Glossary

Backup: The activity of copying files, volumes, and databases to preserve them in case of equipment failure or other catastrophe. An important part of a disaster recovery strategy, backup is often neglected, particularly for personal computer users.

Backup Image File: Files that contain the contents of a backup activity, Backup Image Files let you restore the contents of a computer system to a specific point-in-time.

Backup Image Set: The Base Image File, plus any Incremental Image Files, that comprise all Backup Image Files for a specific computer system.

Bare Metal Recovery: 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.

Base Image File: see Full Image File.

Basic Disk: A physical disk drive that can be accessed by MS-DOS* and all Windows* operating systems. Basic disks can contain up to four primary partitions, or three primary partitions and an extended partition with multiple logical drives.

Cold Backup: A backup taken from the Recovery Environment, rather than when the computer's operating system is loaded.

Continuous Incrementals: A backup scheduling model for ShadowProtect that lets you create a base backup file, then create additional incremental backup files that include only changes that occurred since the last backup.

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

Differential Image File: Backup files containing the hard drive sectors that have changed since the Base Image File was created. Differential image files take about the same time to create as Base Image Files, but they are smaller. When restoring a drive (or files and folders), you must use the Base Image File with the appropriate Differential Image File to restore the computer to a specific point-in-time.

Disaster Recovery: The ability to recover from the complete loss of a computer, whether due to natural disaster or malicious intent. Typical disaster recovery strategies include replication and backup/restore.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 Set: The combination of a Full image and all additional Incremental images necessary to restore a computer to a given point-in-time.

Incremental Image File: 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 Full image files or Differential image files. When restoring a drive (or files and folders), you must use the Full image file and the appropriate Incremental image files necessary to restore the computer to a specific point-in-time.

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.

Microsoft VolSnap: The proprietary Microsoft snapshot technology.

Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS): The backup infrastructure available in Microsoft Windows (XP and Windows Server 2003 and later), which includes a mechanism for creating consistent data snapshots. VSS produces consistent snapshots by coordinating with 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 therein).

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 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 is 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.

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

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.

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

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 StorageCraft Volume Snapshot Manager (VSM) or 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.

.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.

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.

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

RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A collection of disk drives that offers 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.

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.

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

Spanned Image Set: A Backup Image File that has been divided into multiple smaller files for easier management or storage. This lets you save the Backup Image File to removable media such as a CD or DVD.

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.

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 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.

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: The ability to create a Virtual Machine based on an existing backup image chain. Once started, 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 by 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.

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

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