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Data loss is a common event in the modern business world. All of a company’s information must be well-protected and available at all times for a business to survive. Considering this fact, the importance of backups cannot be overestimated.

What is Backup?

Backup consists of a copy of your data as well as the process of creating such copies. A backup plan is a procedure of backing up your environment, either manually or automatically, according to a schedule.

Backups are usually stored in a separate data center in a remote location, as well as on a different form of media (such as a disk or tape). These practices come mostly from the 3-2-1 backup rule.

Many modern businesses choose to virtualize their environments, thus, ensuring that virtual machines are backed up as frequently as physical ones.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a reliable backup solution for machine ware, Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV,  physical servers and AWS EC2 environments as it uses the most up-to-date data protection techniques designed to meet the needs of most organizations. It allows you to create a backup of a source object and store it in a Backup Repository in proprietary form. This backup can be restored whenever the source object fails to perform.

The product also comes with a set of technologies and features that enhance the backup process. They include changed block tracking, data encryption and compression, data deduplication, network acceleration, skipping swap data, scheduling tools, and integration with remote storage or cloud services.

Important

When backing up a machine where NAKIVO Backup & Replication is installed, you need to use Self-Backup instead of backup. Schedule Self-backup for a time when no other backup jobs are scheduled to the same Backup Repository. Also, be sure to disable App-aware mode and select LAN transport mode if possible.

Backup Types

NAKIVO Backup & Replication utilizes two approaches to back up virtual machines: forever-incremental and incremental-with-full-backups. To use one or the other, you should choose an appropriate backup repository type.

Forever-incremental backups are stored in the full synthetic mode in a forever-incremental Backup Repository.

The incremental-with-full-backups repository type stores backup chains consisting of periodic full backups and increments between these backups. When using this backup repository type, all backed-up data blocks get arranged into a limited number of files for each virtual machine: one full backup file and one file for each increment.

Backups vs. Replication

Sometimes replication is viewed as an alternative to backups. However, this is not the case because backup and replication are designed to accomplish different goals.

Backups are used when access to a lost/damaged file/object is needed. They are also used for long-term data archiving, or for purposes such as data retention. In other words, if you need to store data or want to have something recovered, whether a single file or an entire machine, simple backups are a helpful option. Backup can be considered as a standalone option if your business can afford some downtime and data loss. Restoring will revert your server to a status specified on your backup schedule.

Replication is the process of synchronizing data between a production site and disaster recovery (DR) site. It is aimed at providing a company with the latest version of data for the shortest RTO possible. 

When backing up, NAKIVO Backup & Replication uses compression and deduplication techniques to increase backup speed and optimize the use of storage space. Unlike backups, replicas are stored in their original size. Therefore, in case of disaster, you can simply fail over to your replicas and resume business operations. 

A proper DR plan includes both replication and backup. If your data gets compromised, the combination of these two safety measures will give you access to your backed-up data as well as to the most recent data that has not been backed up yet. 

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