Archive for December, 2013

Difference Between Differential and Incremental Backup Strategies

Friday, December 6th, 2013

These days, the possibility of a cyber attack affecting your files – whether they are on a remote network or a local workstation – is no longer a matter of IF, but WHEN. You can keep your OS and softwares perfectly up to date and install the best anti-malware available, but you’re still not safe from hardware crashes and physical media corruption. If you really value your data, you need to have a regularly updated backup of your sensitive and mission-critical data.

However, regular backups can be time consuming especially if you have gigabytes of data to back up, which is especially made worse by the fact that large organizations will have accumulated terabytes of data throughout the years. With conventional methods of backing up files, the backup you have created will already be obsolete by the time you have finished, as new sets of data has probably already appeared. In order to solve this conundrum, there are so-called “smart” backups that save both time and disk space by only backing up modified and new files. There are currently two types of smart backups – Differential and Incremental.

The fundamental difference between differential and incremental backup strategies lie not in their overall efficiencies, as they are both viable strategies, but in their respective strengths and weaknesses. Choosing one over the other will depend on your needs and requirements as an organization, as well as your capabilities. But first, let us define the two backup strategies.

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