If you’ve read our last blog on the importance of data backups, you are likely considering which kind of backup you should perform to keep your company’s data safe. After all, you know how devastating a data breach can be.
Depending on your needs, you may consider using a full, incremental, or differential backup to ensure your organization’s data is as secure as possible. Here are a few of the pros and cons of each option:
Just as the name suggests, a full backup consists of creating an identical copy of all your files, folders, and other forms of data. Full backups are typically implemented initially to get a complete snapshot of your company’s data, and performed again periodically as needed.
- Pros: This backup provides the best protection for your data. No matter what happens to your hardware, you know you’ll have a complete copy of all the company information you need.
- Cons: Because these backups replicate so much information, they require a lot of storage space, time, and financial investment to complete.
Incremental backups, on the other hand, will only backup the information that has changed since the last time you performed a backup of any kind. If you had a full backup on Friday, an incremental backup on Monday would only record the data that changed over the weekend.
- Pros: These backups require far less time and storage to create more compact copies of data.
- Cons: The time you save in making the backup is added to the time necessary to restore the data. If you want to review the files that were backed up incrementally on Monday, you’d first need to restore the full backup from Friday and move on from there.
Finally, differential backups copy over only the information that has changed since the last full backup. If you followed up Monday’s incremental backup with a differential backup on Tuesday, it would create a replica of any adjusted data from the full backup on Friday.
- Pros: When compared to incremental backups, this form requires less time to restore and can offer you different versions of the same files.
- Cons: Because you’re backing up more data, these backups can consume far more storage space over time in comparison to incremental backups.