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Difference Between Sync and Backup

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  • Last Updated : 30 Aug, 2022
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Sync or synchronization is the process that is used to ensure the matching of data at different locations on a system or multiple systems. For example, if there is an application in which data is modified then these changes should also be made to the systems which are using the data of this application. The objective of sync is to update changes at different locations.  

Features of Sync:

Following are the features of Sync:

  1. Collaboration of work becomes really easy by using sync, as different people can use the same data which is synchronized by taking permissions and working together on that data.
  2. Changes are reflected within a matter of seconds so it is considered a fast process.
  3. Overwriting is done in the case of sync because in process of sync the latest version files are overwritten on old files to make the data identical on both locations.
  4. It helps in the management of applications or services from a single point as syncing of data is done in real-time so it is helpful for real-time business purposes like trading, marketing, stocks, etc.

Limitations of Sync:

Following are the limitations of Sync:

  1. As the sync process includes overwriting of files so old versions are lost which is a big limitation of syncing process.
  2. Sync increases the effect of ransomware attacks as if data at one location is compromised then due to its syncing nature it will affect the data at other locations also.

Backup is the process of creating copies of data so as to have data in case of system failure. Each and every piece of data is useful at some point in time so there is a need for backup so to have duplicate data when required in case if original data source gets corrupted.

Features of Backup:

Following are the features of Backup:

  1. It helps in the recovery of data that has been lost due to one reason or another.
  2. If data at one location is compromised then it is completely safe on the backup location.
  3. Backup can be done in offline mode or in online mode depending on the need.
  4. The best strategy for backup includes having 3 copies of files which should be stored at 2 different locations to minimize the risk of data loss.

Limitations of Backup:

Following are the limitations of Backups:

  1. It requires regular backup as new data is added daily so the old backup will not be able to recover new data hence backup process needed to be scheduled at regular intervals.
  2.  It increases the cost as data needs to be stored at many location and security of that data is also necessary which adds up further cost to the backup process.

Difference between Sync vs Backup Table:

The following table differentiates Sync and Backup:

S. No. Sync Backup
1. Process of making data or information of different locations to be identical. Process of making duplicate copies of data for safety in situations when original data gets lost.
2. Copies of files are bi-direction in nature. Backup is a single direction copy of files.
3. Two operations are used to achieve this process, one is copying and the other is deleting. It requires a single operation which is the copying of files.
4. It is a fast process. It is a time-consuming process.
5. Information is identical at all locations or systems. Information may not be identical as after backup, there are chances that new data is added to the system.
6. It is an essential process for the correctly functioning of the application. It is not essential for functioning rather it is for emergency situations.
7. Sync is among different processes or different applications data.  Backup can be on the same device or any other device or location.
8. It happens routinely. It happens less routinely.

Types of Sync-

  • Fast Sync (Two-way Sync)
  • Slow Sync
  • Refresh Sync from Server
  • Refresh Sync from Client
  • One-way Sync from Server
  • One-way Sync from Client

Types of data backups-

  • Full backup
  • Incremental backup
  • Differential backup
10. Mostly syncing is done over the internet for restoring data. This implies for accessing huge amount of data, this process takes a lot of time and also turns out to be not a reliable recovery method due to the possibility of occurrence of errors if internet connection is weak or interrupted or file transfer fails.   In backup, the process is easy for restoring the deleted data.
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