What is the difference and do you need both?

Backup & Replication Facts:

Backup Icon  Backup:  A point in time copy of the production environment that is stored in an archive. 

               + Backup files can be compressed to save space and exist on slower, cheaper, commodity storage.
               + Backup files can be recovered for as long as you wish to retain the archive. 

               - Backup operations can consume large amounts of bandwidth and utilize server resources to accomplish the task.
               - Because backups are scheduled farther apart, the amount of change data that has to be processed and archived are larger.

Replication Icon  Replication:  A near real-time copy of the production environment that is stored in the same format as the original environment.

               + Replication reduces the time it takes to bring the production environment back online.
               + Replication copies are much more recent than a point in time backup.

               - Replication data is typically stored on expensive production storage.
               - Replicated data is much more susceptible to corruption because it is near real-time. Logical corruption in data can be replicated before it
                 is noticed and corrected in the original environment.

When data loss occurs:

For Backups, you retrieve your data from the last backup you took. 

Most companies typically do a daily backup and you can restore data from the previous day.  Between the time of back up and the data loss “event” however, any new data might be lost and cannot be recovered.  Data recovery from backup is a much slower process than replication failover. Backups are copied and stored in archive format that is understood only by the backup application and must be translated to a usable form.  Those archives are usually on much slower storage and can take hours to copy into the production storage and be usable.

For Replication, you can retrieve your data almost instantly from the point of data loss. 

The replication software is continuously copying/mirroring your data in a way that is directly understood by your environment (database, email server, etc.).   No translation is needed as it is for backups.  Restoring your environment takes seconds to minutes, depending on your data protection set up.

However, logical corruption presents a real problem with live replicated data.  Ransomware, damaged databases, and malicious actions can replicate to your recovery environment just as well as the good data.  If they are not caught in time, a recovery to a point in time backup can be necessary.

 Do you need backup and replication together?

 That depends on how you want your business to operate in the event of data loss. 

 All applications may not need to have real time replication but just having a backup copy for all applications may not be enough.  Determining the value of your applications to your business is key when choosing how to proceed in protecting your business’ data.  A popular option is to backup the entire environment but layer real time replication onto your critical applications.


To discuss your environment and all the recovery options you can have, Contact us.
A Net3 Representative will be happy to help with your Data Protection needs.


Categorized: Backup, Disaster Recovery