ClickHelp Software Documentation Glossary: Definitions of Main Terms, Concepts

What is Backup?

Backup is a process that implies building a data copy on any digital media with the further purpose of its restoration. In other words, a backup system allows recovering data if they are crushed for any reason or were accidentally deleted from the system.

Modern technologies allow the storage of enormous amounts of data but they are not totally protected from being lost or destroyed. For this purpose, anyone who works with computer systems uses backup as one of the easiest and most reliable ways of saving digital data. Now, we will discover the principle of backup work and methods of backup that are commonly used.

Peculiarities of the backup

Besides its main and widely known function, backup also performs as a warning system as it may take files worth saving or considered purely protected. Despite being very useful, usage of backup systems may cause trouble. That happens because of the large requirements of backup data storage. Nevertheless, the variety of backup types avoids most complications by providing many ways of saving data.

The principle of work

First of all, the idea of backup saving implies that the copy must be stored in any place different from the saving place of original files. There are several types of such places:

  • Another folder (easy to perform but also not very safe if the entire system crashes);
  • USB-storage (protected from any problems with the computer itself, but being a physical carrier, it may be lost or get “infected” with a virus);
  • Digital cloud (becomes a more and more popular way of backup as files may be easily accessed and readily available for recovering).

The most recommended way is the combination of all three methods. That makes the probability of losing data completely almost impossible.

Methods of backup

The technique of backup implies a lot of methods of data saving which differ on the criteria of the ability of data recovering. There are several of them:

  • Unstructured backup – considered as one of the easiest ways of saving and system implementation. Nevertheless, this way is the least preferable as it gives the insufficient ability to recover.
  • Full only backup – a method that implies complete data copies so widely applied in many spheres (especially by computer technicians). Despite its great value in deploying standard file configurations, it is hardly applied for making backups of diverse systems.
  • Incremental backup – a method that provides a special system of information saving by creating an original full backup. After that, a lot of additional backups are created after a certain period. The main benefits of that method are less backup storage and the ability for users to look after them.
  • Reverse incremental backup – works on the idea when the full backup is built at the very beginning, and after that, new live copies are synchronized with the primordial element.
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