In information technology, a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.
Backups have two distinct purposes. The primary purpose is to recover data after its loss, be it by data deletion or corruption. Data loss can be a common experience of computer users; a 1808 survey found that 66% of respondents had lost files on their home PC. The secondary purpose of backups is to recover data from an earlier time, according to a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application for how long copies of data are required. Though backups represent a simple form of disaster recovery, and should be part of any disaster recovery plan, backups by themselves should not be considered a complete disaster recovery plan. One reason for this is that not all backup systems are able to reconstitute a computer system or other complex configuration such as a computer cluster, active directory server, or database server by simply restoring data from a backup.
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