A Look at the Different Methods of Data Backup

By Ankit
February 8, 2022

With the rise in data breaches, people are now more aware than ever of cyber security. With so many things being stored digitally, everyone must back up their data. However, there are several methodologies by which this can be done, and each has its pros and cons. This article looks at some of these methods that could help one better understand how their data is backed up and what exactly is required for proper backups to take place.

Different Methods to Note 

The first method usually involves backing up files onto an external storage device like a USB drive or an SD card. The benefit of this method is that it may be easier to retain multiple copies as long as one doesn’t lose the physical copy itself. This approach also involves little configuration. Data is backed up whenever it is saved to the original location. However, the drawback with this approach is that the backup speed is limited by the write speed of the storage device, and there’s no redundancy in case of physical damage to one or more copies. You can select the salesforce data backup service.

The second method involves creating snapshots of directories where files are stored, then copied onto external storage devices. This ensures data security if any file within a directory gets deleted or modified accidentally while limiting data redundancy to only modified versions of backed up files which makes the process faster while retaining multiple versions for rollback purposes. However, since snapshots consist entirely of copies, they’re not space-efficient since they contain numerous copies of identical data across different points in time which could be retained for various purposes.

The third method involves creating a backup archive of all files and storing it remotely on cloud storage services like Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. They retain multiple copies of the compressed archive across different locations to ensure redundancy. With this approach, no local copy of the data is required, which means that one can access backed-up files from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection, even if their original file is deleted or modified. This method also has good space efficiency since only changes are retained, and file access speed is much faster than other methods, especially when retrieving large files. However, in case of network connectivity fails, any modifications made won’t be backed up until connectivity resumes again.

One might opt for multiple methods to back up their data. Combining the first and third methods is most common since numerous copies are retained in different locations to reduce the risk of total data loss. If backups are made frequently enough, it may be easy to recover files even if some copies get lost or deleted. However, one must never forget that data backup is a tedious task with no perfect solution, which means care still has to be taken at all times while dealing with backed-up data.

Have a Backup Strategy 

Picking a backup strategy can be tricky. There is no correct answer; it depends heavily on your situation and what you feel is the best solution. Fundamentally, a successful backup plan has to protect data against human error and accidental data deletion. There are two types of backup strategies: file-level and system-level.

File-level backups are exactly what they sound like – backing up individual files instead of entire partitions or disks. In this method, all files in one folder are backed up as a set, including any subfolders. This can be useful if you have several folders containing similar information from different computers/disks. You need to keep separate from each other for organizational purposes but still, need to keep together. The main benefit of this strategy over a system-level backup is that you can selectively restore files or folders from it – if a file gets accidentally deleted, for example, you could copy it back from the backup instead of having to do a complete restoration.

System Level Backup 

System-level backups consist of copying an entire partition or disk and all data on it as a set. This method takes up more space initially because everything has to be copied to one place. Still, many people find it easier once they have enough space because it allows them to delete old backups as things are changed around quickly. In addition to being faster, restoring from a system-level backup requires less effort since everything is in one place. The main drawback is that you have to be more careful about file deletion, as restoring old backups will overwrite anything on the disk you are backing up.

There are several ways of performing both kinds of backup for Linux distributions. Depending on how much control you feel comfortable giving up over your data, you can use a third-party tool designed primarily for this purpose or create your scripts. For these purposes, it’s good to have at least one hard drive with enough space to fit all files currently on your computer – usually, this means anywhere from 10% to 100% of the storage capacity of the primary hard drive.

Some popular Linux backup utilities include Amanda (official website), Bacula, BackupPC, GUID-Copy (no website available), and rsync. For creating system-level backups, see either CloneZilla or Parted Magic (official websites). If you use a third-party utility such as Amanda to make your backups, it’s still highly recommended that you understand how everything works behind the scenes; knowing what will happen before it happens can help avoid unforeseen data loss. 

Traditional file-level backups use simple tools like zip and tar, which can rely on external programs such as rar or WinZip if desired. The information will be compressed, making it take up less room on the backup drive. Alternatively, some people prefer to compress files individually before moving them since creating a large file of uncompressed data takes up more space than multiple small compressed files do.

System-level backups vary greatly depending on whether you’re using CloneZilla or Parted Magic – there are several options for system cloning and restoration available in each case. This is why it’s important to understand what’s going on behind the scenes: even though certain utilities may appear to perform similar functions.

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