Data Backups vs Data Replication.  What’s the difference?

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Hodgson Consulting & Solutions

Recently while meeting with the IT Manager of a prospective client, the conversation of backups and data replication came up. I asked the IT Manager if he had data backups and where they were stored, he responded that they have data replication to an offsite facility. I rephrased my question and he asked “what’s the difference?” At that moment, I realized that even in the IT world there is confusion about data backup vs data replication.

Data backups and data replication are two distinct data protection processes that serve different purposes. In short, data backup copies your data from one location to another, usually for safekeeping and data replication creates a duplicate of your data and keeps it up-to-date in real-time.

While both processes are important, they should not be used interchangeably. Here’s a closer look at the key differences between data backup and replication:

Data Backups

Data backup is the process of copying data from one storage device to another. The backup copy is typically stored in a separate location from the original data source (e.g., on a different server or cloud). The main purpose of data backup is to protect against loss due to hardware failure, software corruption, or accidental deletion.

Data Replication

Data replication is the process of copying data from one storage device to another so that the two copies are kept in sync. Data replication is typically used to create a standby copy of data in case the primary copy becomes unavailable (e.g., due to hardware failure).

In most cases, data replication is performed in real-time, which means that changes made to the primary copy are immediately reflected on the replica. This allows for quick recovery in the event of data loss. That also means that if the main data is deleted that deletion will be replicated, leaving you with data loss.

While both backup and replication create copies of data, they are used for different purposes. Backup is typically used as a long-term solution for protecting against catastrophic data loss,

Data replication can be a useful tool, but it’s not a replacement for a good data backup plan.

Both replication and backup are important tools for protecting your data. When used together, they can provide a level of security that isn’t possible with either method alone. Make sure to include both replication and backup in your data protection plan.

How does replication and backups work together?

When used together, replication and backup can provide a comprehensive data protection solution. Replication creates multiple copies of your data, while backup provides a way to restore data if it is lost or corrupted. This combination can help ensure that your data is always available and protected.

Steps to create a data backup and data replication plan:

There are a few key steps you need to take to create a data backup and replication plan:

1. Identify your critical data: The first step is to identify which data is most important to your business. This will help you determine how often it needs to be backed up and replicated.
2. Choose a backup method: There are many different ways to back up data. You need to choose a method that meets your specific needs.
3. Select a storage solution: Once you have chosen a backup method, you need to select a storage solution that is compatible with it. This can be an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another type of storage device.
4. Set up replication: Replication can be done using software or hardware. You need to choose a solution that is compatible with your storage solution.
5. Test your plan: Once you have everything set up, it’s important to test your plan to make sure it works as expected. This will help you avoid any surprises if you ever need to use it.

By following these steps, you can create a data backup and replication plan that will protect your critical data and keep it available in the event of an emergency.

For more information on creating an effective data backup plan give us a call at 847-906-5005.

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