Backup systems

Backup is the process of making copies of data which may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. Backups have two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is recovering data after its loss, be it by data deletion or corruption. The secondary purpose of backups is recovering data from an earlier time, in accordance with a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application, determining how long data copies are kept. Though backups should be part of a disaster recovery plan, they can’t be considered to be disaster recovery when used on their own. Not all backup systems or backup applications can reconstitute a computer system or other complex configurations, such as a computer cluster, active directory servers or a database server, by only restoring data from a backup.

Since a backup system contains at least one copy of all data considered worth saving, its data storage requirements are considerable. Organizing this storage space and managing the backup process is a complicated undertaking. A data repository model can be used to provide structure to the storage. In the modern era of computing there are many different types of data storage devices that are useful for making backups. There are also many different ways in which these devices can be arranged to provide geographical redundancy, data security and portability.

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