When our software backs up files, it doesn’t look the entire information at once but at each block that make up that file. This allows a technique called de-duplication to occur, where two files that are identical are only backed up and stored once.
Imagine that you back up several Word .docx files on your computer. A majority of these files often consist of identical content, such as the company name, logo, headers, footers, etc. Our software analyzes these files on a block level so it can back up similar sections of a file only once. This adds to an increased backup speed and less overall storage used.
De-duplication can be a standalone topic but compression at a block level allows the benefits of identifying duplicate data occurring across more than a single file to be stored only once.
100 “5MB” files that are identical will not take up 500MB of space like some backups, instead only using 5MB plus some overhead to track the names of the other 99 identical files.
As a recent example of the power of compression and de-duplication, we can manually force a backup for a customer that is performing a software update and needs a current backup.
Although this customer only had a 1 mbps upload connection, our software can backup the files at 50 mbps using the techniques described above to compress the data before sending. Data can be transferred 50 times faster by allowing our software to spend a small amount of time compressing the data first.