2BrightSparks

Fast Backup

Author: Swapna Naraharisetty, 2BrightSparks Pte. Ltd.

Fast Backup is designed to improve the performance of a Backup/Mirror profile by not scanning slow destination backup devices such as FTP, network drives and cloud services (Amazon S3, Azure, Google Storage, Open Stack) for changes. For Fast Backup to work, SyncBack requires that destination files are changed or deleted only by that single Fast Backup profile and not by any other application, profile or user, i.e. the backup files are not modified by anything but that SyncBack profile. If you are using SyncBack to backup your files, then this requirement is likely to be met.

Fast Backup is supported by both SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE backup software, but is not available in SyncBackFree.

How Does Fast Backup Work?

When Fast Backup is enabled, for the first run, SyncBack scans both the source and destination to detect the differences, backs up the changes (copy, update or delete files) and creates a Fast Backup database. The Fast Backup database is essentially a snapshot of the state of the files on the source (not the destination). Aside from creating the Fast Backup database, this is how a non-Fast Backup profile would also work. Because of this, the first run of a Fast Backup profile will take the same amount of time as without Fast Backup enabled.

For the second and subsequent runs (unless a Rescan is forced) the destination is not scanned. SyncBack only scans the source and then compares it with the Fast Backup database to detect any differences. Once differences are found, it then copies new/changed files to the destination and updates the database accordingly. Because the (slow) destination is not scanned, the time to make a backup can be greatly reduced.

Important Points to Note

When using Fast Backup, there are some important points to take note of:

  • You should not create two or more Fast Backup profiles pointing to the same destination directory as the changes made by one profile will instantly make the databases of the other profiles out of date.

  • The destination (backup) should only be modified by the single Fast Backup profile. No other users, application or SyncBack profiles (on the same or another SyncBack installation) should modify the files in the destination.

  • Fast Backup cannot be used with backups from the cloud, FTP, Zip files, synchronization profiles, profiles that use prompting or a profile that is configured to move files to the destination. It is for Backup and Mirror profiles only where the files to backup are on a file system, e.g. an internal drive, network drive, NAS drive, USB key, etc.

  • As Fast Backup (or non-rescan backup) does not scan the destination, the changes will be applied to the destination without regard to what is on the destination.

  • Fast Backup has no effect on file copying speed but can substantially reduce the total scanning time and therefore the overall time of a profile run.

  • SyncBack will scan the destination if one or more of the following conditions are met:
    • The Force Re-scan button has been pressed for that profile.
    • The profile settings for the Fast Backup specify a re-scan should be performed under certain conditions, e.g. on a particular day of the week.
    • The -full command line parameter is used.
    • The Fast Backup database does not exist, e.g. it has been deleted.
    • The Filters or File & Folder selections have been modified.

Fast Backup Terminology

Full Backup (also called a Rescan): A Full Backup is a backup of all new/changed files within scope from profile's Source to Destination. Both the source and destination are scanned for changes when performing a Full Backup. A Full Backup does not mean that it will copy unchanged files, because if the destination (backup) file is the same as the source file then it is not recopied.

Incremental Backup: An Incremental Backup is a type of backup that copies all files that have been changed or created since the previous backup. The destination is not scanned for changes when performing incremental backups. For example:

Monday: Full Backup - a complete backup of source

Tuesday: Incremental #1 - file changes between Monday and Tuesday (since Full Backup)

Wednesday: Incremental #2 - file changes between Tuesday and Wednesday (since Incremental #1)

Differential Backup: A Differential Backup copies all files that have been changed or created since the last full backup. The destination is not scanned for changes when performing Differential backups. For example:

Monday: Full Backup - a complete backup of source

Tuesday: Differential #1 - file changes since Monday (since Full Backup)

Wednesday: Differential #2 - file changes since Monday (since Full Backup)

When to use Fast Backup

If you are only copying files to a backup destination, and the backup files are not being changed by anything else, and scanning the destination for changes takes a long time, then you should consider using Fast Backup. Also, if your destination device (e.g. FTP server, NAS drive, network drive) has problems retaining or reporting the correct last modification date & time of files then you may need to use Fast Backup.

To enable Fast Backup in a profile:

  • First, create a Backup/Mirror profile in SyncBack using the New profile creation wizard. Refer to the Beginner's Guide to SyncBackPro install and Profile setup article for the procedure to create a profile.

  • Modify the profile, enable Expert mode and go to the Fast Backup settings page. Set the Fast Backup option to “Perform a fast backup” and save the settings.

  • Run the profile. Keep in mind that the first run will scan both the source and destination.

Creating an Incremental Backup Profile using Fast Backup

For this example, we will create an Incremental Backup Profile that keeps 7 days’ worth of backups. It will create a full backup on a Monday and Incremental backups on the remaining days of the week.

  • Create a Backup/Mirror profile and configure your source as appropriate (on the the Simple settings page). Select the option Perform a Fast Backup on the Fast Backup settings page.

  • Tick the options Delete all the files and folders on Destination before the backup and Use a different folder for full (rescan) backups on the Fast Backup settings page.

  • Set the full backup folder to <Your Destination Path>\1\. This is to allow SyncBack to copy full backup data to a separate sub-folder on the destination, e.g. D:\My Backups\1\

  • In the Force a re-scan when: box select the %DAYOFWEEK% item.

  • Select Equals from the drop-down on the right and enter 1 in the edit box below the drop-down list (we use 1 because Monday is day 1, Tuesday is day 2, etc).

  • Go back to the Simple settings page and set the Destination to something like <Your Destination Path>\%DAYOFWEEK%\, e.g. D:\My Backups\%DAYOFWEEK%\ (so that SyncBack can copy incremental data to a separate folder on destination).

  • Schedule the profile to run (or manually run the profile) just once every day.

Creating a Differential Backup Profile using Fast Backup

For this example, we will create a Differential Backup Profile that keeps 7 days’ worth of backups. It will create a full backup on a Monday and Differential backups on the remaining days of the week.

  • Create a Backup/Mirror profile and configure your source as appropriate (on the the Simple settings page). Select the option Perform a Fast Backup on the Fast Backup settings page.

  • Tick the options Delete all the files and folders on Destination before the backup, Differential backup (do not update the fast backup data) and Use a different folder for full (rescan) backups on the Fast Backup settings page.

  • Set the full backup folder to <Your Destination Path>\1\. This is to allow SyncBack to copy full backup data to a separate sub-folder on the destination, e.g. D:\My Backups\1\

  • In the Force a re-scan when: box select the %DAYOFWEEK% item.

  • Select Equals from the drop-down on the right and enter 1 in the edit box below the drop-down list (we use 1 because Monday is day 1, Tuesday is day 2, etc).

  • Go back to the Simple settings page and set the Destination to something like <Your Destination Path>\%DAYOFWEEK%\, e.g. D:\My Backups\%DAYOFWEEK%\ (so that SyncBack can copy differential data to a separate folder on destination).

  • Schedule the profile to run (or manually run the profile) just once every day.

Creating a Fast Backup Profile with Full Backups on each day

For this example, we will create a profile that keeps 7 days’ worth of backups and have full backups on each day of the week.

  • Create a Backup/Mirror profile and configure your source as appropriate from the Simple settings page.

  • Configure the destination path to use variables, %DAYOFWEEK% or %DAYOFWEEKNAME%. For example, set the destination to something like D:\My Backups\%DAYOFWEEK%\. For mopre information on variables, refer to our What are Variables and Why are they used? article.

  • Select the option Perform a Fast Backup from the Fast Backup settings page and tick the option Keep fast backup data based on the actual destination directory in the same page.

  • Go to the Decisions - Files settings page and configure the profile to delete files from the destination that do not exist on the source.

  • Schedule the profile to run (or manually run the profile) just once every day.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed various backup strategies you can create using Fast Backup and the benefits it can provide. However, which backup strategy you use will depend on your backup needs, available storage, backup media, network bandwidth, organization policy, etc. It The right backup software will work around your needs and requirements.

You are welcome to download our fully functional SyncBackPro/SE from our Downloads page or contact us for further details on Fast Backup or any other aspect of using our backup software.

Noted Customers

© 2003-2020 2BrightSparks Pte. Ltd.  | Home | Support | Privacy | Terms

Home | Support | Privacy | Terms
© 2003-2020 2BrightSparks Pte. Ltd.

Back to top