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6 parameters to help you choose adequate backup …

Updated: Feb 13

… even if your application is cloud-based, you still need to revisit your backup and disaster recovery strategies.

The breadth and frequency of data generation in the past 5 years have grown exponentially among organizations of all sizes. Because most businesses are migrating to digitization and/or are developing applications and software that is cloud-hosted, the amount of data being exchanged and stored has also grown to a point where data-dependent organizations no longer have the luxury of refraining from backing up their data. According to an annual survey done by Acronis, a leading data backup solutions provider, 86% of sustainable businesses backup their data weekly or monthly. While the figure seems healthy, another study shared by claims that <10% of businesses backup their data daily, which in today’s rapid data transactions environment could be risky.

Backup types 101:

The question “How much data should I backup” usually pops into any disaster-conscious professional. For that we have compiled the types of backup strategies that most organizations adopt today, the need for each type will depend on the need of the organization and the kind of data it is backing up. For example, backing up your employees’ recruitment and payroll data might not be sensitive to you as an organization as customer data for example.

Backup Type



Full Backup

Backs up all the data in your system including files, folders, and system state information.

Daily, weekly, or monthly


Backup only of the data that has changed. copies the changed instances only.

Usually done at a higher frequency, either daily or on hourly basis


​Copies all the changed data since the last full backup. Only backs up the differences between the current state of the data and the state of the data in the last full backup.

Depends on size of data and the Restore Point Objective (RPO) .. Usually done with less frequency than incremental backup.

Mirror Backup

​This type of backup creates an exact duplicate of the data as it is changed or created. Often used by organizations with business-critical data where it must be copied and always protected.


Now that you know the backup types you can mix and match between what gets backed up and when, according to the criticality of the data and the frequency of its generation. As mentioned in the previous example, your employees’ payroll data could be backed up monthly, as opposed to accounting that could be safe with a weekly backup. If you are selling online subscriptions with a high traffic of users, a daily backup of your customers’ data could be more adequate for the safety of such data.

Do I need to decide on a backup destination first?

Indeed. While some cloud providers offer backup plans for your data, it is often not the case, so make sure you speak with your cloud providers’ representative or read the terms and conditions for disaster recovery plans offered by your cloud provider be it Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Services or Amazon’s AWS.

Historically, professionals backed up their data on-premises using Tape backup, which was still common until the last decade and some organizations still use it to date, for how inexpensive it is. A more developed version of tape disks appeared with the commercialization of hard drives and the costs that have gone lower over the years and variations of them have been widely available, namely Network-Attached Storage (NAS) that resided in an organization’s datacenter. The backup speeds of disks are higher than those of tape drives, but they are also more expensive.

Cloud backups have been trending recently, especially with the rising costs of securing your backups, it was more efficient for companies to backup their sensitive data on a cloud service that is already secured by the provider instead of bearing the costs of both the disks and the security solutions.

Finally, there is no one-size that fits all, most large organizations refer to a hybrid backup model where they choose a combination of backup destinations for the different types of data. When backing up your data, it's important to choose a backup method that meets your needs, both in terms of data protection and cost. Additionally, it's important to implement a backup schedule that is consistent and frequent enough to ensure that your data is protected. To ensure the integrity of your backup data, it's also a good idea to regularly test your backup and restore process to make sure that you can restore your data in case of a disaster.