Data storage characteristics
CodeTwo Backup keeps the backed-up data in a local resource referred to as storage. A storage consists of a folder tree that resembles the structure of a mailbox or SharePoint site. All items backed up by the software are saved as binary files. That means that – contrary to common text formats – it is not possible to view contents of these files by opening them in a text editor (e.g. Notepad). It is possible to view the backed-up data in CodeTwo Backup only. The binary data files are accompanied by .xml configuration files and .sdf files (MS SQL Server Compact databases that contain items' metadata as well as contents' indexes). Storage files are encrypted by default. Additionally, the main administrator can enable storage password protection for these files to prevent other, less privileged admins from viewing the backed-up items in the software’s Administration Panel.
The size of a resource you are backing up is usually greater in the storage than on your server. This is because CodeTwo Backup performs continuous incremental backups, which means that with each subsequent backup cycle, the program creates backup copies of all new and modified items. So, for example, if a given item has been changed 5 times on your server, and each time the modified item has been backed up by the program, you will have 6 copies (versions) of the same item in the storage. At the same time, there will be only one copy (version) of such item on the server. The storage will also keep those items that have been deleted from the server. Thanks to that, when restoring data, you can select to recover a version of an item from a specific point in time.
CodeTwo Backup enables you to create multiple storages and share them between multiple jobs – different jobs can back up data to the same storage. You can also create jobs that will simultaneously restore data from that storage to, for example, another server. It is also possible to back up Exchange and SharePoint data to a single storage.
For safety reasons, we recommend backing up data from different sources to separate storages. In addition, it is also not possible to back up public folders from two Exchange environments (both Office 365 and on-premises) to the same storage.
The only substantial limitation of the storages in CodeTwo Backup is their location. The software allows you to choose only a local resource as a storage location. It is not possible to point to a network drive when creating a new storage. Such a possibility was prohibited on purpose to make sure that the fastest and the most reliable drive (i.e. a local one) is used as the storage location. Network drives are unfortunately prone to connectivity failures, they may be also characterized by unsteady transfer speeds or might even drop connections. Fortunately, you can archive storage data to an external resource or apply data retention policies to the selected storage to control its growth.
Managing backup storage - this article describes how to manage storages (create a new storage, edit, mount, remove or archive an existing storage, apply a retention policy to a storage, or monitor the status of a storage).