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Finding the Best Backup for Your Needs

By Jonathan Robertson
Jul 11, 2013

Today’s post is written by Jonathan Robertson, one of Jungle Disk’s customer support technicians. Jonathan has been a Racker for a little over 2 years. He began as a support tech for Email before moving over to the team in October 2012.

There are two versions of Automatic Backups available to Desktop and Workgroup Editions of Jungle Disk. Even though Backup Vault has some clear advantages over Legacy Backup, there are still some situations in which Legacy would be the better choice.

Note: Since this blog post is all about how things work, I’ll be adding some extra details that will apply to all versions of Jungle Disk – but keep in mind that this post is primarily directed at Desktop and Workgroup Editions.

Backup Vault (All versions of Jungle Disk)

When a Backup Vault Job is run, a lot happens in the background.

  1. Backup Search
    • All files in your backup job that are on your computer are quickly analyzed to check their “Modified Date” attributes. This information is used to identify which files appear to have been updated since the last time the Backup Job ran
    • Each of these files that appear to have been modified are then compressed and split into 1MB pieces that we call “Chunks”
    • The data inside each Chunk is then analyzed with a mathematical formula to produce a series of numbers (this is an MD5 hash… but one way to think of it is a fingerprint or an ID number)
    • With this hash (ID), we’re able to identify which parts of the file have changed. Each piece of the file that has a different hash than the ones we have on our end are queued to be uploaded (since these are identified as ‘new parts’ of the file)
  2. Backup Upload
    • At some point in the Backup Search, enough data is processed for the Backup Upload to begin. This process involves streaming your chunks from your computer to your Online Disk for safekeeping
  3. Backup Database Upload
    • During the Backup Search phase, changes that were being identified in files were being recorded to your Backup Database
    • This is a special file that includes all of the Folder and File Names, as well as their locations in your folder structure
    • This also includes the ‘Assembly Instructions’, so to speak, for how each of your Chunks relate to each other in each file
    • Without this Backup Database, your Chunks cannot be put back together again!
    • Because this database is so important, it is also uploaded during your Backup Job once your Backup Search completes. We do this so that you can download it from your Online Disk in case your hard drive becomes inaccessible and you need to restore your data to a different computer

Where Backup Vault Would Work Well

Where Backup Vault is Not the Best Choice

Legacy Backup (Desktop and Workgroup Editions only)

When a Legacy Backup Job is run, the files identified in the backup are analyzed and their Modified Dates are compared to the Modified Dates of the previous backup. Files that have a more recent Modified Date are treated as “updated”, so they are queued to be uploaded. When one of these files is uploaded, a full copy of the old file is treated as a previous version, which means it then becomes subject to your Retention Policy.

Where Legacy Backup Would Work Well

Where Legacy Backup is Not the Best Choice

I hope this helps to clarify the differences between our two backup methods for you and where each method really shines.

As with any topic, please feel free to submit a support ticket to our team at https://support.jungledisk.com if you have any questions or need further clarification.