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Bit-based and file-based online backup

I'd appreciate it if you were able to assist me with any research or articles you may have regarding online backup, specifically with regards to bit basis vs. file basis.

I have a potential client who has evaluated both our software with regards to incremental backup up on a file basis and our competitor whose software backups on a bit basis. Their reason for choosing bit technology vs. ours is that they have large databases and feel that their evening incremental backup will be much shorter.

My question is, do you have any articles as to the pros and cons?


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If you're talking about remote backup, then bit/byte level is the only way to go. (By that, I mean something that sends only the changed bytes/bits across the network -- not just changed files.) There's simply too much that changes on a daily basis to back up across a remote link without doing some type of bit-level or byte-level backup. Given the tone of your question, I'm not sure if that's the answer you're looking for.

If you're talking locally, it's a trade-off. That is, bit-level adds a level of complexity that you need to consider when considering such solution. File-level is a lot easier to do if you've got all the bandwidth that you need. On the other hand, bit-level will reduce your storage costs. Like I said, it's a trade off.

As to articles, I would look at some of my earlier Storage magazine articles about disk-based backups.

Editor's note: Do you agree with this expert's response? If you have more to share, post it in one of our .bphAaR2qhqA^0@/searchstorage>discussion forums.


This was first published in November 2003

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