File Backup vs Image Backup: How to Choose?

File Backup vs Image Backup: How to Choose?

March 1

Getting the right solution in the right place, at the right time, is very important. Backup systems are critical to business success, and IT consultants are always looking for solutions that allow for high availability. When considering a file backup vs image backup, there truly are specific situations when one solution works better than the other.

File Backup vs Image Backup: How Do They Work?

We’ve spoken before about the differences in file backup vs image backup, but it’s always worth refreshing this info, just to keep safe. After all, peace of mind and safety are the purpose of having backups. These two types of backup software are designed with that in mind.

plan a and b road sign

File Backups

File and folder backup will back up each file on your PC. They don’t work in case you want to do a full restore of an operating system. File backup systems will save documents, but not the applications that created them. If you did not setup your file backup to save “all” the documents on your machine, then you won’t be able to restore them. You can generally configure file backup systems to take an automated backup of everything at a set time.

Image Backups

Image Backups are just what the name states: an image of your entire operating system, including files, executable programs and OS configurations. Professional backup solutions will create full or incremental images of the hard drive in an automated fashion. With an image backup, you can restore a single file, directory or entire disk to the same or another hardware or to a virtual machine. You can backup to different onsite or offsite deviecs, such as an external USB drive, network attached hard drives, NAS, SAN, or Firewire devices. Data should be securely encrypted to meet compliance requirements.

How to Choose Your Backup Solution

Mobile workforce, tablets, laptops – this is where File Backup & Recovery is a clear choice because there are no complex system configurations. If one of these systems went down, you do not have three days worth of of configurations to get it back up and running. As long as you have the user-generated data, you’re good to go.

Servers and complex computer systems – they are runing databases, SQL and Exchange servers. If something happened and you did not have a full image-based backup, it would take a long time to configure and set back up and running. This is not a situation where you would want to be in. This is mission critical data, businesses need this data to operate daily, so downtime is a huge issue. Here, a full image backup really makes sense.

In the middle is a combination, you really need to understand what your clients objectives are. And the most important is – how quickly they need to be back up and running after a disaster. For the vast majority of employee devices, it makes sense to use the file backup solution.