Backup vs. Replication – What’s the Difference?

Backup vs. Replication – What’s the Difference?

November 15

It’s common in the tech world to hear people use the terms backup and replication interchangeably. And it’s easy to see why. To backup a file, folder, application, etc., there is some replication involved. But, there are distinct differences between the two in their general definitions and how you can integrate them into your disaster recovery strategy.

What is Data Backup?

This method of storage and data protection has been around for a while. Sometimes, backups can refer to physical storage of copies of files. In the olden days, hardware like tapes, floppy disks, CDs, and USB sticks would be used to house backups, where as today you’re more likely to see backups on a server. There is also functionality to backup data to the cloud, which tends to allow for the quickest recovery time.

You can generally perform a total backup of your system at any given time with most backup programs, but this can take a while depending on the amount of files you have to backup and, in turn, the amount of places you store backups. If you have them in three different places, for example, that means a full backup will copy all your information in these three places. Plus, more often than not backups are generally performed only once a day. In that 24-hour period between backups, any new data that’s created is not protected.

What is Data Replication?

Data replication is making waves in the disaster recovery industry because it offers what’s needed to protect big data in any SMB or MLB – instantaneous copies of files in real time. Where as backups are images of your file from the last time you performed a backup, a replication will show you a complete rendering of a file as is on a minute-to-minute or even second-to-second basis.

Which is the Best Option for My Disaster Recovery Strategy?

Backups and replications work best when they are used in tandem. Essentially, the best disaster recovery strategies include places where data replications can be backed up. At StorageCraft, for example, we offer products like OneXafe, OneBlox, ShadowProtect and ImageManager to cover all your bases. Start by replicating your data, then back them up to our disaster recovery cloud. Contact us for more information on the solutions we offer or request a free demo of OneXafe and ShadowXafe today.