All good IT managers understand the importance of protecting business-critical data from threats both external and internal. Day-to-day mishaps and misfortunes that, while not malicious, are often inevitable, particularly in large organisations employing many users. However, what separates the good IT managers from the great is their ability to employ data protection strategies that not only protect the data that is vital to the organisation, but strategies that do so intuitively and innovatively, offering backups that are robust enough to offer complete protection and the agility to ensure that any new data is catered for, all the while ensuring that the performance of the organisation’s network is not adversely affected by the backup process. While the many backup methods available to choose from can often lead to debate as to which covers all of the aforementioned bases, incremental backup has proven itself most adept at the task of best handling both sizeable and complex data environments.
How Incremental Backups Work
Incremental backups offer the most intuitive form of data protection by only sending the incremental changes of the data set to the backup platform when each backup is performed. The first backup of the selected data is sent to the backup platform as a full backup. The incremental backup process scans the data set at the start of each backup, compares it to the full data backup on the platform, then calculates and only transfers the data that has changed from each file.
During the incremental backup process three types of data are identified: changed data (files that are present in the full backup that have changed), new data (files that are not present in the full backup on the platform that need to be added to the backup set) and deleted data (data that is present in the full backup that has been removed from the live data set). This allows for only the data pertinent to the backup set that has changed to be sent to the backup platform, saving valuable time and storage space by eliminating the cumbersome process of transferring duplicate data copies to the backup platform.
The Benefits of employing Incremental Backups
A solid disaster recovery and data protection plan must be built upon the understanding of the acceptable risk that an organisation is willing to take with regards to the amount of data that can be lost as well as an adequate recovery time for the restoration of data in the event of an incident causing data loss. These parameters are established by determining a Recovery Point Objective, or the point that data can be restored from as well as a Recovery Time Objective, or the amount of time set aside to recover data in the event of a disaster. As many organisations operate off critical applications that change continuously throughout the day, it is often critical that the data protection strategy employed be able to handle multiple backups throughout the day. Incremental backups offer this flexibility by employing data compression and patching techniques that allow multiple backups to run throughout the day without over-extending the load on the physical machine housing the data or the organisation’s network. This allows day-to-day operations of the organisation to continue unhindered while ensuring that new critical data is rendered recoverable.
While incremental backups are employed by good IT Managers, the best are able to harness the benefits of incremental backups as well as a variety of additional benefits offering complete data protection by utilising software designed for the specific task of offering incremental backups that can be customized to suit the specific needs of the organisation’s IT environment. Choose a software suite that has been designed to offer complete data protection by combining industry-leading incremental backup techniques with a host of sundry benefits to ensure that backups are not only performed efficiently, but safely without adversely affecting the daily running of any operation. Intelligent patching techniques, and de-duplication methods ensure that the smallest transfers are sent to the backup platform, saving both valuable time and storage space. While protecting business critical data is vital for any organisation, the best IT managers make use of incremental backup techniques to ensure the continuity of their organisations.