Online Backup

- Your Technical Resource

Small Biz PC carries their own “Online Backup” which allows for Backups to the cloud, local drives, and local network drives. One can backup and restore VM instances from Vsphere, Ec2 instances from Amazon, and Azure.

Backups can be sent to a local drive then in the same backup set sent to any one of these cloud providers (Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Wasabi, Back Blaze, and Microsoft Azure.). If you buy the product, install and manage it your self you can use any of these providers. If you buy the managed service where we install the software, create the backups, and do the restores, and make everything work properly; then we will use the provider of our choice so that we can better serve our customer base.

Supports three backup types:

Full, Incremental and Block-Level Backup

The first backup is always a full backup. A full backup is a copy of the entire chosen dataset. Once you run a full backup, the selected data will be sent to the backup storage. Running only full backups each time is inefficient. It takes more storage space and time to complete than other backup types. That increases network and bandwidth load in the event of an offsite backup.

An incremental backup is a type of backup that copies only data that was changed since the previous backup. Unlike a full backup where all dataset is copied to the backup storage with every backup job, the incremental approach allows you to perform a full backup only once in a while. Every next backup will include only files that were changed since the most recent backup.

Block-level backup is a feature of incremental backup that allows uploading for only changed parts of files instead of whole files. In order to do that, it uses snapshot technology.

Block-level backup software reads data in the same sized blocks. New blocks are differentiated from the old ones via hashes. The backup software calculates these hashes separately for each block and then compares them to their previous value. If there’s a mismatch, the block is going to be uploaded to the backup storage.

Benefits of Block-Level Backup:

  • Upload operations require less time. Since block-level backup has fewer changes to upload to the storage, it takes a lot less time to perform.
  • It takes less storage space.
  • Less impact on machine performance. Block-level backup is always done by taking the snapshot of the running volume. Data is read from that snapshot, which allows the load to be decreased on the disks with the data.

Disadvantages of Block-Level Backup:

  • It might take longer to recover your data. To recover a single file, backup software has to check all blocks of that file, the initial full backup, and then rebuild the file using that information
  • Less data reliability and consistency. To recover a file in the block-level backup you need all consequent blocks to remain in their places. If by any chance, blocks become inconsistent, you will lose the ability to recover.

Synthetic Full Backup

Synthetic full backup is a type of subsequent full backup that makes a comparison to the previously backed up data on the storage and uploads only modified block of data from source to backup storage. Synthetic full backup helps to reduce the amount of data uploaded and accelerates a full backup creation.

How Synthetic Backup Works

The first (initial) backup is always a full backup of the selected dataset. Synthetic full backup is an advanced way to perform subsequent full backups.

Running a full backup from time to time is advised for all backup types.

Synthetic full backup works as follows:

  • Checks if any parts of files on the backup storage (i.e. already uploaded) correlate to those you are about to upload
  • Copies that existing data inside the storage to generate a new full backup
  • Uploads only new blocks of data from computer to the backup storage

Hybrid Backup

Following the best practice in the backup industry unquestionably demands some sort of conflation of local and cloud backup. Having two different backups – one to local, another to the cloud – is not particularly efficient as it puts extra workload on the utilized computer.

First, the files are uploaded from the computer to the local storage—let’s say a local NAS—and then the same process repeats to upload the files from the computer to the cloud storage.

A hybrid backup allows combining these backups into one backup plan which naturally makes it easier to do the setup process. It first transfers the files to the local storage (NAS) and then uploads them from the local storage (NAS) to the cloud. That gives some relief to the main computer, requiring fewer disk operations as encryption and compression are only performed once during the initial backup to the local (NAS) storage.

Benefits of Hybrid Backup:

  • Single backup plan
  • Less workload on the source computer
  • One time encryption and compression

Important: 

We recommend you to perform a full backup from time to time. That will start a new backup sequence, thus making backups quicker to perform and easier to recover.

Online backup supports MAC, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Exchange. Some of these products will require us to use our remote control software to configure the software, some backups such as exchange, and file restores. We will tell you when this required, and notify you before accessing your systems. Unfortunately, we cannot fully manage the backups without this occasional access.