More businesses should look at upgrading their backup to boost their resilience and preparedness, especially in the wake of the “great pause” caused by coronavirus, says Macrium‘s Richard Gall.
Writing for Macrium’s regular blog, Gall notes that it can be easy to overlook backup as a critical part of any business continuity or cybersecurity strategy, including disaster recovery.
“Backup is often low on many business priority lists. Research over the last five years underlines that many organisations overlook backup software — one piece of research found that 32% of IT administrators believe backing up is simply not a good use of their time,” he says.
“If those on the front line of IT feel they can’t find time to back up their systems and data, it’s likely that those further removed from the day-to-day aspects of IT won’t be thinking about it too much either.”
Protecting what matters is surely never a waste of anyone’s time, Gall goes on to argue – especially when business success entails growth and speed, while the world has become increasingly data-driven and the applications even more data-intensive than in the past. At the same time, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that requires no assessment of individual business requirements, with complexity often leading to greater vulnerability.
“Better backup is the foundation of a better way of doing business,” writes Macrium’s Gall. “In parallel with the increasing complexity of modern IT is the increasing importance of our IT systems for daily commercial and operational activities. This means the unpredictability that is part and parcel of software systems today costs more than ever.”
Gall suggests that partners take a look at Macrium Reflect, which includes features like viBoot, for instantly launching Hyper-V virtual machines (VM), and Rapid Delta Restore and Clone, for fast restoration and cloning of data to another location, and Image Guardian, which protects backup files from ransomware.
Research published in March 2020 reported that in 2019 62% of organisations surveyed had been hit by ransomware – up from 56% in 2018 and 55% in 2017. Additionally, 36% of respondents indicated they had six (or more) ransomware attacks during 2019.
Decisions for companies also entail understanding the difference between incremental and differential backup, versus full backup.
Macrium’s Gall explains that each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
“A full backup is a complete capture of every part of your computer at a single point in time — or more specifically a comprehensive snapshot of your hard drive. This includes absolutely everything: every bit of data, every photo, every document, application, and installed software. It even includes your Windows OS,” he says.
This method should be chosen the first time you back up, and during regularly scheduled backups. However, full backup can become inefficient and unwieldy, due to the massive amount of data typically handled today.
Differential backups, on the other hand, back up the difference in any data – any changes or updates – since the most recent full backup, offers Gall. It should still be done regularly, depending on requirements such as the number of critical changes.
Incremental backups store file system changes since the last backup, whether that was full, differential or incremental. Because backups are happening in small increments this is lighter and faster still. However, incremental backups take longer to restore, because doing a recovery requires not only the last full backup but every incremental backup since then.
Read the full article on the differences here.