Block-level backups integrate snapshot technology with efficient block storage mechanisms for faster backups. The backups are faster because only the blocks that contain data are backed up, rather than the entire files.
Compared to file system backups and disk image-based backups, block-level backups reduce scan times when the file system has a large number of small files. Also, when compared to file system incremental backups, block-level incremental backups run faster and back up less data if the file system has very large files. Block-level backups might not be useful when backing up a portion of files or folders on a volume.
By default, block-level backups are performed using native snapshots, but they can be configured to function with hardware snapshot engines.
Note: Turn off the Automount feature, if you have an antivirus software installed on your client computer.
Benefits of Block-Level Backups
Block-level backups provide the following benefits:
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.
Note: Use disk libraries for block-level backup operations as these backups are prone to 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: