How do you or your company deal with storing vital data: do you use traditional backups or invest in an alternative system, such as snapshots?

This is an important question especially for preventing cases of file corruption, accidental or malicious deletion or any other similar event.

In this context, know that the main method used is still the traditional backup services. However, even though standard data replication provides daily and weekly restore points, this can still result in a considerable amount of lost work.

In this way, snapshot-based backup systems can become very attractive for companies. After all, they help minimize data loss by creating more frequent restore points that are stored for longer periods of time.

Do you want to understand more about the snapshot and understand how this system can contribute to digital security in your company? Next, we will explain more about this technology and its importance when restoring data. Good reading!

What is a Snapshot?

A snapshot or snapshot is a virtual copy of your data. As with traditional methods, you can take and keep multiple snapshots so that you can restore a system to different points in time.

This means that if data corruption happens, you can simply restore a previous snapshot.

Unlike a traditional backup system, there are no physical copies for storage. Instead, snapshot backup replicates your data to several other locations.

This gives snapshot two inherent advantages over traditional backup: there is less transfer time involved, and access to redundant copies of your data is fail-safe.

Difference between backup and snapshot

Although both are systems that aim to replicate data and, thus, guarantee the security of the files, backup and snapshot present some specific differences.

The main one is the fact that the traditional backup can copy the data of a file from its origin. In the snapshot, however, it is possible to capture only the current moment of the file. It’s like a photograph of that point in time.

In this case, in order to be able to replicate the original file and its changes from the beginning, it is necessary to take constant snapshots.

Another difference between the systems is that: while in the backup the copied data is directed to a different location from where the original data is, in the snapshot both the original file and the copy remain in the same location.

Also, in a snapshot, data capture is instantaneous. That is, copies made at a point in time are ready in a matter of seconds. In the case of traditional backup, this replication can take minutes or hours. Everything will depend on the amount of files to be copied.

Finally, another difference worth mentioning is the fact that the snapshot system does not consume any space when it is created. The backup, in turn, will necessarily consume space on the device, which, depending on the amount of data, can be very high.

How does Snapshot technology work?

As mentioned, snapshots create images of how data is organized at a point in time. In other words, it performs a copy of metadata with information about the current state of the file or system.

So, if you run a snapshot, for example, all your files or folders can be reverted to the state they were in before.

But, in detail, the snapshot system works as follows:

1. Schedule for taking snapshots : here, the capture process is configured as automatic, with the establishment of times for this. Thus, there is no risk of the user forgetting to replicate a file after it has been changed.

2. File replication on first capture: When the first snapshot is taken, the original file information is saved.

3. Replication of files in the next captures: in the next captures, the changes that were made in the files are stored.

4. Situation when a file is corrupted: if a file is corrupted, the system will find the last capture before this event occurs. Thus, the file is restored to its previous form.

How important is Snapshot?

Different snapshot tools are appropriate for different sizes of companies. This is because it helps to prevent rework and loss of important data that may occur due to data corruption, deletion or any other reason.

In particular, when we talk about cloud server , the concern with intrusions and data changes increases.

Thus, administrators of sites, systems and applications that need to change or restore configurations and files of their applications need tools that make it possible to revert any action without harming the functioning of the application.

And snapshots are great for version control because they’re not backups and can be many versions without taking up a lot of space.

Thus, corporate environments can make instantaneous copies of file systems, databases , virtualized environments and others.

What’s more, a snapshot only needs to save enough information to undo a change, and that makes it take up less space than a backup.

Advantages of Snapshot Backup

Snapshot backup offers numerous advantages for any user, especially for those who work with constant file updates.

After all, the system considerably reduces the backup windows and even allows the reversal of the system to a previous capture in a simple, practical and fast way.

But not only that! Snapshots have many other advantages as well, which we’ve listed below. Check out what they are!

Best RPO

The RPO is the acronym for Objective Recovery Point, being a combination between the time spent to back up the files and the time spent for the data to be sent to the place where it will be stored.

It should be noted that the RPO is used by companies to know the minimum amount of resources to be recovered in case of failures or data loss. Thus, it is focused on optimizing the time spent on performing and exporting the backup.

Therefore, when you implement a snapshot system that captures data in a time interval of minutes and does not store this copy file elsewhere, the time spent in the operation is minimal.

The same would not happen with a traditional backup system, which spends a lot of time copying data.

Best RTO

RTO stands for Recovery Time Objective, meaning how quickly files can be restored from a backup. That is, it is used to measure the maximum time in which a system or information can be unavailable after a failure.

Thus, when data is backed up in a snapshot, this restoration takes place instantly. That is, the RTO can be close to zero seconds.

This is because, as in this system the data is not stored in a different location than the original file, there is no need for data transfer, which significantly reduces restoration time.

On the other hand, files stored via a traditional backup can be large and still need to be moved from location to restore, which significantly increases the RTO.

consistent backups

In the snapshot system, backups are saved once a day, directly on the production server or storage.

Therefore, you can be assured that your data and information are safely saved and can be recovered and restored whenever you want.

Almost instant creation

This is undoubtedly one of the main advantages of the snapshot system. After all, because they do not make copies of the data, but copies of the metadata, a faster replication of the files is possible and without the loss of data.

That is, with the snapshot, the user can significantly reduce and optimize the time of their daily workloads and can direct it to other important tasks.

No impact on production

Finally, the snapshot also has the great advantage of not having any impact on production at work in a company. First, because files are copied almost instantly, as mentioned earlier.

Furthermore, this type of data replication does not put a strain on a company’s internet connectivity, unlike traditional backup.

In this sense, all these issues contribute to saving time in production and better management of applications.