Data Backup vs Data Replication

by SEP Blog Team | Data Replication

In this data-driven business environment, downtime is completely unacceptable. By having a proactive and robust data recovery strategy, your IT systems will be available even during the most severe data center outage.

Data loss has great implications to your business:

  • “94 percent of companies that experience severe data loss do not recover

  • 51 percent of these companies close within two years of the data loss

  • 43 percent of these companies do not reopen again

  • 70 percent of small firms go out of business within a year of a large data loss incident

Leaving data unprotected is an expensive risk to take — this study revealed that 20 percent of companies who experienced data loss from outages said it cost them between $50,000 and $5 million.”

It’s common for today’s businesses to use the terms backup and replication interchangeably. And it’s not difficult to see why: backing up data involves the technology of replication. But the differences between the two technologies and their recommended uses are essential to implementing a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

The Simple Definitions

Data Replication is the process of copying data from one location/computer/server to another location, after which the replicated data is kept up to date in real-time to provide global accessibility to the data.

Data Backup is a series of steps taken to create copies of data to be stored on various types of media - physical, virtual, onsite, offsite, private or public cloud - to make certain that the data can be retrieved in the event of data loss or corruption.

Data Backup

  • Data backup creates an exact copy of all data on a source at a single point in time to a secure location.

  • Different types of backups, incremental, differential and full, are performed daily/weekly/monthly according to a business’ backup schedule, strategy, resources, infrastructure, and data regulations.

  • Many backup strategies exist, but the 3-2-1 rule should be followed as a bare minimum. The 3-2-1 rule is to keep at least 3 copies of your data, 2 of which are stored on different media and at least 1 copy for disaster recovery.

  • Backups can be utilized to recover data that has been corrupted or lost.

Data Replication

  • Data replication begins with an initial copy of data transferred to a second location.

  • The replicated data is a real-time (or nearly-real-time depending on your infrastructure) copy of the original with any current changes.

  • A consistent connection must be in place between the locations to compress, encrypt and transfer data across the network to keep the second location synchronized with the first.

  • A replicated copy provides quick access to applications and data and ongoing disaster recovery protection.

  • The primary focus is to use redundant resources to ensure that you have uniform, global, and reliable access to the applications, processes, and data your business needs to function.

In Conclusion: Use both!

Both data backup and replication have unique strengths and weaknesses but when combined, provide the ultimate disaster recovery plan. Backups provide a good standard of data protection. Replication will keep pace with data availability demands. The ideal disaster recovery and business continuity strategy will include both backup and replication and include infrastructure for data replication to be backed up. Building a strategy for your business starts with understanding how both of these technologies work and how best to make them work for you with your current infrastructure.