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Glossary of Terms

On this page you will find definitions of some of the most popular technical terms related to the online backup and cloud storage worlds. If you have any term that you would like defined and added to this page, contact us.

Backup Software: This is a type of software installed on a computer that can perform backups for your data. The user typically controls the backup through a user interface and may even allow for remote backup processes.

Bandwidth: Within computer networks, bandwidth is used to describe the data transfer rate, which is the amount of data that can goes from one point to another in a period of time. Bandwidth is usually expressed as bits per second such as 30,000 bps.

Bandwidth Resources: Your online backup requires a certain number of backup resources in order to work. The number of bandwidth resources needed depends on the number of data files that you need to protect, the rate of changes made to data every day and the Web restore time objectives.

Bandwidth Throttling: When an Internet service provider intentionally limits the speed of service, it is called bandwidth throttling. This allows the ISP to regulate the network’s traffic and decrease bandwidth congestion. Bandwidth Throttling can also refer to a feature that online backup services provide to users to allow them to control how much bandwidth the backup process should use.

Block Level Backup: These backups only contain modifications to files located at a block level or sub-file. Blocks are smaller files that allow for a smaller number of changes to transfer to storage vaults, but it may also require a longer processing time in order to identify all of the changes made to the block.

Byte Level Backup: These backups only contain modified bytes of data. These bytes are not as big as blocks and provide the littlest number of changes that can be transferred to storage vaults. However, like block level backups, these often require more time to process.

Cache: This is a storage of the latest backups that are still on site to increase access time, which means that users don’t have to wait as long for a bulk restore to recover data over the Web from storage vaults.

Cloud: The cloud most often refers to cloud computing, which is used to describe today’s computing software that involves other computers connected over the Internet. The cloud allows you to check email from any computer or store files that can be accessed from anywhere.

Cloud Storage: Data is stored in virtualized storage vaults that are hosted by third parties in secured data centers. Cloud storage allows an infinite number of files to be stored and accessed anywhere on the globe.

Continued Data Protection (CDP): With CDP, a backup system records every change made to the system using a schedule of intervals. Users typically must set it to save by block or byte level rather than by file.

Data Compression: To minimize the bulk of bandwidth being used for a backup, data is shortened using lossless compression algorithms. The data is squeezed down into a file size that isn’t as large.

Data Encryption: This is the process whereby data is coded for limited viewing. The user with an encryption key will be the only one able to decode the data and view it properly.

Delta Backup: This is a type of differential backup that has only the files that have endured changes since the last backup, which can be incremental or full backup. This means that there will be faster backups as only the changed files will undergo saving.

Differential Backup: This is a detailed backup of the changes that have been made starting from the most recent full backup. This results in faster recovery times since it only requires a complete backup and the most recent differential backup in order to completely restore the data and system.

Disk to Disk: This type of backup that transfers files from the disks on the computer to disks in storage vaults. This is more efficient than when data is sent to tapes. Disk to disk provides for faster recovery particularly when trying to access older archives.

Disaster Recovery: Also known as DR, this process recovers business operations and data after a major disaster. The data is restored or recreated. Typically companies want to have a fast disaster recovery to continue operations as normal.

Email Security: Various types of email security protect against spam, viruses and phishing. This software typically removes any emails that may contain malicious attachments or links before they ever go to the user’s inbox.

End-2-End Encryption: Before data leaves a source computer, it must always be encrypted for added security. This means that the client holds the encryption key and can then store the encrypted data at its final destination.

Full Backup: All files and folders are stored on any system in the storage vault.

Full Disk Encryption: This means that data on the hard drive will be encrypted. This doesn’t rely on the operating system, and the disk can’t be read if the disk is placed in a new machine. This is an extra security level below the operating system.

Hot Backup: When databases are still running, a hot backup can be made so that changes can still be applied as the data is being backed up. Most database engines today keep a record of any entries that underwent changes during the hot backup, which makes it easier to resolve issues with new data created during the backup.

Incremental Backup: These backups only contain files that have been altered since the last backup was made. This allows for a faster backup time since only the changed files will be saved.

Initial Backup: When a set of data undergoes its first backup or seeded backup, it’s called an initial backup. The data is sent straight to a data center or storage vault. Seed backups can be completed over the Web or they can be initiated through another device like a hard disk with encryption.

Latency: This measures the amount of time that it takes for data to undergo encoding and sent between all of the communicating devices. With more latency, users experience more lag. With slow transfer speeds, users typically are experiencing a lack of bandwidth.

Media Spanning: This process allows data to be backed up to multiple mediums or storage vaults. If there are several data files that need to be protected, they are often sent to multiple storage devices.

Multi-Platform: This software works on PC and Apple operation system platforms as well as others.

Multiplexing: This combines multiple data streams to create one backup stream that writes to one storage device.

Network Backup: Many businesses operate and use a network. This allows users to backup data on several computers and servers from a central point device known as the network backup.

Online Backup: A backup of systems and data that occurs over the Web to storage vaults is known as an online backup.

Open File Backup: This allows a user to backup files even while they are in use. Snapshots are taken of the files even as they are opened.

Peer to Peer: A peer-to-peer network allows computers to communicate to one another with each computer can act as a server for other computers, which allows for sharing files without the need for a central server.

Recovery Point Objectives (RPO): This represents a moment in time that a data backup was created for quick restore. This is the point that any system can be restored to when in recovery. This point is typically right before any data loss. You can increase RPO by speeding up the number of synchronizations transferred through source data and the different storage devices used for backup.

Recovery Time Objectives (RTO): This is the bulk of time that has transpired between a data loss and restoration to full business operations. The time measures how long it takes to fetch files and systems as well as the amount of time to recover them until all systems are back in normal working order for business operations.

Remote Backup: This is another name for online backup as it means data can be backed up using an online backup over the Internet to a data center.

Seeding: As data is uploaded to the data center, the process is called seeding. The term is typically used in relationship to the start of data seeding, which is when data is uploaded to a device and then sent directly to vaults.

Site-2-Site Backup: The user controls how the data is backed up over the Web to an off-site location. This is like remote backup, but the creator of the data is in control of where it is stored.

Snapshot: A picture is taken of a data file system and preserves a moment in time in a read only file that can be viewed by the system later.

Sync: Synchronization or sync refers to the process that ensures multiple locations have the same updated files. Example: you make a change on a file on your desktop computer, and the sync process of your online backup solution will ensure that same file is updated on all your devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, work computer, etc…)

Versioning: This term refers to the amount of versions of data that are being stored and given a number. If you frequently change data, you’ll have hundreds of versions.

Virtualization: With virtualization, a virtual version of a server, network resource, operation system or other storage device is created.