expert team is here to guide you through everything and ensure that your organisation is protected.