Backup

Backing up data is a crucial action that protects businesses from unforeseen events and disasters. It is a lifeline that ensures important data remains intact, no matter what happens. It is not just a routine process, but a sacred act that requires constant attention and care.

When businesses back up data, they are not just investing in technology, but also in a plan to ensure their data is always available. They do not take chances with their vital information and carefully make decisions about which data to back up and how best to protect it.

Backup and recovery testing are critical to maintaining a healthy data security practice. It is not just a process, but a thorough examination of the organization’s technologies and practices to ensure they are able to handle any unforeseen event with ease and efficiency.

File recovery is one of the most important phases in the backup process, as it ensures data can be retrieved back to its previous state. It is an indispensable process that provides assurance that businesses do not lose their important data in case of a crisis.

Data backup is not just about protecting data, but also about protecting business continuity and ensuring businesses can operate effectively without interruptions. It is a key factor in maintaining a secure and productive workplace, and it is a task that requires passion and commitment.

Microsoft 365 Resiliency and Backup:

“Resiliency” in Microsoft 365 refers to the built-in ability to protect data from unexpected events and ensure that the system can quickly and reliably return to normal operation. This includes redundant servers, automatic error correction, and other technologies designed to minimize downtime and ensure that users can continue working even when problems arise.

A “real backup” is an external copy of data stored separately from the primary system. It is an extra backup that can be used to restore data in case of disasters, malware attacks, hardware failures, or other unexpected events that can cause data loss. Backup solutions can include periodic snapshot backups, continuous data replication, or frequent incremental backups, depending on the specific requirements of a given situation.

Although “resiliency” in Microsoft 365 can be an effective method of protecting data from minor events, it is important to understand that it is not the same as a real backup. Resiliency can help reduce the risk of downtime and data loss, but an external backup copy is still necessary to protect data from more serious events, such as disasters or complete system failures.

Although Microsoft hosts the infrastructure, this does not replace your responsibility to back up business-critical Office 365 data. Of over 1,000 surveyed IT professionals, 80% experienced data loss in the cloud. The Office 365 model for shared responsibility states:

With Microsoft 365, it’s your data – you control it – and it’s your responsibility to protect it.[1]

[1] https://www.veeam.com/backup-microsoft-office-365.html (April, 2023)

The different types of backup

Translation to English:

What is full backup?

A full backup is the process of making at least one extra copy of all data files that an organization wants to protect in a single backup. The files duplicated during the full backup process are designated in advance by a backup administrator or other data protection specialist. Typically, the data copied includes files used by applications, some metadata that helps make the files more useful to the applications, log files and trace files that document what the applications are processing, as well as other control and administration files.

Generally, applications, operating systems, and other software are not copied during a full backup. These bits and bytes may well be necessary for disaster recovery, but other techniques such as disk mirroring or disk cloning are used to copy these key elements.

Data backup software manages the full backup process and allows specialists who manage the process to designate which volumes and files to copy and the backup destination or specific media to which the data is to be copied. Most backup software will maintain a catalog that specifies what was backed up when, where, and whether the process was completed.

What is differential backup?

A differential backup is a data backup that copies all files that have changed since the last full backup was performed. This includes all data that has been created, updated, or otherwise changed and does not copy all data every time. The term differential backup comes from the concept that only data that is “different” is copied.

How does differential backup work?

Differential backups start with a full backup or the process of making a copy of all files in a data store. Once the original full backup is performed, differential backups use it as a snapshot to compare and perform subsequent backups. As files are created or changed before the next full backup, they are marked. Organizations will designate the differential backup plan, and when it is started, the cumulative backup data will be copied.

For example, if a full backup is performed on Sunday, Monday’s differential backup backs up all the files that have changed or been added since Sunday’s full backup. The differential backup performed on Tuesday then backs up all the changed files since Sunday’s full backup, including the files that were changed on Monday – and this continues on a daily basis.

If a full recovery is required at some point, only the last full backup and the latest differential backup are required.

Why use differential backups?

The idea behind using differential backups is to save storage space and recovery time. As there are often fewer changes to data compared to the number of files in a data store, the backup process takes less time to perform than a full backup.

What is incremental backup?

An incremental backup is a backup type that only copies data that has been changed or created since the previous backup activity was performed. An incremental backup approach is used when the amount of data to be protected is too extensive to perform a full backup of that data every day. By only backing up changed data, incremental backups save recovery time and disk space. Incremental is a common method for cloud backup, as it tends to use fewer resources.

How does incremental backup work?

An incremental backup scenario requires one full backup and subsequent incremental backups over a period of time. For example, if a full backup was performed on Monday, Tuesday’s incremental backup takes a snapshot and backs up all new or modified files since Monday’s backup. However, Wednesday’s incremental backup will only back up files that have changed since Tuesday’s incremental backup and so on until another full backup is performed.

Because the initial full backup can take some time to complete, businesses often perform the full backup over a weekend when it is less likely that the data will be needed for the business.

To be able to restore updated data or a full copy of the data, each of the incremental backups performed since the last full backup must be applied to the initial full backup. It may take some time to reconstruct a new full backup for use in disaster recovery, but apparently, the overall recovery process would still be faster and more efficient than attempting to make a full backup on a daily basis. [1]

[1] https://www.techtarget.com/searchdatabackup/definition/incremental-backup (April, 2023)

Microsofts proposition for

Microsoft 365 provides powerful services within Office 365, but comprehensive backup of your Office 365 data is not one of them as mentioned earlier. Veeam® Backup for Microsoft 365 eliminates the risk of losing access and control over your Office 365 data, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams – so your data is always protected and available.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 gives you the option to backup Office 365 to any location – on-premises or in cloud object storage – including Amazon S3, Azure Blob, IBM Cloud, or on-premises S3-compatible providers.

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