What is a hot backup?
A “hot backup” is a backup of a system or data that is in use, such as a document being backed up while you are actively editing it or a background backup of a computer that is powered on and in use. It is also known as a “dynamic backup.” It is called a hot backup in comparison to a cold backup, which involves an idle system or file.
When Should I Do a Hot Backup Versus a Cold Backup?
Hot backups of critical content files can be running in the background at any time. Consider this when purchasing an endpoint backup solution: its ability to run smoothly in the background while you continue working on your system. Cold backups have more specific use cases, such as backing up databases. For example, it is more efficient and practical to create a database backup when it is offline or from a database dump, as opposed to attempting to backup while it is actively running.
Best Practices for Hot Backup
Some files might not back up effectively in certain circumstances, so it is important to know how to maximize the effectiveness of a real-time backup like a hot backup. For example, a database that is in use, or an active web server, may require a specific setup to be backed up on a moment to moment basis.
Increase efficiency by backing up only your most critical files in real time, and limit the versioning of your backup to a reasonable amount of copies and a reasonable window of time to balance capturing usable snapshots of your data without having the backup using system resources, and calling for active files, at every moment.
Best Practices for Cold Backup
Cold backups are performed when a system or file is completely shut down or not in use. Because of this, you will need to schedule your cold backups so as to not interfere with the continuity of your business activities. Prepare to run cold backups before and after your business hours. Because these backups are taking place when the system or file is not in use, they can be completely comprehensive as they are not competing for resources or interfering with any activities.
Establish a disaster recovery plan and a data retention policy first. This will help you identify what data is important to your business and decide what kinds of data you need to keep and what kind of backup strategy. Afterward, search for a backup solution that aligns with your requirements. Engage in a dialogue with your provider to understand what type of backup their products provide and how to best configure their software to fit your business needs.
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