What Is Data Backup and Recovery? Everything to Know For Businesses

Introduction to Data Backup and Recovery

According to a study by the Richmond House Group, 20% of small to medium-sized organizations will suffer from an event that will cause critical data loss every 5 years. Now, more than ever, businesses are generating incredibly large volumes of data each day. To safeguard valuable and critical information, business teams must establish a data backup and recovery system. This will prevent any delays and threats to the brand's reputation caused by mismanaged or lost data.

What Is Data Backup and Recovery?

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Data backup and recovery is the process of making and storing extra copies of data in case of data loss or theft. Also known as operational recovery, this system usually entails saving information into a separate system or platform. Then, if the resources in the original system are lost, they can be easily transferred and restored. Having a backup and recovery plan is important because unexpected events may occur that can compromise data.

For example, damage to hardware infrastructures or software failure can cause data loss. A cyber attack, such as malware, viruses, and hackers can corrupt data. Accidents may also happen, in which an employee unintentionally deletes information from the database. By equipping teams with backup copies, the business can quickly recover and continue operations.

Types of Data Backup

Data can be saved and backed up in multiple ways. The following are common methods of data backup.

Tape or Disk Backup

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Using a tape or disk to maintain copies of data is a traditional backup process that dates back to the 1960s and 1990s, respectively. Larger enterprises typically use tapes to back up their business systems because they can archive and keep large volumes of data long-term. It also ensures data is saved in an offsite location and is a low-cost option.

Disk backups are considered a faster method, compared to tapes. Additionally, it provides more flexibility, allowing users to view specific files without having to restore all datasets. However, recovery using these solutions typically takes hours or days, depending on the amount of data.

Direct-to-Cloud Backups

Direct-to-cloud backups involve storing offsite files on the cloud, eliminating the need for hardware. Other cloud-related backups include cloud-to-cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS). The former is when data from one cloud platform is copied onto another cloud. SaaS backups are when data from a SaaS application is saved in the cloud.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)

Business continuity and disaster recovery are solutions that use technology to store server images on a backup device or cloud. Therefore, when a server is delayed or if there is an outage, operations can be continued in another device or cloud. Once the original server is replaced or restored, users can go back to working on their primary system. BCDR tools are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. They can help companies back up and recover quickly and have a relatively low cost.

Types of Data Recovery

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Data loss will vary depending on the event and information in the database. This is why organizations need to find a backup and recovery strategy that will address different situations. The following are types of backup data recovery solutions that businesses should consider.

File Restore

File restore refers to replacing lost data or resources from another system to its main location. Most recovery solutions will allow users to easily find the information they need and restore it with a click of a button. This ideal for when individuals who only need to reinstate a small volume of data.

Volume Restore

Conducting a volume restore involves retrieving large amounts of documents and folders to restore into a primary system.

Bare Metal Restore

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Bare metal restore is the practice of reinstalling an entire system image, such as an application, operating system, or settings, from a backup source to a new server. The name, bare metal, is used to refer to the new server's pristine and unconfigured hardware. This type of backup recovery solution is often employed when the original system is damaged or fails to operate.

Local Virtualization

Local virtualization is a component of business continuity and disaster recovery. This is considered a fast way for businesses to recover their operations. Local virtualization utilizes hypervisor technology to load a server using a snapshot from a backed-up system. Through this recovery technique, organizations can continue their usual workflow while their primary systems are being restored. By eliminating any delays, companies can avoid costly downtime and interruptions to customer service.

Cloud Virtualization

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Cloud virtualization is similar to the recovery structure of local virtualization, but instead of backing up on a local device, data is saved in the cloud. This type of recovery allows for more capabilities, as well. Since information is in the cloud, companies can continue their operations on the cloud server when their primary and backup platforms are damaged due to natural disasters, like floods.

Key Takeaways - Data Backup and Recovery

  • Data backup and recovery is the system of creating and storing duplicates of data and information in case of data loss or theft.
  • Also known as operational recovery, this process usually involves saving the information onto a separate server or system.
  • Having a data backup and recovery process is important because it safeguards an organization's information, ensuring operations can continue despite unexpected events.
  • The two most common ways to back up data are to employ a disk or tape or perform direct-to-cloud backups and business continuity and recovery.
  • Data recovery methods include file restore, volume restore, bare metal restore, local virtualization, and cloud virtualization.