Making a Case For File-based Backups

Making a Case For File-based Backups

February 14

Just hearing the word “disaster” is enough to strike panic into the hearts of business owners. Managers want to avoid any event that threatens availability and productivity. But not all disasters are created equal. This is why it helps to have a data protection solution that is as varied as the disaster landscape itself. File-based backup can be play a pivotal role in that strategy. There are cases where you might need file backup software rather than a full imaging solution.

I was somewhat disheartened to find in my research that backup at the file level gets very little love when stacked against image-based operations that occur at the volume level. Makes sense when you think about it. Heck, we’ve even talked up the merits of full disk imaging here in the Recovery Zone once or twice. That said, the cool thing about file-based backup is that it has superior granularity in its favor. I’ll explain with a brief tale of selective disaster.

file in database - laptop with folders, 3d rendering

Let’s say an intern manages to slip up and contract a virus online. But instead of wreaking complete havoc, the malware only overwrites select Office files. It will leave the bulk of the system intact. Sure, it may seem like a minor nuisance compared to some of the more devastating infections. But it can be an absolute nightmare for the firm that heavily relies on spreadsheets, presentations, and other documents. File-based backup is custom-made for scenarios just like this.

Restoring the entire system may be time-consuming and cumbersome. A better way to recover the affected data is to restore the individual files. That’s where a file backup software excels:

  • It gives you the option to choose what you backup and restore
  • This flexibility will mean cost savings on backup software – you only backup what is important to you
  • You’ll use a lot less space when you’re creating copies of files compared to volumes: backup processes will zip along much faster
  • You can segment files and folders into different groups – IT can create flexible backup strategies that lead to greater operational efficiency over time

Of course we can’t talk backup without mentioning recovery, and this vital operation becomes equally efficient at the file level. If you have a smaller data set, you will recover faster compared to an image-based tool. And since there is less data to restore, the time needed to get things back to normal becomes considerably shorter. When all the stars align, file-based backup can dramatically reduce the amount of downtime you incur from data loss.

Why a File Backup Software?

A vehicle is only as efficient as the engine that drives it. The same can be said for file-based backup. StorageCraft presents an engine that is a perfect complement to the unique ability to protect what’s important in File Backup and Recovery with Backup Analyzer. This online tool is armed with a web-based analyzer that identifies what data should be included in your backups – even when connected computers are turned off. With its selective approach to data protection, Backup Analyzer simplifies life for IT managers and helps companies cut costs by eliminating insignificant files from the picture.

Speaking of features, versioning isn’t as sophisticated, yet equally essential to an effective backup process. Backups are not always executed to perfection. In fact, it is not uncommon for a corrupt file or two to end up in the data set. A file-based backup solution will let you retain different versions of your files. So if a file from yesterday’s backup is somehow damaged, you can select and restore a clean version of the file you need from last week’s backup. Some tools further streamline the process by allowing you to specify which versions to keep. They will only transferring changed blocks of data for efficient resource usage.

A One-Two Punch For Data Protection

In a world where unstructured data flows like a river, even the smallest IT shops are challenged with keeping storage costs under control. Sometimes you only need to backup a tiny piece of that ever growing mountain of data at your disposal. In other cases, it makes sense to copy and archive the entire volume. Rather than viewing file-based backup as an easier, more cost effective solution, consider it just another handy utility in your toolkit. Pair it with a capable image-based tool and you’ll have a complete solution that lets you tackle backup and recovery in the most proactive manner possible.