Progressive Cloud Backups Improve Recovery Efficiency
One of the biggest benefits of switching from a manual (usually tape-based FIFO or GFS backup rotations) methodology to a cloud-based backup service is the fact that it allows companies to begin performing progressive backups without having to purchase any new hardware.
Progressive backups are extremely efficient and fully automated. This is part of the reason why they’re so popular amongst larger organizations.
The difference between progressive (incremental forever) backups and standard traditional backups can be a bit difficult to understand. So we’ve put together a short video explaining the difference between the various methodologies in use today.
In a nutshell, progressive backup is a software-based approach which automates data protection in a very efficient manner. Data blocks are saved to the backup server after they are changed. And when a recovery is required, a full backup is compiled based on the state of the data at a given point in time. (There is a bit more to it than that, but it’s a good basic summary) The important thing to note is that progressive backups greatly simplify the recovery process in an emergency. This is especially important, since unplanned downtime is becoming more dangerous as businesses begin to operate in 24/7 worldwide markets and rely on automated applications for customer service.
It used to be that your servers could be down for a day or 2 and people could operate using paper-based alternatives. But today, a few hours of downtime could be enough motivation for your clients to begin evaluating competitors.
Progressive Cloud Backups In Action
In order to understand a typical recovery process, let’s take the example of a company that has a 30-day first-in-first-out backup cycle with daily differential incremental backups. If they need to restore a server on day 20, they’ll first need to rebuild the server from scratch using the last system image. Then, they need to load the last 20 backups on top of this.
This is a long and time-consuming process. And it’s also inefficient.
Because files are constantly being downloaded, deleted, changed and copied, there will be a lot of duplicate and redundant information within these incremental backups. And if any of the backup versions contain errors, this could cause further problems for the recovery process.
With a progressive backup, you don’t have to worry about any of these headaches. If you’re performing a bare-metal recovery using a progressive backup solution, a single streamlined volume will be compiled by the backup server. This greatly reduces the chances of mechanical problems or human accidents. And because all of the redundant data has been squeezed out, the recovery time is also faster.
And with a cloud-based backup provider, you aren’t just limited to on-site recovery. You also have the option of easily restoring to another location or temporarily restoring your servers to a cloud host until your datacenter is ready to come back online.
- For many companies, rapid data growth and storage costs are a major problem. Archiving is an excellent way to keep storage costs low while retaining data for long-term. And the progressive backup approach greatly simplifies the process of archiving.
- In the event that you need to locate a specific piece of data, having your archives in the cloud can greatly speed up the electronic search and discovery process.
- Because the progressive method is automated, block-level backups can be updated every few minutes… or even continuously. This ensures adherence to tighter recovery point objectives.
- The time saved by the automation of data backups can help IT staff focus on more important IT projects while also saving a lot of money for your company. This approach also eliminates the expense of having to ship and store off-site backups every day.
- There are times when you only need to recover a few files, and there are other times when you need to recover an entire system. Many business-class cloud-based progressive backup services allow you the choice of recovering data files or system volumes. The backup methodology does not lock you into a specific recovery process.
- If you ever decide that progressive backups aren’t right for you, you can always switch back. Because it’s a cloud-based service, there are no sunk costs and you can switch back any time you want.
If your company has been thinking about implementing a progressive backup methodology, a cloud backup service might be a low-risk, cost-effective and practical way to get started.
By Storagepipe Solutions has been offering business-class cloud backup for over ten years.