When it comes to data backup, there are several types available that offer different levels of protection. One such type is the incremental backup, which is designed to save only the parts of data that have changed since the last backup. This article will delve deeper into what incremental backup entails and how it differs from other backup methods.
What is Incremental Backup?
An incremental backup is a type of backup that saves only the files or data blocks that have been modified or created since the last full or incremental backup. It works by taking a baseline full backup initially and then creating subsequent backups that contain only the changes made to the data.
How Does Incremental Backup Work?
To understand how incremental backup works, let’s consider an example:
- Day 1: A full backup is created, saving all the files and data.
- Day 2: An incremental backup is performed, saving only the changes made since Day 1.
- Day 3: Another incremental backup is done, capturing the changes made since Day 2.
This process continues, with each subsequent incremental backup capturing only the changes made since the previous one. This approach helps reduce storage space requirements and speeds up the backup process.
The Benefits of Incremental Backup
Incremental backups offer several advantages over other types of backups:
- Efficient Use of Storage Space: Since only changed or new data is saved in each subsequent incremental backup, less storage space is required compared to full backups.
- Faster Backup Process: As only modified or new files are backed up, the backup process is faster compared to performing a full backup each time.
- Easier Restoration: During data restoration, the full backup from the initial baseline and the subsequent incremental backups are required. By sequentially applying these backups, you can restore your data to a specific point in time.
Considerations for Incremental Backup
While incremental backup offers efficiency and speed, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Dependency on Previous Backups: Incremental backups rely on previous backups to restore data. If any of the previous backups are corrupted or lost, it can impact the integrity of the entire backup chain.
- Increased Restoration Time: When restoring data from incremental backups, you may need to apply multiple backups sequentially. This can increase the overall restoration time compared to a single full backup restore.
Incremental backup is a type of backup that saves only the changes made since the last full or incremental backup. It offers efficient storage utilization, faster backup processes, and easier restoration.
However, it relies on previous backups and may require more time for restoration compared to full backups. Understanding your data protection requirements will help you choose the right type of backup strategy for your needs.