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Continuous Data Protection: How it Can Help You

Continuous data protection, or continuous backup, is a backup solution that automatically backs up every time data on the source system is changed. It does this automatically, meaning you always have an up-to-date copy of your data.

Continuous backup is like traditional backup, in that both methods take a full snapshot of a computer and all its data.

However, continuous backup is different because it triggers a backup every single time a change is made. This means that you can restore your computer to any point in time.

One of the main problems with traditional backup is that it only backs your data up at specific times. This creates a window of time where, should something go wrong, any new data in that period would not be backed up. Continuous backup overcomes this issue because there is no window. It’s just happening all the time.

Continuous backup became popular because of the shrinking backup windows. Many businesses used to run their backup overnight, but this became a problem when the quantity of data being produced increase. Data backup takes time and businesses were finding that their backups weren’t done by the morning.

Continuous backup runs in the background and notes when changes have been made to the data. Once noted, this is recorded in a changelog and then backed up to the master system. You can use it to backup databases, folders, application data, and more.

So, the main advantage of continuous backup is that it is constantly syncing your data. Your data will never be lost, even if the system fails. You don’t have to worry about whether your data has made it into the specific timed backup slot. Whatever you do with your data, it’s secure.

That means you can restore from any date. If you need to recover a file that you deleted a week ago, you can do that. If your drive suddenly fails, you can restore to the moment before it broke (on a new drive, of course).

The system only needs to read and update the parts of the data that have changed, rather than syncing the file in full each time. This means that your server’s performance isn’t impacted and your bandwidth can be freed up for regular business activity.

The downside is that you will need to have the storage capacity to manage all the data produced. Since it will be storing multiple copies of the same data, you need to ensure you have invested well in efficient and fast drives.

You should also be mindful that the backups need to be separated from the source system, especially from a security perspective. Continuous backup can help you overcome a ransomware attack, by restoring to the point before it happened, but that’s not going to be possible if your backups are infected too.

For most companies, continuous backup is going to be the right choice. While it requires ample storage capacity, it’s the most flexible and fool-proof system to ensure you always have access to your data.


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