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Difference between Backup and Snapshot

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1. Backup: Backup generally suggests the duplicate of your data. When a backup is initiated, it generates copies of your files, comprising files about your website and mailboxes. These copies are conventionally kept in a different location than the original content, thus making them ideal for disaster rehabilitation. Backups are the mechanism that could take minutes, hours, or days to complete, depending on the data. This conveys that the data at the end of the backup may not be compatible with the data at the time when the backup was initiated. Backups are planned to be stored for long periods and, if they are stored off the server, they can be used to restore servers after a server failure. 

2. Snapshot: Snapshot refers to an instantaneous “picture” of your server’s file system at a certain period. This picture apprehends the entire file system as it was when the snapshot was taken. When a snapshot is accustomed to restoring the server, the server will revert to exactly how it was at the time of the snapshot. Snapshots are designed for short-term storage. When space departs, new snapshots eventually overwrite older ones. For this reason, snapshots are usually only good if you want to revert to a recent version of your server. 

Difference between Backup and Snapshot :

1.Backup can be stored in another location, same server, or even on the same drive in this case.Snapshots can be stored only in the same location where original data is present.
2.Backup may have differences based on when the backup started and ended.A snapshot is a “picture” of your server at the present period.
3.It is a long-term process and might take a lot of time to complete the procedure.It is a short-term process and takes very less time, as compared to backup, to complete the procedure.
4.Backup comprises only the file system.Snapshots comprise of different types of systems like the files, software, and settings of that type.
5.Backup takes long time to copy data.Snapshot takes very less time to copy the data.
6.Incase of SQL server, backup is a paid service. A person can use this service to automatically backup most recent data every night.Incase of an SQL server, a snapshot is a free feature that is used to manually create duplicate images of the servers. One can easily generate them at any time.
7.Backup is not a backup unless the data exists in several distinct locations. Backups should be easily and quickly restored. Backups should be verifiable.Snapshot by itself is not a backup. But it can be used as an essential part of the backup process. Snapshot is used as a part of the data movement process to a backup file. It is removed when the backup job is completed.

Types of data backup-

  • Full backup
  • Incremental backup
  • Differential backup

Types of Snapshots-

  • Copy-on-write
  • Redirect-on-write
  • Continuous data protection
  • Mirroring/clone/replication
9.Backups are utilized to store full data backups off-site.Snapshots are utilized for versioning.
  • Backups can be kept in multiple locations, on the same drive, or even on the same server. 
  • Both off-site and on-site storage are not necessary for backups.  
  • It is required for the Snapshots to be kept in the same location as the system’s original data. 
  • Snapshots are required to have both off-site and on-site storage.

Last Updated : 30 Aug, 2022
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