Ask the Expert

Which product, incremental or differential? - Part II

Do you have any information on Tivoli Storage Manager vs. Veritas NetBackup? Do you have any information on incremental backup forever vs. differential? Thanks!

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I won't spend much time explaining the full + incremental method because everyone already understands it, it's how backups have been done for years. It's simple but it obviously results in backing up files that have not changed. One thing to do is to decrease the frequency of your full backups. I whole-heartedly believe that full backups more often than once a month are a waste of bandwidth, media, and other resources. Perform a full backup monthly or even quarterly, followed by weekly cumulative incrementals and daily incrementals.

There are dozens of other differences between the two products that I don't have the time to go into. My advice on this is the same as always. Which one is right for you depends on your environment. Hire a backup consultant to evaluate your environment and requirements and have him/her help you to evaluate and select the right product for YOU.

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This was first published in May 2002

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