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Incremental forever – no more full backups

Restoring to a point-in-time with a single quick operation
One challenge IBM’s engineers were able to pinpoint a long time ago as a growing problem of the backup process is the transfer of all an organization’s information through a backup server to the backup media. It takes a long time, it places an intense load on network resources, and, of course, it increases the amount of storage media required to maintain the backup.

So, they developed a particularly smart algorithm that can perform regular backups only of those changes made to a system since the previous backup. This eliminates the need for a full backup of the data on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis, while reducing the time needed for recovery.

The method is called progressive incremental forever. And to this day, there is no technology on the market capable of implementing this backup method as effectively as IBM’s technology (in terms of restore time metrics for backup of changed data over particularly long periods of time).

This is what the backup cycle looks like in organizations not using incremental forever technology (which is most of them), as opposed to the cycle for those using it.

With the incremental forever methodology, the backup window is shorter by about 90%, the backup storage capacity is significantly smaller, and the burden on the production environment is minimized.