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Your automatic and adaptive backups

Oops, I should have made backups!

Have you ever thought about it?

If you are one of the lucky ones who have never lost data, you might one day regret relying solely on your good fortune. The hard drive can fail, or you might hastily save a file without changing its name to keep the old version.

If you want to set up seamless and automatic backups without having to worry about it, that's where your Ajabox comes to your rescue.

In your Ajabox, we use one of the most efficient mechanisms that bring security, speed, and optimized storage volume. We use the "reverse differential backup" method.

Very few people use it because it's complex to set up. We eliminate this complexity with Ajabox because it's integrated and automated. In the end, all you need to do is set the daily backup time, and that's it; your Ajabox takes care of the rest.

Manually, you may already be backing up your files from time to time to an external hard drive. It's better than nothing, but it's not very efficient and time-consuming. If you back up everything each time, on the one hand, the volume of your data increases over time with longer backup times each day. On the other hand, a choice must be made between preserving the history and the volume of data retained.

Indeed, you either overwrite the old backup and lose previous changes to your files, or you keep them, and your total volume quickly becomes substantial and unmanageable (represented by the sum of all the columns in the diagram below).

Representation of a complete backup with the elongation of backup time and the excessive growth of required storage space

There are much more efficient and less time-consuming solutions.

From one backup to another, here's what you should do depending on the status of your files:

  • New or modified, back them up and keep the old versions,
  • Unchanged, ignore them,
  • Deleted, nothing to do.
Changing the state of your files over time.

A first-level improvement is to switch to incremental backup. Each day, only relevant data is backed up.

Image of incremental backup over time

As seen in the previous diagram, the advantage of incremental backup is that it only takes the necessary information each day.

Compared to a full backup, the benefits are:

  • Much faster backup (first full backup, then just modified files),
  • Reduced storage volume to the essentials.

The disadvantages are:

  • Higher susceptibility to backup corruption (only one copy of each file version is available),
  • Longer restoration time than a full backup,
Recomposition before restoration in the case of incremental backup

In the event of a hard drive crash, the system has a lot of reconstruction work to do to restore the complete previous state (as shown in the previous diagram).

In your Ajabox, we use a more powerful mechanism, a sliding incremental mirror, which combines security, speed, and low volume. This is commonly referred to as "reverse differential backup." You have a complete image of the last backup immediately available for restoration without re-computation, and you retain the history of all your files over time (as shown below).

Reverse differential backup

The advantages compared to a traditional incremental backup are:

  • Restoration time as fast as a full backup,
  • Less susceptibility to backup corruption (2 copies of the latest version of each file).

The only slight drawback compared to a traditional incremental backup is:

  • Slightly higher volume (but incomparable to a full backup).
Complete restoration without recomputation for reverse differential backup

In the case of a disk crash, the advantage of this solution is the ability to recover quickly. The only case where prior reconstruction is required is when you want to restore a folder to its state at a specific date.

Restoring a directory to a previous date

The advantage of this type of solution compared to a pure incremental strategy is the ability to combine the quick recovery of a full backup with the space and time savings of incremental backup while increasing redundancy and security.

Finally, to finish, your Ajabox optimizes the occupied space even more and the backup time because we go down to the block level.

When you format a disk, you create blocks. These blocks, composed of bytes themselves, are the units for file manipulation. We optimize by going down to this granularity level by selecting the blocks that have been modified, without taking each modified file entirely. Thus, by taking the essentials, we further optimize the backup time and occupied space.

Granularity of the differential at the block level