Most businesses understand the importance of backing up their systems. I would say all, but you never know these days. When it comes to data protection, how you backup could determine just how fast and efficient you will be in your recovery efforts. There are several methods to choose from, but some say the image-based method is the most reliable of all.
Inside Image-based Backups
The image-based method takes a holistic approach to data protection. Rather than backing up files on an individual basis, it takes a snapshot of the entire contents of your hard drive. That means all your files, settings, and application data is covered in one fell swoop. This method has two disadvantages. First, it requires more space. The more data on your hard drive, the bigger the image will be in the end. Second, the backup process is often longer than the small incremental backups made in the file-based approach.
Image-based backups have their hangups, but it’s really a case of the good outweighing the bad — by far. When disaster strikes and takes a system down with it, businesses using file-based software usually have a heck of a time putting the pieces back together. Before even getting to their files, they have to reinstall the operating system, drivers and programs. When you recover from an image, all that stuff is restored automatically, allowing you to enjoy your system just as it was before the disaster. As a result, downtime is minimized and more importantly, the business is back up and running faster.
The Best of Both Worlds
Software technology is constantly evolving and in that regard, imaged-based programs are no exception. In fact, there is software out there that makes it possible to restore both images and individual files. How does it work? In the case of ShadowProtect, the software mounts your image as a drive. Then you can copy the files you want to recover to your desktop. So should you accidentally lose a file to a mishap or corruption, it can be restored individually without waiting for the image to recover the entire contents of the system. If everything goes down, you can quickly restore it all from the image. It’s a win-win.
Downtime happens in the IT environment. Between all the hardware, databases and applications, something is bound to experience failure at one point or another. Be that as it may, the importance of bouncing back as quickly as possible can’t be overstated.
A while back, Information Week wrote a piece to help us understand the true cost of downtime. The article references a CA Technologies survey, which found that between 200 companies across North America and Europe, downtime costs more than a whopping $26.5 billion annually. That turned out to be roughly $150,000 lost per year for each individual company.
Almost all backup methods will eventually allow you get back up and running, but how much time can you afford to waste? Not much, because the longer you’re down, the more you run the risk of losing productivity, money, and the faith of your customers. The automated power of imaged-based software can have you back online in a matter of minutes versus the hours and possibly days that are common with traditional methods. In a fiercely competitive business environment where every second counts, this one sounds like a no-brainer.