Data Backup Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing data backup and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

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  • #

    3-2-1 Backup Strategy

    The 3-2-1 backup is a reliable recovery methodology for ensuring that data is protected adequately and backup copies of the data are available when needed.

  • A

    Acronis

    Acronis is a data protection software vendor that spun off as a separate company from Parallels in Singapore and became an independent company in 2003.

  • Actifio

    Actifio is a software vendor in Waltham, Mass., that specializes in copy data management (CDM).

  • Arcserve UDP (Arcserve Unified Data Protection)

    Arcserve Unified Data Protection is a data backup and recovery software product. The software combines features such as high availability, global source-side deduplication and disaster recovery testing in one product interface.

  • Artisan Infrastructure

    Infrastructure as a service provider Artisan Infrastructure LLC offers cloud providers a variety of services and products for building out cloud products.

  • asynchronous replication

    Asynchronous replication is an approach to data backup in which data is written to primary storage and then replicated to a replication target.

  • B

    Backblaze

    Backblaze backs up data that cannot be retrieved if a computer breaks or is lost. The vendor's Storage Pods hardware platform allows the company to offer backup at a low price. A B2 Cloud Storage service lets customers build cloud applications.

  • backup

    Backup refers to the copying of physical or virtual files or databases to a secondary location for preservation in case of equipment failure or catastrophe.

  • backup as a service (BaaS)

    Backup as a service uses external providers to deliver cloud-based backup services to an enterprise. It can help organizations avoid costly upgrades or provide companies that lack the resources to perform on-premises backups.

  • backup log

    Backup log is a feature of backup applications that records the events that occur during a backup process. 

  • backup storage device

    A backup storage device is used to make copies of data that is actively in use.

  • backup utility (BU)

    A backup utility is a program that is designed to create a copy of data in a secondary location for safekeeping.

  • bunch of redundant independent clouds (BRIC)

    A BRIC architecture stores fragments of data across multiple cloud providers to protect against cloud outages or data loss.

  • C

    Carbonite

    Carbonite Inc. is an online backup company in Boston. Founded in 2005, Carbonite sells cloud backup to consumers, small and medium-sized businesses and small enterprises.

  • centralized backup

    Centralized backup is a process that involves automatically replicating data from remote sites and sending it over a network to a main (centralized) location for storage.

  • cloud seeding

    Cloud seeding is a strategy for uploading large amounts of data to a cloud storage service.

  • cloud storage backup

    Cloud storage backup involves moving data offsite to a managed service provider for protection. It can either replace or complement on-premise backups.

  • Cloud-to-Cloud Backup (C2C Backup)

    Cloud-to-cloud backup, or C2C backup, is the practice of copying data stored on one cloud backup service, commonly referred to as software as a service (SaaS), to another cloud.

  • cold backup (offline backup)

    Cold backups are ideal for disaster recovery because they protect important data. But the process requires downtime, so it should be conducted during quiet periods.

  • converged secondary storage

    Converged secondary storage is a combination of common data protection elements and non-primary storage tasks into one platform.

  • CrashPlan

    Code42 Software's CrashPlan data protection software comes in home, small business and enterprise versions. CrashPlan runs in the background of a device and provides an organization with constant backup of all new and changed files.

  • What is cloud backup and how does it work?

    Cloud backup, also known as online backup or remote backup, is a strategy for backing up data that involves sending a copy of the data over a proprietary or public network to an off-site server and storage system.

  • D

    dark backup

    A dark backup is one that can be run automatically without manual intervention.

  • data archiving

    Data archiving migrates infrequently used data to low-cost, high-capacity archive storage for long-term retention.

  • data backup software

    Backup software makes a duplicate copy of data to protect it and enable recovery if the data is lost or corrupted due to equipment failure or some other catastrophic event.

  • data deduplication hardware

    Data deduplication hardware is a storage product that eliminates redundant copies of data and retains one instance to be stored. Although these products are sold as appliances or disk libraries, they include software that performs the deduplication.

  • data deduplication ratio

    To calculate the deduplication ratio, divide the capacity of backed up data before duplicates are removed by the actual capacity used once the backup is complete.

  • data loss

    Data loss is the intentional or unintentional destruction of information, caused by people and or processes from within or outside of an organization.

  • data protection

    Data protection is the process of safeguarding important information from corruption, compromise or loss.

  • data protection management (DPM)

    Data protection management (DPM) is the administration of backup processes to ensure that tasks run on schedule, and that data is securely backed up and recoverable. Good data protection management means having effective processes and methodologies in place to maintain data integrity.

  • data reduction

    Data reduction is the process of reducing the amount of capacity required to store data.

  • data restore

    Data restore is the process of copying backup data from secondary storage and restoring it to its original location or a new location.

  • data retention policy

    A data retention policy dictates the types of data to be retained and the duration for which that data must be stored in accordance with operational or regulatory requirements.

  • Datto

    Datto Inc. is a backup, recovery and business continuity vendor with headquarters in Norwalk, Conn.

  • deduplication software

    Dedupe software eliminates unnecessary copies of data by redirecting new iterations of the data back to the original.

  • Dell EMC Avamar

    Dell EMC Avamar is a hardware and software data backup product.

  • Differential Backup

    A differential backup is a type of data backup method that copies all of the files that have changed since the last full backup was performed.

  • disk backup or disk-based backup

    Disk backup, or disk-based backup, is a data backup and recovery method that backs data up to hard disk storage.

  • DLT (digital linear tape)

    Before the popular Linear Tape-Open Consortium came into existence, Quantum had its proprietary digital linear tape (DLT) format. Learn more about DLT technology here.

  • Druva

    Druva is a cloud data protection and management software company based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

  • E

    Dell EMC NetWorker

    Dell EMC NetWorker is a backup software platform for the enterprise.

  • encryption key management

    Encryption key management is the administration of tasks involved with protecting, storing, backing up and organizing encryption keys.

  • F

    flat backup

    Flat backup uses snapshots to protect data without traditional backup software. Storage snapshots are replicated to another location, where they are a backup to the originals. Flat backup can be cheaper than a traditional backup, but not all storage vendors support the process.

  • Full Backup

    A full backup is the process of making at least one additional copy of all data files that an organization wishes to protect in a single backup operation.

  • G

    ghost imaging

    Ghost imaging, often called cloning, is a software-driven data backup process that copies the contents of a computer hard disk in a single compressed file or set of files, referred to as an image.

  • global deduplication

    Global deduplication is a method of preventing redundant data when backing up data to multiple deduplication devices.

  • H

    hot backup (dynamic backup)

    Hot data backups are the standard for most database backups, as users can stay online while they are performed. But the technology has risks, such as a performance impact.

  • I

    IBM TSM (IBM Tivoli Storage Manager)

    IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (IBM TSM) is an enterprise class backup and archiving application. IBM TSM, like all enterprise backup software products, is designed to make copies of an organization's data to protect against data loss.

  • image-based backup

    Image-based backup is a backup process for a computer or virtual machine (VM) that creates a copy of the operating system and all the data associated with it, including the system state, and application configurations and saves it as a single file.

  • Incremental Backup

    An incremental backup is a type of backup that only copies data that has been changed or created since the previous backup activity was conducted.

  • inline deduplication

    Inline deduplication is the removal of redundancies from data before or as it is being written to a backup device.

  • instant recovery (recovery-in-place)

    Instant recovery involves running a VM instance directly from the secondary storage location without having to first perform a restore of the primary VM.

  • L

    LAN-free backup

    LAN-free backup is the process of backing up server data to a centralized storage device rather than moving it across a local-area network (LAN).

  • LTFS (Linear Tape File System)

    LTFS (Linear Tape File System) is a file system specification that allows Linear Tape-Open (LTO) storage technology to be indexed.

  • LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tape

    LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tape is an open-format tape storage technology created by Hewlett-Packard (HP), International Business Machines (IBM) and Seagate Technology.

  • LTO-1 (Linear Tape-Open 1)

    LTO-1 is the first tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium. It has 100 GB native capacity (200 GB compressed) and a native transfer speed of 20 MBps (40 MBps compressed).

  • LTO-10 (Linear Tape-Open 10)

    LTO-10 is an unreleased tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium. It will offer read-and-write backwards compatibility with tapes from the previous generation.

  • LTO-2 (Linear Tape-Open 2)

    LTO-2 is the second tape format from the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium. It followed the initial LTO-1 version in 2000 and was succeeded by LTO-3 in 2005.

  • LTO-3 (Linear Tape-Open 3)

    LTO-3 is a tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium first released in 2005 that has since been followed by LTO-4, LTO-5 and LTO-6.

  • LTO-4 (Linear Tape-Open 4)

    LTO-4 is a tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium that has been succeeded by LTO-5 and the current LTO-6 version.

  • LTO-5

    LTO-5 is a tape format released in 2010 by the Linear Tape-Open Consortium.

  • LTO-6 (Linear Tape-Open 6)

    LTO-6 is the current tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium first released in 2012 that will eventually be succeeded by LTO-7, LTO-8, LTO-9 and LTO-10.

  • LTO-7 (Linear Tape-Open 7)

    LTO-7 is a tape format from the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Consortium released in late 2015.

  • LTO-8 (Linear Tape-Open 8)

    LTO-8 is a tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium released in late 2017. It succeeded the LTO-7 version, which launched in 2015.

  • LTO-9 (Linear Tape-Open 9)

    LTO-9 (Linear Tape-Open 9) is a future tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium.

  • M

    magnetic tape storage

    Magnetic tape is one of the oldest technologies for electronic data storage.

  • Mozy (by Dell)

    Mozy (by Dell) was a cloud backup service owned by Dell EMC that targeted customers ranging from consumers through to the enterprise.

  • N

    near-continuous data protection (near CDP)

    Near-continuous data protection, sometimes called near-continuous protection, is a general term for backup and recovery products that take snapshots at set intervals. The term evolved from a need to differentiate products that take snapshots on a pre-determined schedule (every fifteen minutes, for example) from those products that take snapshots each time new data is written (true CDP).

  • O

    off-site backup

    Off-site backup is a method of backing up data to a remote server or to media that is transported off site.

  • online data backup (remote data backup)

    Online data backup (remote data backup) is a method of off-site storage in which data is regularly backed up over a network on a remote server, typically hosted by a provider.

  • Oracle RMAN (Oracle Recovery Manager)

    Oracle RMAN (Oracle Recovery Manager) is a utility built into Oracle databases to automate backup and recovery; it includes features not available in third-party backup tools.

  • P

    post-processing deduplication (PPD)

    Post-processing deduplication (PPD), also known as asynchronous de-duplication, is the analysis and removal of redundant data after a backup is complete and data has been written to storage.

  • purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA)

    A purpose-built backup appliance (PBBA) is a standalone disk-based storage device that is configured and optimized for storing backup data.

  • R

    remote backup appliance

    A remote backup appliance is a hardware device that ships with a backup software application pre-loaded.  The appliance is used to back up corporate data that is located outside the corporate data center. 

  • remote replication

    Remote replication is the process of copying production data to a device at a remote location for data protection or disaster recovery purposes.

  • removable media

    Removable media is any type of storage device that can be removed from a computer while the system is running. Examples of removable media include CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray disks, as well as diskettes and USB drives

  • ROBO backup (remote data backup)

    ROBO backup is the process of copying and archiving data created by remote and branch offices (ROBOs) and storing it securely.

  • S

    serverless backup

    Serverless data backup removes backup procedures from production servers so that the time usually spent on backup functions can be used for other server tasks.

  • source deduplication

    Source deduplication is the removal of redundancies from data before transmission to the backup target.

  • storage snapshot

    A storage snapshot is a set of reference markers for data at a particular point in time. A snapshot acts like a detailed table of contents, providing the user with accessible copies of data that they can roll back to.

  • T

    tape backup

    Tape can help fix an unstructured data backup issue and is a good archiving medium. Explore tape's strengths and weaknesses, plus important tips for protecting tape backups.

  • tape library

    In data storage, a tape library is a collection of magnetic tape cartridges and tape drives.

  • tape shoe-shining or back-hitching

    Tape shoe-shining (also known as tape back-hitching) refers to the back and forth motion a tape drive makes when the data stream to the drive is interrupted.

  • target deduplication

    Target deduplication is the removal of redundancies from a backup transmission as it passes through an appliance sitting between the source and the backup target.

  • Tower of Hanoi backups

    Tower of Hanoi is a complex tape backup strategy that's useful for archiving data for an extended period of time in an economical manner by using a cycle of exponential retention periods instead of a large number of tapes.

  • V

    Veeam Backup & Replication

    Veeam Backup & Replication is a software product developed by Veeam Software to back up, restore and replicate data on virtual machines (VMs).

  • Veritas Backup Exec (Symantec Backup Exec)

    Veritas Backup Exec is a data protection software product that supports virtual, physical and cloud platforms.

  • Veritas NetBackup (Symantec NetBackup)

    Veritas NetBackup -- known as Symantec NetBackup from 2005 to 2016 -- is a backup and recovery software suite designed for enterprise users.

  • virtual server backup

    Virtual server backup is the copying of data stored on a virtual server to guard against data loss.

  • virtual tape library (VTL)

    A virtual tape library (VTL) is a storage system consisting of hard disk drives (HDDs) that looks and acts like a physical tape library.

  • VMware backup

    VMware backup is the copying of data on a virtual machine (VM) in a VMware environment to prevent data loss.

  • Volume Shadow Copy Service-based backup

    A Volume Shadow Copy Service-based backup operates at the block level of the file system to create application-consistent backups through a VSS writer and VSS requestor.

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