StorageCraft Glossary

Add-On Services: Services in addition to the core services. Some add-on program features require fees in addition to monthly Service Fees. In StorageCraft Cloud services, reserving a public IP address requires an add-on fee. If add-on fees are required they are discribed in the applicable marketing and sales documentation.

Agent: Semi-autonomous software that captures and stores data at a secondary location. Examples of StorageCraft agents are the ShadowProtect agent and the ShadowControl agent.

Appliance: A full application stack containing the operating system, the application software and any required dependencies, and the configuration and data files required to operate.

Backup: The process of copying files, volumes, and databases to preserve them in case of equipment failure or other catastrophe. Backup is a critical part of a disaster recovery strategy, but it is often neglected, particularly by personal computer users.

Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR): Process of preserving and restoring data and application services. Also a dedicated system or appliance used for BDR.

Backup Image File: A file that holds the contents of a backup activity. Backup image files let you restore the data of a computer system to a specific point-in-time.

Backup Image Set: A collection of image files that contains the system's base image file plus any incremental image files.

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR): The complete restoration of computer data after a catastrophic failure (including the operating system, file system, partitions, volumes and data) from a complete backup image to a physical or virtual machine. In cloud services, this image is stored in the StorageCraft Cloud. The image is then copied to a BMR recovery drive and shipped to cloud customers upon request.

Base Image File: A backup file that contains a copy of all used sectors in a volume or partition. Specifically, the first full image used to start an incremental chain. See also Full Image File.

Cloud: The environment in which customer data is stored and made available for access and manipulation by a customer through the use of remote hardware, datacenters, and backup software. In StorageCraft Cloud Services, the cloud refers to anything outside your local area network needed to communicate, store and recover your data.

Cloud Services: The services offered by StorageCraft which include cloud storage, failover, and recovery.

Cloud Services Portal: A password-protected StorageCraft website at that allows customers to access functionality and information related to their accounts, data, and cloud services.

Cloud Storage: The transfer, maintenance, accessibility and reporting of customer data to hardware located in a cloud services datacenter.

Cold Backup: A backup taken using the Recovery Environment rather than when the computer's operating system is running.

Compression: A technology that reduces the size of a file while preserving the original content. Compression lets you save time, bandwidth and storage space.

Consolidation: A disk-space-saving process used by StorageCraft ImageManager. ImageManager combines all disk changes recorded within two or more incremental backup files to create one consolidated incremental. ImageManager identifies these with the extensions -cd for consolidated daily incrementals, -cw for consolidated weekly files, -cm for consolidated monthly files, and -cr for a rolling consolidation of monthly files.

Continuous Incrementals: A backup scheduling model for ShadowProtect that lets you create a base image file, then create additional incremental backup files at fixed times that include only the changes recorded by ShadowProtect since the last backup. Also called a Continuous Backup.

Crash-Consistent Backup: A backup created of all data on a volume but which does not capture the contents of memory or any pending I/O operations. This is the same result as taking a backup immediately after an unplanned reboot. Any edits not written to disk are lost.

Customer Data: ShadowProtect image files, snapshots, and associated data owned by a customer that must be transferred by the customer directly to the cloud.

Datacenters: In StorageCraft Cloud Services, facilities, including primary and secondary datacenters, under written contract with StorageCraft in the business of providing rack and floor space, along with ping, power and pipe for purposes of data hosting, administration, data colocation, and other cloud services. 

Deb: Short for Debian, the file extension for the Debian software package used in Linux. It also used when referring to a binary package that is in the Debian format.

Device: In StorageCraft Cloud Services, a representation in the cloud of a customer's local (physical or virtual) machine. The representation is constructed from the backups of the customer's machine which have been replicated to the cloud by ImageManager.

Differential Image File: A backup file containing the changes to the hard drive sectors since the creation of the last "Known Good Incremental" image file. A differential is triggered by things such as a missing or corrupt file in the backup chain, or a corrupt incremental tracking file (.idx). A differential image file takes about the same time to create as a base image file, but is smaller than a base image. The differential file typically takes longer to create and is larger than a typical incremental image. StorageCraft also refers to this as a Self-Healing Incremental.

Note: This definition is different than the one used by some other companies in the industry. They refer to a differential as a backup of the changes (differences) since the last Full backup. 

DiffGen: An automated process whereby ShadowProtect creates a differential image file (diffgen) when the program detects a break in a sheduled incremental chain. The diffgen process compares the current state of the volume with the last incremental file to create a new incremental in the chain. See also Incremental.

Disaster Recovery: The ability to mitigate the IT effects (such as data loss and system downtime) of any disruptive event, such as a natural disaster, system malfunction, user error, and malicious attack. Typical disaster recovery strategies include replication and backup/restore.

Dirty Shutdown State: A database is considered to be in a dirty state when the database files are not detached from the log stream correctly. Typically you must repair or recover the database files before you can start the database again.

Disk Device: A locally-accessible disk drive, including locally-attached USB or FireWire disk drives, and network drives such as SAN, NAS, iSCSI, SCSI, USB or FireWire.

Distro: Refers to a Linux operating system distribution or distro.

Driver: A program that interacts with a particular device or software. The driver provides a common interface to the device, or software, that makes it accessible to other computer systems and the user.

Drive Letter: See Mount as Drive Letter.

Dynamic Disk: A physical disk that provides features that basic disks do not (see Basic Disk), such as support for volumes spanning multiple disks. Dynamic disks use a hidden database to track information about dynamic volumes on the disk and other dynamic disks in the computer.

Encryption: A procedure that renders the contents of a file unintelligible to anyone that cannot present the appropriate decryption key.

Endpoint: A system, either a device or virtual machine, at the end of a network communication link. Specifically, a system with ShadowProtect and/or ShadowControl CMD installed.

Full Image File: Backup files that contain a copy of all used sectors on a disk drive. This image file contains all data on the computer, including operating system, applications, and data. Sometimes used interchangeably with base image file. However, a base image file is a full image used to start an incremental chain. See Base Image File.

Hard Drive: An electromagnetic storage device, also referred to as a “disk drive,” “hard drive,” or “hard disk drive” that stores and provides access to data on a computer.

Hardware Independent Restore (HIR): The ability to restore a system volume using ShadowProtect to dissimilar hardware.

HeadStart Restore (HSR): The ability using StorageCraft® HeadStart Restore® to begin the restoration of a large backup image chain while ShadowProtect continues to add Incremental backup image files to the same image chain. This reduces the time necessary to restore a large volume from days or weeks, to minutes or just a few hours.

Host: A node in a network that can run both server and client programs and that serves multiple users and devices.

Hot Backup: A backup image taken when ShadowProtect is loaded on the computer's standard operating system. A hot backup requires the use of a snapshot filter driver (see Snapshot).

Hot Restore: The restoration of a backup image while the computer or server remains up and running. You cannot perform a hot restore of a system volume.

Image or Image File: See Backup Image File.

Image Chain: A volume's base image file and all incremental image files necessary to restore the volume to a specific point-in-time. Compare with Image Set.

Image Repository: A storage device used to keep backup files from one or more ShadowProtect jobs. Typically, this is a shared device.

ImageReadyTMStorageCraft software utility that schedules and runs scripts on mounted backup image files. Typically, ImageReady tests the integrity of those files to ensure recoverability.

Image Set: All backup files generated by ShadowProtect of a given volume. An image set may include multiple image chains.

Incremental Image File: Also referred to as an incremental, backup files containing the sectors that have changed since the last Incremental backup was taken. Incremental images are fast to create and smaller than either base image files or differential image files. When restoring a drive (or files and folders), you must use the base image file and the appropriate incremental image files necessary to restore the computer to a specific point-in-time. 

intelligentFTP (iFTP): An optional tool available for ImageManager that improves transfer performance and usability over standard FTP for performing remote replication of backup files.

ISO (.iso): A file type used to create readable CD data discs. This type is based on the International Standard Organization's ISO-9660 specification for data storage on optical discs.

Large Block Device (LBD): Also known as a 4K or 4Kn (4K native) device or Advanced Format (AF).Storage devices formatted with 4096 bytes per sector. This contrasts with older devices which used a 512-byte-per-sector format.  LBD devices which emulate the older 512-byte sector specification are called Advanced Format 512e.

Lock Volume: A software request to gain exclusive access to a particular drive. Locking the volume prevents other software programs from changing the file system or opening files during the process of writing the image file.

Managed Folder: A local or remote folder that is jointly used by ShadowProtect and ImageManager. ShadowProtect creates backup image files and stores them in a user specified folder. ImageManager manages the backup image files in the user specified folder (managed folder) based on the file validation, replication and retention policies selected by the user.

Microsoft VolSnap: Microsoft's proprietary snapshot technology. Also, a Windows driver used in VSS operations.

Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS): The backup infrastructure for Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and later operating systems, as well as a mechanism for creating consistent point-in-time copies of data. VSS produces consistent snapshots by coordinating between business applications, file-system services, backup applications, fast-recovery solutions, and storage hardware.

Mount as Drive Letter: The process of assigning volumes (active primary partitions and logical partitions) to specific letter designators in the root namespace of a Microsoft operating system. Unlike mount points (see Mount Point), drive letter assignment permits only letters in the namespace, and they solely represent volumes. In other words, it is a process of naming the roots of the "forest" that represents the file system (with each volume being an independent tree in the "forest").

Mount Point: A directory on a volume that an application can use to "mount" (set up for use) a different volume. Mount points overcome the limitation of drive letters (see Mount as Drive Letter) and allow for a more logical organization of files and folders.

Mounted Volume: The ability to see and use a backup image that is physically located somewhere else on the network. When mounted, the backup image appears as a volume and behaves as if it were a part of the local computer system. Mounted volumes are read/write capable so users can update existing image files, scan for viruses or other malware, and repair the image file.

Mounter: The ShadowProtect software used to mount a backup image file.

Network Attached Storage (NAS): File-level computer data storage connected to a computer network providing data access to a group of clients. NAS not only operates as a file server, but is specialized for this task either by its hardware, software, or configuration of those elements.

Node: See Endpoint.

Operating System: Software that, after being loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all other programs on a computer. These other programs are called applications or application programs.

Organization: The topmost level of grouping for endpoints in a CMD-managed environment. Organizations can contain Sites. 

Partition: The portion of a physical disk that functions as though it were a physically separate disk. Once created, a partition must be formatted and assigned a drive letter before data can be stored on it. On basic disks, partitions can contain basic volumes, which include primary partitions and logical drives. On dynamic disks, partitions are known as dynamic volumes and come in the following types: simple, striped, spanned, mirrored, and RAID--5 (striped with parity) volumes.

Point-in-time Backup: A backup routine that lets you restore a file, folder, or the entire system to a specific point-in-time. Point-in-time backups are often used to roll-back a computer to a point prior to a computer problem. Note that when using as a noun, such as in "at a given point in time", do not use hyphens.

Primary Data Center: In StorageCraft Cloud Services, the location (in the cloud) where ImageManager replicates cloud service backups. See also Secondary Data Center.

Protected Volumes: Volumes that users have selected for backup by ShadowProtect.

Pruning: See Space Exclusion.

RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A collection of disk drives that together offer increased performance and fault tolerance. There are a number of different RAID levels. The three most commonly used are 0, 1, and 5:

  • Level 0: striping without parity (spreading out blocks of each file across multiple disks).
  • Level 1: disk mirroring or duplexing.
  • Level 5: block-level striping with distributed parity.

Real-time: A level of computer responsiveness that a user perceives as essentially immediate, or that enables the computer to keep up with some external process such as backing up.

Recovery Environment: See StorageCraft Recovery Environment.

Remote Computer (Node): A computer that is physically located somewhere else on a network but is accessible from a local computer.

Repo: A term used in Linux in reference to an online software repository. Users and the operating systems access a repo to retrieve install packages, updates, keys, and other software components.

Repository: See Image Repository

Restoring: The activity of retrieving computer data from a previously-saved backup image file.

Scheduled Job: A job created in the ShadowProtect interface. Scheduled jobs let ShadowProtect backup events to occur automatically.

Secondary Data Center: In StorageCraft Cloud services, the location where customer data is stored after being mirrored from a primary data center. Secondary data centers are located in a different geographical region of the country than the primary datacenter. This ensures that a disaster affecting the primary datacenter won't affect the secondary datacenter.  In the event of failure of the primary datacenter, the secondary datacenter provides the same level of service to customers as the primary datacenter.

Seed the Cloud: In StorageCraft Cloud services, the process of copying the initial customer backup data to the primary data center. Due to the initial size of the files, these backup images are sent on a physical “seed drive” instead of being replicated over the wire. Seeding consists of 1) populating a USB seed drive (ImageManager copies the backup files to the drive), 2) shipping the drive to StorageCraft, then 3) StorageCraft copies the data on the seed drive to the cloud servers in the data center. Seeding can occur while later incrementals are uploaded to Cloud Services.

Service: A program, routine, or process that performs a specific system function to support other programs, particularly at a low (close to the hardware) level.

ShadowStream: An optional high-performance transfer tool for remote replication of backup files using ImageManager. ShadowStream significantly improves transfer rates over traditional FTP.

Site: A sub-grouping of endpoints within an Organization in a CMD-managed environment. See Organization.

Snapshot: A type of backup that provides a point-in-time view of a volume. When you perform a backup or scheduled backup, ShadowProtect uses either the StorageCraft Volume Snapshot Manager (VSM) or the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to take a snapshot of the volume. Any changes that occur to the volume after the snapshot is taken are not included in the backup. See also StorageCraft cloud backup image files.

Spanned Image Set: ShadowProtect can divide a large backup image file into a collection of multiple smaller files, called a spanned image set, for easier archiving (such as on CD or DVD media).

.spf: A file extension representing a ShadowProtect full or base image file.

.spi: A file extension representing a ShadowProtect incremental or differential image file.

.sp (number): A file extension representing a ShadowProtect image file that spans multiple files. The number following .sp is the sequence of the file in the spanned image file group.

Space Exclusion: Reducing the size of a backup image and/or consolidation files by excluding free space from the backup image. This feature is currently available in ShadowProtect and ImageManager. It is not available in the Image Conversion Tool.

Self-Healing Incremental: See Differential Image File.

Spanned Image Set: A large backup image file that ShadowProtect divided into multiple smaller files for easier archiving. Spanning the image set lets you save the backup image file to removable media such as a CD or DVD.

Storage Area Network (SAN): A dedicated network that provides access to consolidated, block level data storage.

StorageCraft Cloud Backup Image: A file format used by StorageCraft for storing backup images in the StorageCraft Cloud. All standard StorageCraft files are converted to StorageCraft cloud backup image format when replicated to the cloud.

Note: Cloud images are slightly larger than locally-managed images. This results from the images stored in the cloud being compressed after they are encrypted for security reasons. Normally, ShadowProtect compresses backup images (non-cloud) before they are encrypted. This means that the cloud images are slightly larger than the local backup images. However, if you compare them to the computer being backed up, the cloud images are smaller.

StorageCraft Recovery Environment: A secondary boot environment (or operating system) that gives a user the functionality necessary to access and restore backup image files on a network. This environment is typically used when a drive cannot be restored from within Windows or when the computer has suffered a catastrophic failure and the entire hard drive must be restored.

Superadmin: The topmost administrative user account on a StorageCraft ShadowControl appliance. It is an administrator of all other admin accounts defined in a ShadowControl environment.

System Downtime: The amount of time a server or PC is offline and inaccessible to users. This is commonly known as having the system out of production.

System Volume: The volume that stores the boot files necessary to load an operating system. Typically, this is the C: volume.

Tray Icon: A graphical representation of a computer program or application. For example, ShadowProtect uses a tray icon for the user to gain information about the program. Tray icons reside in the Windows system tray.

UNC (Universal Naming Convention): A method used to identify folders, files and programs on a network computer. A UNC path begins with two backslashes
followed by the server name, share name, directory and filename. For example, \\server_name\share_name\backup_name.spi.

Unprotected Volumes: Volumes not protected by ShadowProtect.

User Interface (UI): The portions of a computer system with which a user interacts (display, keyboard, mouse, etc.) and the portion of a software program that accepts and responds to user interaction. See also Workspace for cloud services users.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): A private data network that makes use of the public telecommunication infrastructure. VPNs maintain privacy through the use of tunneling protocols, encryption, and other security procedures.

VirtualBoot: ShadowProtect's ability to create a Virtual Machine based on an existing backup image chain. Once started using VirtualBoot, the VM provides complete access to data, applications, and services provided by the original system, in a state corresponding with the last Incremental image included in the VM.

Virtual Volume: A locally referenced volume that does not physically exist on the system. ShadowProtect uses virtual volumes for the benefit of protecting computer systems.

Volume: An area of storage on a hard disk. A volume is formatted using a file system, such as file allocation table (FAT) or NTFS, and typically has a drive letter assigned to it. A single hard disk can have multiple volumes, and volumes can also span multiple disks.

Vsnap VSS (or vsnapvss): A StorageCraft executable driver installed and run by ShadowProtect to perform a snapshot of a volume.

VSS: See Microsoft VSS.

VSS-Aware: An application designed to work with the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) framework to ensure consistent data backup.

Workspace: In StorageCraft Cloud Services, the workspace is the combination of the various user interfaces used to interact with the services. Cloud services workspace leverages ShadowProtect, ImageManager and the StorageCraft portal.




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