Block-Level Backups

Block-level backups integrate snapshot technology with efficient block storage mechanisms to speed up backups.

By default, block-level backups use native software snapshot engines by taking the snapshots of logical volumes (LVMs) and physical volume partitions. You can also use hardware snapshot engines supported by IntelliSnap for taking snapshots.

Block-Level for the Windows File System Agent requires the installation of the block filter driver. Block filter drivers are required to perform faster incremental backups else only full backups of the backup content are performed.

For more information on installing the block filter driver, see Configuring a Subclient for Block-Level Backups for the Windows File System Agent.

Benefits of Block-Level Backups

Block-level backups provide the following benefits:

  • Faster backups

    Block-level backups read data directly from the disk rather than from the database. The amount of data transferred is also reduced.

  • Quick granular restore

    You can quickly restore tables, schemas, or databases from your block-level backup data.

  • Frequent backup cycles

    Snapshots require a few seconds to complete, so you can run block-level backups frequently. This means that you can improve your Recovery Point Objective by having more flexible and granular recovery points in the event of a disaster.


To be able to perform granular restores, use disk libraries for block-level backup operations since these backups use random reads, which are not suitable for tape libraries.

High-Level Process for Block-Level Backups

For more information about the high-level process steps for block-level backups on Windows and UNIX, see the following KB articles:

Supported Agents

The following agents support block-level backups: