The difference between data backups and snapshots (and when to use them)
The security of the data storage is more important than ever, no matter what industry you are in. Unfortunately, too many companies do not have efficient and modern technologies capable of protecting their data.
Data loss can be a major obstacle on the way to successful scale-up and development. Regardless of the size of the business.
Actually, data loss can be caused by several different factors. From malware and viruses to power outages to accidental damage, data loss is much more common than you might think. For this reason, it is necessary to secure the data of a company.
Fortunately, there are a ton of options. Two popular options involve backup and snapshots. Both of these processes are used to reduce data loss scenarios by "backing up " your data. However, they are both very different from each other and each has its own use cases.
In this quick guide, we'll break down snapshot vs back and their key differences.
What is a server / file backup?
A backup ofserver (or file backup) is simply a copy of a system or file server. When you create a backup, it basically creates new copies of files you choose or entire systems. These copies are kept in a different location from the original source, making them reliable in the event of file corruption or data loss.
The main difference between a backup and a snapshot is that backups are isolated copies of data. They are not connected to your virtual machine.
This means that they can offer a full copy of the virtual machine, so partial disk failure will not result in substantial data loss. Backups can be easily moved to the cloud or an offsite data center, unlike snapshots.
The advantages of server backups
- If youus upload backups to the cloud, they can be accessed anywhere and anytime.
- They can easily be moved to the cloud, an offsite location, or a data center.
- Server backups are very efficient and reliable, and ideal for long-term data protection.
- They are an excellent choice for disaster recovery.
- Server backups do not require both onsite and offsite storage.
The Cons of Server Backups
- The backup process can take days, depending on the amount of data you are backing up.
When to Use Server Backups
Ideally, server or file backups should be used if you want to invest in long term data protection. If you are willing to wait tos potentially long backup times, server backups are a great option to consider.
Backups aren't just great for business continuity. They can also provide features that snapshots just can't. Think about backups at the image level. They offer a plethora of restore options and can restore virtual machines or entire applications.
For less difficult scenarios, you can use incremental backups in order to only back up data that has changed recently, so that you can save storage space .
Qu Is a snapshot?
An instanttane is a quick "snapshot" of your server's file system for a period of time. This photo of your file system is typically used to restore entire servers in the event of data loss or corruption. Usually when there is not enough space, the new snapshots overwrite the old snapshots. Snapshots can be very useful in certain scenarios.
The advantages of snapshots
- Snapshots are small and can be taken quickly and easily without too much impact on the server.
- They enable better application availability, rapid recovery, simplified backup management of large data volumes and reduced risk of data loss.
- Snapshots can be scheduled and used when needed for system backup.
- They can almost eliminate the need for backup windows andreduce the cost of ownership.
- Corrupted or deleted data can be recovered via snapshots. (Likewise, you can revert to an older version of a snapshot in case of file corruption.
- Rather than restoring an entire system, you can switch to replicated snapshot copies since they are already in their native format.
- You can instantly restore a server from a snapshot.
The disadvantages of snapshots
- Snapshots may run out of storage space and backups will cease.
- Snapshot backups are dependent on the source system database and must be on the same server.
- If a server has too many snapshots the system will slow down the product volume. Note that this only happens through copy-on-write snapshot data. Most systems snapshots have negligible delay.
- If the server is corrupted, it is vital to create an additional full snapshot backup. This means that bo Both onsite and offsite backups should be used to ensure a rock-solid data recovery. This, of course, can be quite expensive.
When to use snapshots
When backing up snapshots has its drawbacks, the benefits are quite good. It is a very convenient solution for system backup if used with onsite and offsite backup systems. If your startup or business already has these storage systems, snapshots can be a great solution for data backup and security. However, they are best used for short term situations.
Summary: What are the main differences between snapshots and backups?
A backup is a duplicate of a file or any type of data. Once a backup is started, it will copy your files. These copies are kept in a separate place. Backup processes may take some time, depending on the amount of data you are backing up.
Snapshots are an immediate sort of "photo" of your server's file system. This photo captures everything on the server exactly as it was taken. Snapshots can be used to restore servers by reverting them to the state they were in when the snapshot was taken.
To summarize, here are the main differences between a server / file backup and snapshots:
- Backups can be stored in additional locations, on the same drive or even on the same server. They do not require offsite and onsite storage. TheSnapshots require on-site and off-site storage and should always be stored in the same locations where the original system data is located.
- For SQL servers, backups are generally performed via a paid service. For snapshots, the processes involved are usually free and can be generated at any time.
- Backups may have differences between the start and the end of the backup. Snapshots are "photos" of your server that keep it exactly as it was at any given time.
- The process of creating backups can be long and tedious. Snapshots are instant and take much less time to complete. Snapshots also take less time to copy data.
- Backup files include only the file system. Snapshots can be made up of different types of systems. These includefiles, applications, settings, etc.
- Backups exist in different specific locations and can be easily restored. Backups are also generally verifiable. Snapshots are not exactly backups. They can be used as part of the backup process (and should be), but are primarily short term fixes. Snapshots are deleted when a backup is complete.
Snapshots and backups have their advantages and disadvantages. However, it is generally recommended that you go for backups if you need long-term coverage. Snapshots are designed for short-term use and storage. They are usually only useful if you need to downgrade to a very recent version of your server on the same infrastructure.
Ultimately, snapshots and lFile backups can be used together for different levels of data protection, and in fact, this is the most recommended configuration for a rock-solid backup strategy.
SimpleBackups will save you a lot of time in setting up and managing snapshots and backups . It helps you schedule one-time snapshots for DigitalOcean droplets, AWS EC2, and other vendors. Servers can tomber down at any time, take action, avoid permanent data loss.
Previ ously published on https: //simplebackups.io/blog/backups-vs-snapshots-with-differences-and-examples/