Which Types Of Backups Are Best For Your Business?
Ransomware, failing drives, and all sorts of failed file access can render business data useless.
Whether you’re storing plans for productive projects or managing a customer database, losing access to your data can cripple your business and cost far more than the recovery–and recovery isn’t cheap!
Purchasing a backup plan or building your own backup system is admirable, but how do you back everything up? Copying and pasting everything is a bad idea, but why? Here are a few backup details to help you choose the right types of backups for your business.
Why Not Copy And Paste?
Copying and pasting data seems so simple. Drag and drop, right click and copy, and wait. Unfortunately, that only works for basic files that lack complex attachments.
You can copy documents, videos, audio files, and bulk data, but copying an entire installation of Windows or Mac that will work when you take it to another empty computer won’t happen. Operating systems and some programs will fail because critical pointers, links, and associations to the original computer will be missing.
This will happen even if you think you’re using an identical computer. Do you think that the same company, same model, and even the same parts will get around that problem?
Wrong. Device IDs are different for various pieces of hardware even along the same make and model, and that’s one of the bigger and more noticeable differences.
Simple copying and pasting is not one of the standard types of backups. Full, incremental, and differential are better choices.
Full Backups: The Closest Thing To Copying
If you still want to keep things simple, a full backup with a backup software suite is the closest option.
A full backup will create an image–a file that represents everything on and about your computer. This essentially creates a file that is a clone of your computer, and this file can be unpacked to recreate your computer at the backup date and time.
Incremental Backups For Gradual Changes
After a full backup, an incremental backup will save any changes since the previous backup. For instance, if you create a full backup on Monday night and run an incremental backup on Tuesday night, the changes made on Tuesday will be added. On Wednesday night, the changes made on Wednesday will be added.
This is a good option if your business makes rapid changes to critical files that must be saved quickly. Incremental backups are faster than full backups, and place networks under less stress.
Differential Backups For Mass Changes
Similar to incremental backups, a differential backup handles changes to the full backup.
The difference is that differential looks at anything that has changed since the last full backup. Instead of adding pieces of backups on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, every day it will check the backups against whatever the original Monday backup was.
Which is The Best For You?
Small businesses and home offices will be fine with full backups. Backing up your entire drive–even up to a terabyte–overnight is easier to manage when there is no one on a given computer for hours at a time.
If your business has shifting schedules and users on at all times–or if you’re using a server that has constant access–differential backups with weekly or monthly full backups would work.
For businesses that want to save changes early and often, use incremental backups. If you’re still not sure which types of backups are best for your business, contact an IT consultant for a system analysis and tailored tech services.
Learn more about what a good disaster recovery plan looks like here. It could save your business one day.