When it comes to data backup, one of the most important considerations is the type of backup schema that should be implemented. There are several different types of backup schemas available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will explore one specific type of backup schema – the one that only covers data that has changed since the last backup.
Understanding Incremental Backup
An incremental backup is a type of backup schema that only backs up data that has changed since the last full or incremental backup. This means that instead of backing up all the data every time a backup is performed, only the changes made to the data are backed up.
This type of backup schema is particularly useful in situations where there is a large amount of data or limited storage capacity. By only backing up the changes made to the data, it significantly reduces the amount of storage space required for backups.
Advantages of Incremental Backup
- Efficiency: Incremental backups are highly efficient as they reduce both the time and resources required for backups. Since only the changes made to the data are backed up, it takes less time to perform backups and uses less storage space.
- Faster Restores: In case of data loss or system failure, restoring from an incremental backup is faster compared to other backup schemas.
This is because only the latest full backup and subsequent incremental backups need to be restored.
- Less Storage Space: The use of incremental backups significantly reduces storage requirements as compared to other types of backups. Only the changes made since the last full or incremental backup need to be stored, resulting in efficient utilization of storage resources.
- Reduced Bandwidth Usage: Incremental backups are particularly beneficial in situations where backups need to be transferred over a network. By only transferring the changes made to the data, it reduces the amount of bandwidth required for backup operations.
Disadvantages of Incremental Backup
- Complexity: Incremental backups can be more complex to manage compared to other backup schemas. This is because a complete restoration requires the latest full backup as well as all subsequent incremental backups.
- Dependency on Previous Backups: Since incremental backups rely on previous backups, if any of the previous backups are corrupted or lost, it can impact the integrity and accessibility of the backed-up data.
- Increased Restore Time for Full Restores: While incremental backups offer faster restores for individual files or specific changes, restoring a complete system from incremental backups can take longer compared to a full backup restore. This is because all relevant incremental backups since the last full backup need to be restored.
The type of backup schema that only covers data that has changed since the last backup is known as an incremental backup. It offers several advantages such as efficiency, faster restores, reduced storage space requirements, and decreased bandwidth usage.
However, it also comes with certain disadvantages like increased complexity and dependency on previous backups. Understanding these pros and cons will help you make an informed decision about implementing an appropriate backup schema for your data.