Backup glossary

This article contains a list of popular terms related to backup.

MD5 hash

In cryptography, MD5 (Message-Digest algorithm 5) is a widely used cryptographic hash function with a 128-bit hash value.

As an Internet standard (RFC 1321), MD5 has been employed in a wide variety of security applications, and is also commonly used to check the integrity of files. However, it has been shown that MD5 is not collision resistant; as such, MD5 is not suitable for applications like SSL certificates or digital signatures that rely on this property. An MD5 hash is typically expressed as a 32-digit hexadecimal number.

Public-Key Encryption

Public-Key Encryption is a scheme using an asymmetric algorithm to create a pair of keys for encryption: a public key encrypts data, and a corresponding private key decrypts it.

In some situations, such as digital signatures, the process is reversed: the sender uses a private key to create a unique number that can be read by anyone who has the corresponding public key. The agreement of the public and private keys verifies that the message is truly from the sender.

SHA1 hash

The SHA hash functions are a set of cryptographic hash functions designed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and published by the NIST as a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard. SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. The three SHA algorithms are structured differently and are distinguished as SHA-0, SHA-1, and SHA-2. The SHA-2 family uses an identical algorithm with a variable digest size which is distinguished as SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512.

SHA-1 is the best established of the existing SHA hash functions, and is employed in several widely used security applications and protocols. In 2005, security flaws were identified in SHA-1, namely that a possible mathematical weakness might exist, indicating that a stronger hash function would be desirable. Although no attacks have yet been reported on the SHA-2 variants, they are algorithmically similar to SHA-1 and so efforts are underway to develop improved alternatives. A new hash standard, SHA-3, is currently under development – the function will be selected via an open competition running between fall 2008 and 2012.

PS3 backup utility

PS3 backup utility represents the back up data saved on the hard disk to storage media or a USB mass storage device, or restore data that has been backed up.

Hyper-V backup

The Hyper-V role in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 provides software infrastructure and basic management tools that you can use to create and manage a virtualized server computing environment.

When you plan a Hyper-V backup and recovery strategy for a virtualized server environment, there are several factors to consider. You must consider the different types of backups you can make, the state of the virtual machine, and the type of storage being used by the virtual machines.

PS2 backup

PS2 backup is the backing up of your video games in the case of damage to your disk or some other failure. PS2 backup can also allow you to play your PS2 games on your computer, as well as creating reserve copies to protect against damage to your original.

You can even create copies of your games and play the copies while keeping the actual original safe and out of use, then if any damage occurs it occurs to the copy and not to your original disk.

Automated backup

An automated backup is a scheduled backup configured to run daily, weekly or monthly. The backup does not need to be performed manually because the application will start and execute the backup at its scheduled time. A notification email containing the backup log can be sent to an email address. When a problem appears, the administrator will be notified about that by email.

Backup assistance

Backup assistance means to offer technical assistance for a backup software. Softland offers backup assistance by email and by phone for Backup4all software.

Laptop backup

A laptop backup is a copy of your laptop data files and folders. The files are backed up to high capacity disk drives or a separate disk sub-system, which represent the protection against loss, damage or non-availability of the data held on information systems.

Microsoft backup utility

The Microsoft backup utility helps you create a copy of the information on your hard disk. In the event that the original data on your hard disk is accidentally erased or overwritten, or becomes inaccessible because of a hard disk malfunction, you can use the copy to restore your lost or damaged data. The Windows Backup utility helps you protect data from accidental loss.

Backup restore software

A backup restore software is a computer program able to restore the backups created by the same application. Restore is the process of retrieving data from a backup, operation performed when data is lost, corrupted, or otherwise changed. It is extremely important to review and test the restore procedures, to ensure that, in an emergency, appropriate action can be taken. A real danger, when restoring files from the backup, is that of restoring additional files which then over-write newer files. Were this to happen to an order processing system, or other system which records transactions, such an error could result in severe loss.

To avoid even the possibility of such an error, you should always restore files to a specific location that is separate from the live files. Then, having verified the integrity of the restored file(s), they may be copied to the required area; again, cautiously and with consideration for the risks involved.

Backup procedure

A backup procedure represents the way you back up your files. Any backup procedure starts with a concept of a data repository. The backup data needs to be stored and organized. Therefore, it's important to establish your backup procedure before choosing the backup solution that is right for you. Different backup procedure have different advantages.

Xbox backup

Xbox backup means to create an exact image of the Xbox game and put it on another destination media, such as DVD.

The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console produced by Microsoft. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market, and competed with Sony's PlayStation 2, Sega's Dreamcast, and Nintendo's Nintendo GameCube. The integrated Xbox Live service allows players to compete online.

Online backup storage

Online backup storage is an offsite server used to store personal data files and folders, or the entire contents of a hard drive which are backed up from different computers over the Internet.

Backup rotation scheme

A backup rotation scheme is a method for effectively backing up data where multiple media are used in the backup process. The scheme determines how and when each piece of removable storage is used for a backup job and how long it is retained once it has backup data stored on it.

Different techniques have evolved over time to balance data retention and restoration needs with the cost of extra data storage media. Such a scheme can be quite complicated if it takes incremental backups, multiple retention periods, and off-site storage into consideration. The most widely-known schemes are Grandfather-father-son, Tower of Hanoi, etc.

Daily backup

Daily backup refers to making daily copies of data so that these additional copies may be used to restore the original after a data loss event. Daily backups can also be combined with weekly or monthly full backups, according to the backup scenario used.

Continuous backup

Continuous backup, also called Continuous data protection (CDP) or real-time backup, refers to backup of computer data by automatically saving a copy of every change made to that data, essentially capturing every version of the data that the user saves. It allows the user or administrator to restore data to any point in time.

Continuous backup is a service that captures changes to data to a separate storage location. There are multiple methods for capturing the continuous changes involving different technologies that serve different needs. Continuous backup based solutions can provide fine granularities of restorable objects ranging from crash-consistent images to logical objects such as files, mail boxes, messages, and database files and logs.

Small business backup

Small business backup represents the safety copy of a company in case of data loss. Small businesses are as dependent on computers as large corporations today. But while large corporations consider and employ backup strategies from day one, most small business delay implementing backups until disaster strikes. Computers are not dependable and are susceptible to a host of significant and costly problems: lost data, viruses, system or application failures, file corruption, lost or stolen computers, hard drive crashes, and obsolete systems.

Backup software XP

A Backup software XP is a computer software application that works under Windows XP and is used to perform backups of data, for example Backup4all, and generate systematic backup copies.

Exchange backup

After installing a brand new Exchange server, its time to decide the ways and means of backing it up. Exchange uses the Microsoft Jet database engine to store its items. This engine can handle multiple databases, now grouped into storage groups.

Database files cannot be backed up while they are mounted, that is when they are online and serving requests. Due to the nature of the Exchange database you can only backup the entire database, not a single mailbox or a few selected items. This is also true for restore operations.

NTBackup

NTBackup is the built-in backup command of Microsoft Windows, introduced in Windows NT around 1997 and part of all subsequent versions up to and including Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. It uses a proprietary backup format (BKF) to back up files.

In Windows Vista and later operating systems, NTBackup was replaced by Windows Backup and Restore Center, which uses the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format, supports backup to modern media such as DVDs and image-based full system backups.
Beginning with Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has replaced NTBackup with Windows Server Backup, which also includes the new wbadmin command.

For reading/restoring older backups, Microsoft has made available the NTBackup Restore utility which can only read BKF files. This utility can only be used on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It cannot be used on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 as it depends on Removable Storage Manager, a component removed in these operating systems.

Live backup

A live backup, also called a hot backup, means to create a backup of the installed OS on your hard disk while it is running.

Backup freeware

A backup freeware application is a computer software used to perform backups of data files and folders, which is distributed for free. The back up program enables you to make an exact duplicate of everything contained on the original source. This software must also be used to perform a complete restore of the data.

Free backup utility

A free backup utility is a computer program used to perform a complete backup of a file, data, database, system or server and which is distributed for free. The backup utility enables a user to make an exact duplicate of everything contained on the original source. This free backup utility must also be used to perform a recovery of the data or system in the event of a disaster.

XP Home backup

A XP Home backup is a copy of Windows OS. A backup can be performed using an integrated backup utility, or another backup application. Many users are seeking a more user-friendly and efficient backup program. Sometimes this term can be interpreted as Windows system registry backup, i.e. backup of the of the system and application settings stored in the registry.

The process of backing up system files and settings in order to be able to restore the system in case of malfunctioning or hardware failure, as well as natural disasters and exposure to extreme weather conditions which may cause the system to go down. It should be mentioned, however, that human mistake, such as accidental deleting of a system file, is also a common cause of system failure. In this case the best solution is to restore the system from the Windows backup file.

Bare metal backup

Bare metal backup is a technique in the field of data backup where the backed up data is available in a form which allows one to restore a computer system from "bare metal", i.e. without any requirements as to previously installed software or operating system.

Typically, the backed up data include the necessary operating system, applications and data components to rebuild or restore the backed up system to an entirely separate piece of hardware.

Bare metal backup differs from local disk image backup where a copy of the disk image, and the backup software, are stored on the computer that is backed up.

Bare metal backup differs from simple data backups where application data, but neither the applications nor the operating system are backed up or restored as a unit.

Backup hard drive

A hard drive backup is a backup of the entire contents of a hard disk. It might refer to a backup of all data files or just all files from a hard disk or creating a hard disk image. Once backed up, the files are stored on different destinations as external hard drives, CD, DVD or Blu-ray disks, network computers or FTP servers.

RSM Backup

Removable Storage Manager (RSM) service runs on the Windows 2000 Server operating system. The backup rsm command backs up the RSM database. Then the command performs a selective backup of the copy to the server. The RSM server continues to run during the backup process.

If you want to back up RSM, ensure that the RSM service is set to automatic; setting the RSM service to manual may cause the service to stop after a period of activity and will not be available for back up.

Backup program

Backup program is a computer program used to perform a complete back up of data files and folders. The back up program enables you to make an exact duplicate of everything contained on the original source. This software must also be used to perform a complete restore of the data.

Snapshots backup

A snapshots backup is a virtual copy of a device or filesystem. Snapshots imitate the way a file or device looked at the precise time the snapshot was taken. It is not a copy of the data, only a picture in time of how the data was organized. Snapshots can be taken according to a scheduled time and provide a consistent view of a filesystem or device for a backup and recovery program to work from.

Server backup software

A Server backup software is a backup program installed on a server, designed to make copies of files from users' machines or other servers. It is an excellent way to save your important files into one single compressed file.

System backup

A system backup (or disk image) is a backup of all system files, which allows restoring the operating system to a working state after a crash. Usually only special programs, targeted on backing up system files, can perform a system backup. Sometimes this term can be interpreted as system registry backup, i.e. backup the system and application settings stored in the registry.

NTBackup

NTBackup is the built-in backup command of Microsoft Windows, introduced in Windows NT around 1997 and part of all subsequent versions up to and including Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. It uses a proprietary backup format (BKF) to back up files. Files can be backed up to tape, ZIP drives and floppy disks. It also features integration with Task Scheduler and has several command line switches for scheduled automated backups.

In Windows Vista and later operating systems, NTBackup was replaced by Windows Backup and Restore Center, which uses the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format, supports backup to modern media such as DVDs and image-based full system backups.

Beginning with Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has replaced NTBackup with Windows Server Backup, which also includes the new wbadmin command.

For reading/restoring older backups, Microsoft has made available the NTBackup Restore utility which can only read BKF files. This utility can only be used on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. It cannot be used on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 as it depends on Removable Storage Manager, a component removed in these operating systems.

Microsoft backup

A Microsoft backup is an integrated software, available in Windows, that can backup files.
The process of creating reserve copies of data files from Microsoft proprietary products such as the whole line of the Windows operating systems, Microsoft mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, Microsoft Office and all other Microsoft software for personal computers.

Backup registry

The registry is the heart of the Windows operating system. It contains hardware settings, all system and third-party software settings, and also per-user individual settings.

It is a good idea to back up registry information for such cases when your PC suddenly refuses to recognize its hardware components, or when the applications you've already set up for auto startup do not start automatically after logging on, or when you need to tune settings for all programs every time anew. All this kind of information is stored in the registry. So when these weird things start to happen to your PC, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to restore the whole system. It may be enough just to restore the registry, given you already have at least one Windows registry backup.

Vista backup utility

Vista backup utility is a feature in Windows Vista that makes it easier for you to keep your data safe from user error, hardware failure, and other problems. This feature can be accessed from the Windows Backup and Restore Center.

Tape backup

Tape backup means to periodically copy the contents of all or a designated amount of data from its usual storage device to a tape cartridge device. In the event of a hard disk crash or hard disk failure, the data won't be lost. A tape backup can be done manually or, with appropriate software, be scheduled to run automatically.

Tape backup systems exist for needs ranging from backing up the hard disk on a personal computer to backing up large amounts of storage for archiving and disaster recovery purposes in a large enterprise as part of a storage area network (SAN), usually combining a hardware and software package.

Tape backup also includes the ability to restore data that has been backed up back to hard disk storage devices when needed.

Backup applications

A backup application is a computer software used to perform a complete back up of a file, data, database, system or server. The back up applications enables you to make an exact duplicate of everything contained on the original source. These applications must also be used to perform a recovery of the data or system in the event of a disaster.

Data Integrity

Data integrity guarantees that data sent from one end of a transaction arrives unaltered at the other end.

Even if encrypted, the data being sent over the network could still be vulnerable to someone inserting unwanted data into the data stream. For SFTP, Backup4all uses Message Authentication Code (MAC) algorithms to greatly improve simple 32-bit CRC data integrity checking method.

Backup Exec

Backup Exec is backup software currently developed by Symantec. Backup Exec has a long history of being sold from one company to another. Its earliest roots stretch back to the early 1980s when Maynard Electronics created a bundle of software drivers to help sell their tape drive products.

Today, Backup Exec is a data protection solution that provides continuous disk-to-disk-to-tape backup and recovery. Continuous protection is now available for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server in addition to file servers and workstations, eliminating daily backups and providing point-in-time recovery.

Backup files online

Storing your files online is an easy way to backup your hard drive and share documents. The most common solution is to backup your files to an FTP server. If something causes your hard disk drive to fail in your PC, or corrupts your data, you have a copy of your information located elsewhere.

Public Key Authentication

Public key authentication is the most secure method for SFTP authentication. Public key authentication uses a pair of computer generated keys – one public and one private. Each key is usually between 1024 and 2048 bits in length, and appears like the sample below. Even though you can see it, it is useless if you don't have the corresponding private key.

Example:
---- BEGIN SSH2 PUBLIC KEY ----
Subject:
Comment: public key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-----END SSH2 PRIVATE KEY-----

Public-private keys are typically generated using a key generation utility. Both keys in the pair are generated at the same time and, while the two are related, a private key cannot be computed from a corresponding public key. In addition to authentication, keys can also be used to sign data. To access an account on a SFTP server, a copy of the client’s public key must be uploaded to the server. When the client connects to the server, it proves that it has the correct key and access is granted.

The private key never leaves the client machine, and therefore cannot be stolen or guessed like a password can. Usually the private key has a “passphrase” associated with it, so even if the private key is stolen, the attacker must still guess the passphrase in order to gain access. Public key authentication does not trust any information from a client or allow any access until the client can prove it has the private key.

Automatic backup software

An automatic backup software is a software that supports scheduling. The backup runs automatically as scheduled. The advantage of an automatic backup software is that the user does not need to remember to backup or stop what they are currently doing to perform the backup.

Data backup strategy

A data backup strategy represents the way you back up your files. Any data backup strategy starts with a concept of a data repository. The backup data needs to be stored and organized. Therefore, it's important to establish your data backup strategy before choosing the data backup solution that is right for you. Different data backup strategies have different advantages.

Computer backup software

A computer backup software is a program that performs copies of all computer data and settings to be able to recover it after a computer crash, a virus or system re-installation. The backup can be done to a DVD disk, a removable drive or even to another network computer.

Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

The Secure File Transfer Protocol (or SFTP) is a network protocol that provides file access, file transfer, and file management functionality over any reliable data stream.

It was designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as an extension of the Secure Shell protocol (SSH) version 2.0 to provide secure file transfer capability, but is also intended to be usable with other protocols as well. The IETF of the Internet Draft states that even though this protocol is described in the context of the SSH-2 protocol, this protocol is general and independent of the rest of the SSH2 protocol suite. It could be used in a number of different applications, such as secure file transfer over Transport Layer Security (TLS) and transfer of management information in VPN applications.

This protocol assumes that it is run over a secure channel, such as SSH, that the server has already authenticated the client, and that the identity of the client user is available to the protocol.

Backup methods

The fundamental backup methods are: full backup, incremental backup, differential backup, mirror backup. The first three methods creates zipped backups while the mirror backup type keeps the files in the original format. Backup4all supports all these backup methods. To choose a data backup method, you must first weigh three factors: the capacity of your backup media, the period of time available for your backup, and the level of urgency expressed by you or other users when a file restoration is necessary.

Backup disaster recovery

Backup disaster recovery is the process, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure critical to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster.

Disaster recovery planning is a subset of a larger process known as business continuity planning and should include planning for resumption of applications, data, hardware, communications (such as networking) and other IT infrastructure. A business continuity plan includes planning for non-IT related aspects such as key personnel, facilities, crisis communication and reputation protection, and should refer to the disaster recovery plan (DRP) for IT related infrastructure recovery/continuity.

Image backup

An image backup is a backup of an entire hard drive by means of creating its image and its probable consequential backup. It allows, in case of a disaster, by restoring a disk image to have the exactly same system state as on the moment of the initial image backup.

Some backup programs only back up user files, boot information and files locked by the operating system, such as those in use at the time of the backup, may not be saved on some operating systems. A disk image contains all files, faithfully replicating all data. For this reason, it is also used for backing up CDs and DVDs.

Backup types

The four fundamental backup types are: full backup, differential backup, incremental backup and mirror backup. Full, differential and incremental creates zipped backups while the mirror backup type creates in destination an exact copy of the source files. Backup4all application includes all these four backup types.

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