Snapshots are NOT Backups

Do you agree or disagree? Let me start by mentioning that snapshot can be certainly used as a part of backup strategy, however, they should not be considered as an actual replacement to your backups.

What is the 3-2-1 Rule? It simply means to keep at least three+ copies of your data, in two+ separate devices/locations, and one+ copy offsite (ideally air-gapped too).

What are Snapshots? They are technically a pointer to a specific point in time of your data. Most snapshots reside on the same storage provider where they are taken initially, and some providers even offer the option to offload them to a secondary location as well (some even offer snapshot immutability too!). Some of the advantages include being compact in size, since they do not have to copy all the data anywhere else. Also, because they do not require any data copying, they can also be restored very quickly.

What are Backups? They are a complete replica of your data taken at a specific time, and saved to a different location (ideally! Technically, you can save your backups to the same storage provider where you are backing up the data from, but that is definitely not recommended). These backups can normally be scheduled, audited, tested and much more. There are also multiple ways to configure them, always full, forever incremental (full backup is your oldest backup), reverse incremental (full backup is your most recent backup). Restores normally take a bit longer than restoring a snapshot simply because it needs to copy data from point A (source) to point B (destination).

Conclusion? Please do me a favor and avoid putting yourself in a bad situation by placing all your backups in the same basket! Diversify the media and location where your backups reside following the 3-2-1 rule. This will allow you to increase the odds of protecting your data against any unforeseen events (ransomware, hardware failure, data corruption, etc) and be in a position to bring your business applications back online as soon as possible whenever your primary data gets compromised.

PS: I do not condone violence. We should all strive to be better than that. Meme used for informational purposes.

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