Software known as the Backup Client is installed on your designated 'Backup' computer. The Backup Client performs the selection, compression, encryption and transmission of Online Backups to and Data Recoveries from the DataBak Data Centre. Online Backups can be performed automatically, according to a schedule you define, and/or manually at any time.
The Online Backup Process
Files are selected for backup by ticking files or folders using a view similar to the standard Windows Explorer screen. You can select entire drives e.g. the C drive or individually select folders/files as required. You can also select files using filters. Filters are a quick way to select files of a particular type e.g. Microsoft Office documents. You can save a selection of drives, folder, files as a 'Backup Set'. For example you might select all your accounts data and save it in a Backup Set called 'Accounts'.
You can run a backup at any time by using the backup Now function or automate the backup process using schedules. A schedule causes a backup to run at a particular time e.g. each night at 7pm.
When a backup is started it first checks which files have changed and creates a list of files to backup.
If this is the first time an online backup has occurred it will select all files in the backup set. It will then sequentially work through this list of files compressing and encrypting them. Depending on the options you have configured, the backup file is either sent immediately or stored temporarily on the hard drive until all backup files have been prepared before sending them to a DataBak Data Centre.
When the backup files are ready to be sent the software automatically opens a connection to the internet using your existing internet connection method. If the internet connection is interrupted the backup resumes from where it was stopped and continues to transmit the remainder of the backup files to the DataBak Data Centre.
When the next online backup occurs the process is repeated but this time only new or changed files need be included in the backup list. However instead of simply compressing a changed file it is compared with it's previous backup and the binary changes between the two extracted to what's known as a patch file. The patch file is then compressed resulting in a backup file that is typically 85% - 99% smaller than the original file. The patch file is then encrypted ready for transmission.
In order to be able to perform patching the last backup of that file must be kept. These files, which are stored compressed are collectively known as the backup cache. The size of the backup cache can be modified by adjusting the number of days to keep files in the cache. The location of the cache can also be modified.
The Data Recovery Process
You select files for recovery in a similar manner as selecting files for backup. By default the last backup of each file is displayed, however you can also select previous versions of that file.
The versions of a file that can be restored is dependant on the Keep Versions and Deleted files for x days setting. This can be set from 0 to 90 days. It should be noted that the last backup is always available irrespective of the restore window setting unless you have elected to 'Remove deleted files from server' which we do not recommend to use. This is a particularly important feature of DataBak's service. If a file has been corrupted or deleted it may be some time before it is noticed. With traditional backup your good backup of the file may now have been overwritten by another backup.
Once you have made your selection you will be prompted to select where the files are to be restored. The options are to the original location or to a temporary location, the latter optionbeing the one we would recommend. The restore process will then begin.
At the DataBak Data Centre, when a restore is requested the earliest version (backup) of the file is first retrieved. Then versions of the file are added back to this version until the backup date requested is reached. This is then transmitted to the requesting client. If there are many versions of a file and/or the file is large there may be a short delay while the version requested is prepared for transmission. The file is sent compressed and encrypted until it is received by the client software, which decompresses and unlocks the file before being moving it to the requested location.