Understanding Backup and Rollback Software

A strategic disaster recovery plan is based on your organization’s data recovery needs. Administrators must decide what is most important: the ability to reproduce the original data, or to reproduce the data in its state just prior to the corruption, or both. The answer will depend on the type of data your organization collects and the impact of its loss. For example, if a manager accidentally deletes an important file, the ability to pull a copy from a stored backup is more than efficient. However, if your online e-commerce data becomes corrupted, the ability to pull a copy from a stored backup will not be enough. You will need the ability to not only restore the original data, but also the data transactions that occurred between the last backup and the occurrence of the data corruption to recover customer orders. Most administrators find that a combination of approaches provide the best defense against data loss especially with a limited budget.

Basics of Backup Software

Backup software allows administrators to restore a single file or an entire system by making complete copies of data, application, and system files. These files are compressed in a special backup format and are either stored on a separate media (i.e. cd, disk, or tape), a second hard drive, or remote server. For added security, backups are often physically housed in another location. Backup software uses two methods to create copies: full and incremental. Full backups are complete copies of the original data set. Incremental backups are copies of data changes since the last full backup and/or last incremental backup. Data is recovered by uncompressing the full backup copy and integrating incremental backup copies if necessary.

Basics of Rollback Software

Rollback software allows administrators to restore a file or an entire system by reverting back to a configuration prior to a corruption or disaster. Rollback software creates point-in-time copies or snapshots of your data by monitoring and recording changes (i.e. file creation, deletion, and modifications) in real time. The snapshot copies are usually stored on the same system to allow for quicker access and restoration. Data is restored by selecting and rolling back to the best point-in-time copy of the data. RollBack Rx is a great example of RollBack software.

Selecting a Recovery Method

Most experts recommend a combination of the two methods working together. Considerations that administrators should keep in mind when selecting data recovery software are:
-The data, applications, and system files that impact your organization.
-The window of time during which a back-up can be performed if the system cannot be in operation during the back-up process.
-The storage capacity required for the back-up files, and for the restoration process.
-Understanding how applications manage data, and how they recover data after a disaster.
-Ability to identify when the corruption began in order to restore the most current uncorrupted data.
-How much data your organization can afford to lose if the most current backup is not the option for performing a recovery.