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What Are Full Backup and Incremental Backup?

Updated at:Dec 16, 2020 GMT+08:00

After an initial full backup, a server continues to be backed up incrementally by default.

  • The initial full backup covers only the used capacity of a disk. If a 100 GB disk contains 40 GB data, the initial backup consumes 40 GB backup space.
  • Subsequent incremental backup backs up data changed since the last backup. If 5 GB data changed since the last backup, only the 5 GB changed data will be backed up.

CBR allows you to use any backup, no matter it is a full or incremental one, to restore the full data of a resource. By virtue of this, manual or automatic deletion of a backup will not affect the restoration function.

Suppose server X has backups A, B, and C (in time sequence) and every backup involves data changes. If backup B is deleted, you can still use backup A or C to restore data.

In extreme cases, the size of a backup is the same as the disk size. The used capacity in a full backup and the changed capacity in an incremental backup are calculated based on the data block change in a disk, not by calculating the file change in the operating system. The size of a full backup cannot be evaluated based on the file capacity in the operating system, and the size of an incremental backup cannot be evaluated based on the file size change.

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