Which Is Better: Full, Incremental, or Differential Backups?
Over the years, many people have asked us, “Which is better, full, incremental, or differential backups?”
Various backup solutions use one or more of these schemes either individually or in combination. They do work, but there are implications when using them that you should know. I’ll briefly explain each, and then give you a much better alternative.
The Different Types of Backups Briefly Explained
- A Full Backup is a complete backup of every file at a point in time. The main benefit is that you have a complete backup of everything.
- An Incremental Backup is a copy of only the changed files. A key benefit is that you are backing up a smaller amount of data, saving time and storage. Restores require the last full backup and each subsequent incremental.
- Differential Backups are copies of all cumulative changes since the last full backup. Restores only require the last full backup and the latest differential.
The Drawbacks of Full, Incremental, and Differential Backups
Time and storage are the chief disadvantages of Full Backups, and because of this, you may elect to do fewer of them. Since you’re taking a backup of all data as it exists at a specific point, backups will take longer, and they’ll be more massive as your data grows. If you experience a data loss, your employees will have to recreate records from the last backup manually.
The problem with Incremental Backups is in the restoration. To restore, you will need the most recent Full Backup plus each subsequent Incremental Backup. If one Incremental is corrupt, the remaining recovery points are unusable.
Differential Backup files increase quickly, impacting restore time and storage. Restores require the most recent Differential plus the last Full Backup. Again, if your Differential Backup file is corrupt, you’ve lost all of your changes since the last Full Backup.
Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology Is The Best Alternative
You need a technology that minimizes or eliminates the downside of traditional backup schemes, and Datto’s patented Inverse Chain Technology does just that. Coupled with the Screenshot Verification process, you’ll get peace of mind knowing that viable backups are proceeding as planned and avoid the nasty surprise of corrupted backups when you need them the most.
Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology is efficient, resilient, and fast:
- Every recovery point is independent. You can restore from ANY backup with no dependence on prior recovery points.
- It saves unique data only once, so other restore points can reference this information, saving vast amounts of storage and time.
- All changes are replicated to both the Datto device and the Cloud giving you flexible restore options.
- You can delete any recovery point without having to reset the backup chain.
- All recovery points are image-based in an entirely constructed state. They can be booted quickly to run applications either on-site or from the Cloud.
- Reduces backup infrastructure by avoiding wasteful duplication inherent in full backups.
As you can see, Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology has many advantages over traditional backup schemes.
Datto’s Technology Is More Than Backup; It’s Business Continuity
With Datto’s solution, you can:
- Shorten backup time, save on storage, increase recovery options, and have each recovery point independent from prior backups with Datto’s Inverse Chain Technology.
- Ensure that backups are viable through the Screenshot Backup Verification process, where Datto will virtualize and test boot backup images.
- Spin up virtual machines quickly, reducing Recovery Time.
- Recover from the onsite device or the Cloud.
- Run server operations directly from the onsite device or the Cloud so you can work business-as-usual until your hardware is repaired or replaced.
- Apply backup images to dissimilar hardware with Bare Metal Restore capability.
- Take backups as often as every five minutes, significantly minimizing data loss.
- Get alerts if Datto detects signs of ransomware in a backup file.
Recent Events Require Us To Think Differently
COVID-19 showed the world how things can change in a flash. One minute it’s business-as-usual, the next, we’re locked down for months. We must all be prepared for the next disaster.
After people, data is the most valuable asset a business owns. Without access to it, most companies will fail. You must take steps to protect your data to survive and thrive after a disaster, in whatever form it takes.
Think Business Continuity rather than just backing up data. For more information, call us at (845) 362-9675 or email us at [email protected].
XSolutions is an Elite Partner of Datto, the world leader in Hybrid-Cloud Business Continuity solutions whose systems protect 460+ Petabytes of data with over 1400+ employees and 9 offices around the globe. Call (845) 362-9675 and let us introduce you to the ultimate defense against data loss—whatever the cause. Backup & Disaster Recovery | Business Continuity | Data Risk Assessment