When you’re backing up your data, it doesn’t matter if it is for professional use or personal use, you will already be taking the first steps to guard yourself against hackers, natural disasters, and viruses. Most companies accumulate data at exponential rates and have expanded to their backup processes every year to hold more of it. Apart from all that, data must be backed up yearly, and it can be extremely difficult to find a system that runs smoothly no matter how much data it stores.
To make matters even worse, daily, weekly, and monthly backups are going to continually get slower until the current process doesn’t work, and someone has to reassess everything. No one should be worrying about their data backup, and if you’re long enough without tweaking your process, you can be facing an avoidable problem. The big question is, what can you do to implement a stress-free data backup system?
What Is Continuous Data Protection?
Continuous data protection (CDP), as it is known, is a backup solution that will work in real-time to automatically update every single change to your live data. When you run this type of backup, you’ll be keeping a constantly up-to-date copy of your information and will achieve powerful disaster protection.
Continuous data protection is an extremely effective backup method, as it is not only cost-effective but has extremely little influence on disk or server performance. It also provides strong protection against data loss events, and we’ll be taking a look at how continuous data protection works, it’s drawbacks and the benefits as well as how it is vastly different from other methods.
How Does Continuous Data Protection Work?
Continuous data protection (CDP) shares a lot of similarities with traditional backup, and both methods are going to take a computer snapshot that records the data held within. However, this is where all the similarities end. With continuous data protection, all the data will be backed up on a computer every time you make a change. This means when you implement this method, you will not only keep a running record of the changes made to any document, file, folder, or spreadsheet but will also have the ability to restore your computer at any point with great granularity.
All these backups are going to be replicated repeatedly and will be saved to a journal file with the corresponding changes made to them. Most people, who are searching for backup solutions are going to gravitate towards continuous data protection, as it solves the frustrating ‘backup window’ dilemma. Running a traditional backup system will put you at risk of losing data between two scheduled backups.
That’s where the real strength of continuous data protection shines, as by employing this method, you will never lose any data because it will be backed up continuously. The fact that backups will be happening after every few minutes instead of every night, the CDP is going to reduce the amount of data that must be stored every time, and you will get a ‘backup window.’
The CDP is also going to provide you with strong protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, sabotage, or accidental data deletion.
How Is Continuous Data Protection Going to Work?
You must be wondering how continuous data protection will work, and we will look at its background first to give you a good idea. When the method was introduced, it was used to avoid the problem of shrinking backup windows. However, before continuous data protection was invented, most companies are going to run a nightly tape backup, but there was a slight problem.
These companies found out that they had to protect against continuously growing data sets that are set within a specific backup window. Even though there are various ways to speed up tape backups, but there is still a limit on how much data you can backup within a period.
Continuous data protection software was introduced first to address this problem, but CDP works by copying the ‘delta’ from the computer being backed up to the drive or disk being stored. That’s the initial data copy, and continuous data protection is going to record each write and store in the changelog on the CDP system.
As continuous data protection is always running in the background, it will recognize any changes that are made to your data. However, once the software discovers these changes, they will immediately start to backup to the master backup file.
The CDP is going to track every single charge until the last write before failure that will allow you to restore the computer to the point of any previous point before there was corruption or data loss. So, even if you’ve lost data, you will still manage to restore it. That’s mainly because CDP software will take multiple snapshots of every file on different dates, so you can restore them to previous saves.
What Types of Data Can be Backed Up?
Continuous data protection software will record any changes made to various data types, which include the likes of:
- Application data
The process of backing up with CDP is going to be similar to traditional backup, and you can choose which folders, files, and applications you want to include in your CDP backup and also schedule how often you want the backup intervals to run.
The Pros and Cons of Continuous Data Protection
Continuous data protection is one of the most powerful backup methods right now, and it works hard to protect and save your data from harm. There are several reasons why singular users and large organizations will both use this backup method. To prove that point, we are going to single out the pros and cons of continuous data protection right here:
- Saves data in quick intervals
- Uses less disk space
- Can restore data from any date
- Virtually no data loss
- Can cause permanent performance issues
- Higher load on data resources
- Hefty spend on disk storage
- Can be a single point of failure
Continuous data protection is an extremely popular feature for both large and scaling organizations, and most professionals may even classify that as a must-have when it comes to protecting the sensitive data of your company.
The more data that businesses start to accumulate over the years, the more a continuous data protection backup will start making sense. With low storage space and the ability to recover data from minutes, hours, days, and weeks ago, the CDP offers an outstanding solution to anyone that is looking for airtight security that doesn’t eat up disk space.