Small Business Brief

Technology & Software

Back It Up: 3 Types of Data Backups

Data loss is common in both small and large businesses. The consequences are always devastating for both types of businesses. It’s even worse for companies whose trade or service is anchored in clients’ data, like financial institutions or law firms.

A survey in 2014 concluded that 20% of companies that had data loss lost between $50,000 and $5,000,000. Fortunately, you can prevent complete data loss and avoid these costly repercussions. When you want to keep data loss at bay, backing up data is your only solution.

There are a few data backups options for your consideration. The type you’ll settle for will depend on your business’ needs. 

In this piece, we’ll look at three types of data backups for your business to consider. That way, you can take the right steps to prevent any loss of data that may be detrimental to your business. However, first, let’s look at some common causes of data loss in businesses.

What Are the Common Causes of Data Loss in Companies

You can’t plan for data loss because it happens sporadically and mostly accidentally. That said, prevention is your best bet or having a contingency plan for data loss.

If the latter is plan B, here are a couple of data loss causes to be cautious about.

Recklessness or carelessness – Your or staff members may accidentally delete crucial files. You’d be surprised how often this happens.  Maybe you deleted the wrong file or were just clearing up some storage space, and chose the wrong files to delete.

Malware – Malware are malicious programs that harm your information resources and computer systems. Malware includes viruses, Trojan horses, or worms. Malware could wipe out your entire storage or corrupt the storage disk and make it inaccessible.

Power failure – Imagine you’re editing a document, and the power goes off unexpectedly. If it weren’t for the autosave feature, you would lose all the changes you made on the document.

Certain power failures may affect the operating systems and storage components of your computer. This damage may erase the data on your storage disks or prevent you from accessing these drives.

Fire accidents – Sometimes, data loss may have nothing to do with the computer itself. A fire accident may decimate your computers and all the data in them. 

The coffee accident – You may spill coffee on your computer, and we all know what happens after that. Not only will you need to buy a new computer, but you’ll also lose all the data on that computer. If you’re an employee, you may also have to start scouting for new job openings.

Three Types of Data backups Everyone Should Know

Now that you’re acquainted with the data loss causes let’s look at ways to mitigate it. Your best option when it comes to data loss is having a contingency plan, which is having a data backup.

There are several types of data backups available today. In this article, we’ll look at three of the most viable data backup options you should consider, and the pros and cons of each data backup. 

1. Full Data Backups

This type of backup involves creating backups of all data, including system files. You can either store this data on your premises or move it to a separate location. However, it’s much harder to administer the systems of a full data backup in a separate location.

Even administering full data backup onsite isn’t too easy.  However, it’s not difficult to perform a full data backup, it’s the administration part that’s tricky. 

Implementing a full data backup usually takes a lot of time. It will even take more time for large businesses to implement this backup because of their extensive IT setups. If you have a large data store, you’ll need lots of disks and tapes, which could end up being very costly.

However, because of the comprehensiveness of full data backups, they are the best-suited type of data backup for businesses that handle critical data regularly. To cut down on cost, many businesses conduct this full data backup after lengthy time intervals. 

2. Differential Data Backup

Differential backup is somewhat an amalgamation of full data backup. This backup starts with a full data backup, as we’ve discussed above. After the full data backup, that’s where things get interesting.

This backup stores only changes that occur after the last backup. In doing so, companies get to save time and expenses of having full data backups periodically. Think of this backup type as a cumulative way of backing up your data. 

However, it isn’t without its flaws. It takes more time to restore this backup than it does to restore full data backup. Also, it requires a large storage space that may catch you by surprise if you don’t keep track of the backups. 

3. Incremental Data backups

It’s easy to confuse incremental and differential backup because they are somewhat similar. First, each backup type starts with a full data backup. Also, they both add on to previously backed up data.

An incremental data backup backs up data changes after the last backup. As such, they require the least storage space to backup. Differential data backup, on the other hand, contains all data whether changed or unchanged from the last full data backup.

The problem with this data backup is that it has slower data retrieval than full and differential backup. However, this backup has the fastest restoring time among the three.

Backup Data for Your Company’s Sake

Any serious business owner shouldn’t have second thoughts about having a data backup system. Hopefully, you’re now well acquainted with the types of data backups, and you can tell which best suits your company. 

Backing up your business data is not a luxury but more of a necessity. You stand to lose a lot should any data loss occur.  

For more insightful reads on all matters business, be sure to check out our other articles.