Know the sad truth about file based vs image based backup

by | Jul 20, 2015 | Business Continuity, Cloud & Hosting

File based vs image based backup – which is best for you?

The worst thing that could happen to a person or business who relies on their computer would be to lose it. But imagine that in addition to losing your machine, you also lost all of your files with it. This could be the result of a computer virus, a hardware failure, or even a larger problem such as a flood or fire. To prevent the loss of your data, it is important to understand what options exist for backing up your files. For example, the difference between file based vs image based backup.

The two most common backup methods we are comparing are file based vs image based backup. So, how do you know which one will serve you best? Each method has its own advantages, so it is important to choose a method that you know will provide the most coverage for your data.

If you’re a business owner with a computer full of documents, email messages, and a few business programs that can be easily replaced, file based backups are probably the easiest and cost efficient option. This option takes specific folders on your computer and syncs them to a safe storage location. You simply choose the folders you want backed up, and the software does the hard work of keeping them safe.

In contrast to file based solutions, image based backups take actual images of the systems, which allows for entire systems to be restored very quickly. For example, if a server fails, any backup can be restored as a virtual machine within minutes–with virtually no interruption to the business, clients, or employees. Image based back ups are for businesses who cannot afford any “downtime”. While healthcare and financial services come to mind as two segments that need to be up and running 24/7, the truth is more companies require business continuity than you would think. For example, recently, Starbucks was forced to shut down a number of locations due to a computer “glitch”. While the stores were only closed for a number of hours, not having the proper back up plan in place cost the company millions in lost sales. As you can imagine, for many businesses it would be difficult, if not impossible, to recover from losing that kind of revenue. It is important to know, while there is no backup solution that is right for every business, it is critical that every business find the right backup solution.

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Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.