Traditional Backup vs. Continuous Data Protection

By Chris Voigt, Xigent Solution Architect

Traditional Backup VS Continuous Data Protection Banner

Many organizations assume that a complete backup of their data executed daily delivers them peace of mind in the event of data loss. To provide additional protection, a copy of that backed-up data is created and stored off-site or even in the cloud. While both are best practices, they may not be enough. Conversely, many organizations utilize Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and perpetually make a “copy” of their data after every action.

Data backup and CDP are two essential methods of protecting and preserving data. While they serve similar purposes, they also have key differences that make them unique. Understanding these differences provides clarity for businesses to choose the right solution(s) for their needs.

Data Backup

A process of creating copies that can be used to restore the original data in the event of data loss or corruption. Backups are typically scheduled, either daily or weekly and are stored in a separate location from the original data. Offsite storage ensures that the data can be recovered in the event of a disaster, such as a hardware failure, cyberattack, or natural disaster.

Continuous data protection (CDP)

A real-time backup solution that continuously captures and stores changes to data as they happen. With CDP, every single change to the data is captured, stored, and has a more granular level of recovery. CDP provides a higher level of protection for businesses requiring a more up-to-date recovery level.


The key differentiator between data backup and CDP is the frequency of data capture. While data backup occurs on a regular schedule, CDP captures in real-time as data is modified by the user. Overall, CDP provides more up-to-date data in the event of loss, as it encapsulates data at the point of change rather than at a scheduled time.

Another difference is the level of granularity of data recovery. With data backup, data can only be restored to the state it was in at the time of the most recent backup. With CDP, data can be restored anytime, as every change is stored. This makes CDP a more powerful tool for data recovery and allows for greater flexibility in restoring data.

Data backup is generally a more affordable solution, requiring fewer resources to implement and maintain. CDP typically requires a higher level of infrastructure and resources, as it involves constant monitoring and capturing of data which can make it a more expensive solution.

Disaster Recovery as a Service

For the utmost protection of your organization, Disaster Recovery provides you with peace of mind knowing your critical data is safe in all situations. Click here to learn why Disaster Recovery is king.

When investigating the correct data protection service, consulting with an expert regarding your decision-making process is recommended. The best solution depends on individual business needs and resources. Always remember that no matter the data backup you choose, any protection beats no protection.

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