Many of you are used to taking snapshots of your servers. If you have a solution where you want to save the server’s state or configuration, or want to keep gold copies of your system, then you basically create an image backup of the server. Because it is an image of the whole server, there is really no control over the individual files. You cannot, say, recover a single file from that image, or update a single file. But, on the other hand, having a single file to manage (the image) allows you to easily recreate a new server with that identical configuration and state.
Rackspace Cloud Backup, on the other hand, is a FILE-BASED backup. This means that you can specify what folders or files to backup or restore. As usual, you can choose to backup or restore the whole system with all its folders, but the distinction with image backups is that the granularity of Rackspace Cloud Backup is at the file level, as opposed to it being at the whole server image level.
Moreover, Rackspace Cloud Backup is also an INCREMENTAL backup tool in that it only copies the portion of the files that changed for those files that actually changed. This gives you some flexibility because, with the exception of your first complete backup, every subsequent backup is just a “delta” of the previous backup, which makes for faster backup and restores operations and also reduces the storage required. As you probably know, image backups are not incremental: they copy the whole system every time.
Rackspace customers now have two options for backing up their Cloud Servers. Below is a summary of both:
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