What is the Difference between Backup & Replication?

What is the Difference between Backup & Replication?
Updated On: July 13, 2023

Difference between Data Backup & Replication?

Replication and backup are frequently used interchangeably erroneously. While there are pros and cons in each case, IT decision makers must understand the differences between the two systems. Business transactions take place at all times, in some cases 24×7 and avoiding downtime is, therefore, a basic business necessity, as downtime could make a significant dent on the bottom line, translating into huge losses. Transactions and business services tend to hinge upon uninterrupted and continuous access to data. However, when servers fail and downtime occurs, what can be done to access business data?

What is Data Backup?

Data backup and storage systems have been used for decades now. Backup involves creating a copy or copies of an existing set of data so that in case of a data loss, the original could be restored and recovered. Previously, disks or tape-based solutions were used for storing archived data; however, with the advent of cloud computing, the situation has changed completely, as it is now a common practise to remotely backup data online, allowing the quickest recovery of data.

Generally, a complete backup of the data can be done at your system through different backup programs. However, this can involve a great deal of time, depending upon the number of applications or files you want to backup, as well as the location where the data is being stored.

In addition to compliance, data could be backed up in order to protect assets in case of data loss, due to accidental deletion, corruption, natural disasters, and more. Another reason why data needs to be backed up is for the purpose of point in time recovery, based on pre-defined data retention policies.

Properly planned data backup assures that data loss is minimal, which could further help businesses make better and informed decisions. Recovered data could, in some instances, be used in the future for decision-making purposes.Backup and Replication | Backup Everything

What is Data Replication?

Replication is the act of copying data and then moving data between companies’s sites, whether those be on local or remote servers. In the tech world, replication is a lot more than simply a backup technique. It also involves a full-scale disaster recovery aspect, which has been designed with the worst-case scenario in mind. Replication is the maintenance of duplicate database and continuous synchronisation.

Databases created in replication could be used as instant failovers, meaning in case a database is down, the replicated database — with its most recent data — will kick in, allowing machines which depended on the downed database to continue ticking. Replication also involves investing in other identical infrastructure or appliance, which can potentially impact the IT budget. Replication is typically measured through Recovery Point Objective (RPO) or Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

The purpose of data replication is to maintain focus on business conthttps://www.techrepublic.com/article/tech-tip-determine-an-acceptable-recovery-point-objective/inuity by providing an easy and quick recovery of business operations after a disaster. Replication is carried out either in a synchronous (real time replication) or in an asynchronous (periodic replication) manner, focusing more on those business processes and applications that are critical. The importance of synchronised database needs to be considered rather closely. Data discrepancies could be avoided completely as updates would automatically start synchronising your data in real time.

Fluid Front-end Usage

In replication, users wouldn’t know if there was a glitch from a disruption that occurred at the back-end. Transactional data is not lost, as it has been replicated from several databases. Not only your data is safe and secure but also, your users can continue uninterrupted.

Comparing Data Backup and Replication




How it Works

This typically depends upon snapshots, which are usually the copies of data set, which has been taken at a point in time.

Replication could be synchronous, asynchronous or Near synchronous, and may use CDP for users to access historical data.


This involves having a tape library, local disk, or online backup services, storage space to save archived data

Involves investing in additional infrastructure so as to assure recovery, and continued business operations.


Focuses upon granular and compliance recovery, like long-term archival of company’s records.

Focuses on disaster recovery; facilitates an easy and quick resumption of business operations after an outage.


Backup is basically being used for everything within production servers.

Replication is commonly used for mission-critical applications, which must always be running.


Backup is like taking a picture – snapshots taken at specific times every day. Data can be restored to its state, as at the snapshot time.

Replication is like taking several identical video – recording all “roll” at the same time, if one of the recordings goes down, the other recordings are exactly like the original and processing picks up where it left off.

Backup and Replication | Backup EverythingWhich Option is the Best?

Data backups and data replication will work best when they are being used in tandem. In the case of, for instance, an accidental data deletion, data is replicated with deleted data to the replica. This means, replication will not be the best choice and will need to initiate failover in order to recover a file, which is not practical at all.

When downtime occurs at an organisation, the priority is to get the basics back online for users to access. Replication software is built for such purposes and should be able to ensure business continuity. It can be said that backup guarantees that data can be recovered in a loss or even a disaster scenario, whereas replication, on the other side, provides an improved degree of high-availability against any unwanted situations or a disaster, and which ensures instant failover and business continuity.

The major difference between data backup and replication is that backup can be performed on private and public clouds, whereas, replication can only be done on private cloud.

Backup Everything offers services that have a combination of data backups and replications which will cover every business aspect. The process is initiated by data replication after which the data is backed up to the cloud.  By using our services, customers can save upon capital expenses, which are associated with buying a physical appliance, as well as operating expenses, like cooling and power costs. Through our services, users can be assured that their data is safe and protected from any potential loss.


Saaher Muzafer / CEO Backup Everything
Saaher Muzafer / CEO Backup Everything

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