Synthetic Backup

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What Does Synthetic Backup Mean?

A synthetic backup is the process of utilizing the full backup of a file, and then modifying that file with one or more incremental backups. The first incremental backup is only created from changed data since the full backup; later incremental backups consist only of changed data from the last full backup. It is called a synthetic backup because it was not created from original data, but instead was created from two or more files merged, or synthesized, by the backup application.

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Techopedia Explains Synthetic Backup

Synthetic Backups are used when time or the system does not allow a full backup. Applications performing Synthetic Backups are not limited to single computer files. They can be used to backup entire folders or the contents of entire hard drives.

The purpose of a synthetic backup is to perform rapid backups and reduce the cost and time for data restoration.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.