The Difference Between Storage and Backup

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For a long time, storage and backup are two similar concepts, but they are very different. If you are not a professional technical expert, it is more difficult to figure out the difference between the two, especially with the emergence of the cloud, these two concepts are often mixed together. This article quickly compares the difference and development of the two concepts of storage and backup from several aspects, as well as the evolution trend.

1. Backups cannot exist independently of data containers, and are built on top of storage

Storage is a general term for data storage containers, such as floppy disks, optical disks, magnetic disks, disk arrays, NAS for small and medium-sized businesses, professional tape libraries, and professional optical fiber storage network SANs. The storage capacity ranges from a few MB to 100TB, or even P-level. In recent years, a new solution, cloud storage, has itself been divided into personal use and enterprise use. Personal data storage purposes such as Baidu network disk, 360 network disk, DropBox, etc., commonly known as saving some personal data pictures, documents, etc.; enterprise purposes such as AWS’s S3, Alibaba Cloud’s OSS, etc., usually used for key business systems, such as users Generated documents, pictures, videos and other data storage.

Backup is a data protection mechanism and scheme, and its implementation must depend on specific storage containers. At present, there are many brands in the backup market, such as Symantec’s NBU, CommVault’s backup products, IBM’s TSM, EMC’s NetWorker, and multi-backup which focuses on hybrid cloud data backup protection services. Backups are usually used to protect core data or personal important data generated by business systems. A general backup system is usually combined with a hardware storage device to form a backup solution.

2. Storage usually solves the problem of access to geospatial; backup solves the problem of preservation in geospatial

The WORD software we use for work, if there is no data storage medium, the documents generated by editing cannot be saved. With IDE or SATA hard disk, the data generated by the application software can be quickly saved on the hard disk.

Usually, when designing the architecture of important business systems, we will fully consider the composition of the storage solution, what kind of business system, how to distribute the data in several locations, the required capacity, expansion requirements, etc. for planning and design, focusing on solving the continuous growth of business systems. data storage issues. Generally, the storage architecture is deployed near the business application server. Whether it is cloud storage or traditional storage architecture, there is a goal to make the access of business systems in different locations and storage spaces stable and continuous.

Data is always unreliable in one place. Power outages in the computer room, line failures, hardware failures, fires, etc., may have an impact on data security.

On this basis, backup further encapsulates logic, and can customize different replication strategies for data in different places. More important data can usually be redundant in one place, such as logs, pictures, etc. generated by users can be redundant; for more critical data, such as user registration data, data storage index data, transaction data, financial system related data Data, etc., more redundant if necessary. The emergence of cloud storage makes it easier to implement cloud-based backup solutions, and it is easy to build channels in different geographical locations on demand.

3. Storage usually solves the problem of continuous data read, write and save; backup solves the problem of time version freezing and retrospective

Save 1 word document, upload a movie, modify a post, send 1 WeChat message, these are either written to the hard disk sequentially, or written to a professional database or file system. This is a typical application scenario of storage, which is to continuously respond to data storage requirements sent from business or software. Documents, movies, and posts will only have the latest status at the end, and the historical status will always be overwritten by the latest status.

Since there are new additions, there are also deletions and modifications, so the storage does not recognize the intention of the upper-layer software. It may be normal, it may be malicious intrusion, or misoperation. The addition and deletion will also operate at the bottom layer. Some storage designs have certain backup and recovery capabilities. Of course, if you want to use the backup and recovery capabilities, it may cost more than deploying a backup solution. We all know that recovering the data of a hard disk usually costs thousands of dollars. The hard disk is not valuable, but the data inside is valuable.

To solve the impact of intentional or unintentional behaviors such as addition, deletion, and modification on the data storage system, professional backup functions are required at this time. One of the most important functions to consider in a backup system is timeline version freezing and retrospection. Every time the storage system is backed up, a data mirror version of the current backup moment will be formed. When restoring, you can directly select the corresponding version to restore, and the data will return to the previous state. Of course, different products have different backup solutions. For multiple backups based on the hybrid cloud architecture, the version can theoretically be maintained all the time, and you can restore it as you want.

4. Storage is usually designed for hardware failure as a security design goal; backup solves data security problems caused by various factors including software and hardware failures

In our daily concept, storage is equal to security, especially after the concept of cloud computing appeared, including some surrounding technical experts also have similar views, in fact, this is a misunderstanding.

Starting from the most commonly used mechanical hard disks, they are usually designed around temperature, read and write life, impact resistance, etc. Some hard disks start to work abnormally after reading and writing more than a few hundred TB. SSD hard disks may also be caused by changes in ambient temperature. Data validity changes. With the strengthening of storage security technology, the technology of redundant sorting has emerged, which aggregates multiple hard disks and writes data to multiple hard disks, which improves the reliability of a single hard disk.

An important design idea of backup system is to design around recovery. Backup copies data from one node, one system to another node, one system, avoiding the possibility of hardware and software problems occurring at the same time; backup systems usually add a high level of redundancy to the data storage, or Redundant replication, or low-cost distribution of arithmetically redundant data. The backup system further avoids data loss caused by various intentional and unintentional data read and write actions, including human operations, system failures, software defects, hacking, viruses, natural disasters, etc., through time versioning and spatial redundancy distribution. Add, modify and other issues.

5. Summary of differences between storage and backup

The main focus of storage is to solve the problem of normal storage and reading of original data, including media, and storage and reading methods,

Backup is to deal with all kinds of man-made, software failures, system failures, natural disasters caused by data loss, damage, errors and other problems through regular or real-time replication technology.

The latest trend of system and data backup protection will gradually go beyond the scope of backup, intelligent data management, data protection virtualization, and integration with various cloud environments, and integration with data security will be an important development direction; backup is immediately available Backup is protection service, backup is data virtualization, backup is data service, backup is data migration service, etc. are important data management and data application development directions. At present, some innovative enterprises such as giants and multi-backup are already accelerating towards this trend.

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