In information technology, a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. The verb form is to back up in two words, whereas the noun is backup.

Backups have two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to recover data after its loss, be it by data deletion or corruption. Data loss can be a common experience of computer users. A 2008 survey found that 66% of respondents had lost files on their home PC. The secondary purpose of backups is to recover data from an earlier time, according to a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application for how long copies of data are required. Though backups popularly represent a simple form of disaster recovery, and should be part of a disaster recovery plan, by themselves, backups should not alone be considered disaster recovery. One reason for this is that not all backup systems or backup applications are able to reconstitute a computer system or other complex configurations such as a computer cluster, active directory servers, or a database server, by restoring only data from a backup.

Since a backup system contains at least one copy of all data worth saving, the data storage requirements can be significant. Organizing this storage space and managing the backup process can be complicated undertaking. A data repository model can be used to provide structure to the storage. Nowadays, there are many different types of data storage devices that are useful for making backups. There are also many different ways in which these devices can be arranged to provide geographic redundancy, data security, and portability.

Before data is sent to its storage location, it is selected, extracted, and manipulated. Many different techniques have been developed to optimize the backup procedure. These include optimizations for dealing with open files and live data sources as well as compression, encryption, and de-duplication, among others. Every backup scheme should include dry runs that validate the reliability of the data being backed up. It is important to recognize the limitations and human factors involved in any backup scheme.

Read more about Backup:  Selection and Extraction of Data, Manipulation of Data and Dataset Optimization, Managing The Backup Process

Other articles related to "backup":

List Of Atlanta Broadcast Stations By Location - Towers - Turner Broadcasting Tower
... Broadcasting tower) – FM TV former WPCH-TV 17 Atlanta main (DTV 20 and analog backup are at North Druid Hills), owned by Turner former WNNX FM 100.5 backup at 5 kW former WLTA/WRMM/WAR ...
LAN-free Backup
... A LAN-free backup is a backup of server data to a shared, central storage device without sending the data over the local area network (LAN) ... Note that trivial backup to a dedicated, unshared storage device (such as local tape drive) does not meet the definition ...
Backup - Law - Events
... major bank in Paris, system administrators ran into the burning building to rescue backup tapes because they didn't have off-site copies ... Clearinghouse has documented 16 instances of stolen or lost backup tapes (among major organizations) in 2005 2006 ... discovered that the last serviceable backup set was from 15 December 2007 ...
SOS Online Backup - See Also
... List of online backup services Comparison of online backup services Remote backup service List of backup software ...