BAM! Was the sound I heard when my external hard drive kissed the floor. I can still hear the sound in my head today, even though it’s more than a year now. I have also not forgotten the skipping sound the drive made after I took it off the floor. That was not a memorable day to relive at all. See, this was many months ago before I knew forehand the importance of keeping my data backed up.
There are many reasons why companies and individuals are looking for new ways to make their data future proof. The most important reason is that every type of data storage device or technology in use today is liable to media decay. This is the result of the inevitable advancement in technology. So what can the average user or the owner of a small business do? Data Storage Backup and Replication methods can help you to ensure your data safety and retention. These measures provides a practical solution for your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity objective.
Something About Data Backup
In information technology (IT), a backup, refers to making additional copy of production data, to be stored, preserved and retained to ensure proper and efficient restoration of the original after a data loss, disaster, corruption or any other reason. Backup storage in PCs is created to serve as a fail-safe copy of the storage that is in operational use so that, if the storage instrument such as a hard disk breaks down and the data on the storage tool is ruined, it can be regained from the stored copy.
As generally understood, data backup is the process of making a copy of data files periodically on physical tape or virtual tape library (VTL) or any similar storage device. Data backup usually involves keeping the duplicate information for the purpose of compliance and/or data recovery. Typically, backup of data can serve 3 main purposes, viz Disaster Recovery, Operational Recovery and Archival Recovery.
Archiving and backing up your data is essential for any modern business. Both forms of storage take advantage of the use of simple and inexpensive data management processes to backup data.
But it is easy to make mistakes; many businesses do not realize that backup and archiving must be dealt with separately. While archiving is for long term storage, such as the information that you’re required to keep; backup is used to quickly recover your everyday information and restore systems in the event of a disaster, such as a fire or human error.
About Data Replication
Data replication on the other hand is the copying and moving of data from one location to the other, usually in real time. Although the two processes require moving of data from one disk to another, however, replication is mainly reserved for the most important application, and data for continuous running of business in case of disaster. Storage replication methods involve segmenting the data, duplicating it and then storing it in different media devices, servers or on the cloud. You just have to make sure that the copies are someplace safe and that you don’t need access to them immediately or indefinitely. The major component of a data replication technique is to define recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO).
Replicas are different from backup and are immediately accessible by application. Backup on other hand might require some processing to restore back. Adding to this replicas typically provide faster RTO compared to recovery from backup. Now, as most file systems and databases uses cache and buffers data in it before writing it to disk. A typical real time Replica should also ensure to capture buffered data in the host. So, data staged in cache should be flushed before taking replica else replica will not contain buffer data.
Why We Need Both Backup And Replication Solutions
If there’s no differences between the two techniques, there would be no need to adopt both. However, since backup and replication are used for different cases, it would be a huge risk to ignore one for the other. Data backup can easily and effectively, take care of smaller disasters, accidental loss of data, or data corruption. But, at large scale, it can’t provide time-bound recovery and business continuity solution. For instance, in a situation where couple of your servers goes down or say complete infrastructure is compromised. Data Replication solutions come handy for immediate recovery and restoration of site and business.
When your business starts to expand, gathering and storing data become more important and it must not be ignored at any time, else you will have sorrowful story to relate. Some important data worthy of replication and backup could be financial records, customers’ information or even inventory which all hold immense value to the day to day operations of your business. It may interest you to know that some businesses have been forced to shut down due to data loss. The worst part is that many of them will never retrieve those data. This occurrence just explains the importance of a sufficient disaster recovery and backup plan for any organization or business.
There are numerous companies offering backup services out there that can provide you with storage help your business needs. It is important that you entrust the safety of your data in the hand of a good company or software to make thing easier for you when disaster strikes. If you are not sure what to do at this stage or you are looking for more information on data storage or need more help on data replication methods, Hack2Secure can provide a quick and handy learning curve for same.