When shopping for a data backup solution, you also need to commit to a data replication method. Learn how asynchronous replication works and decide whether it’s the best choice for your data replication needs.

How Asynchronous Replication Works

Defined by time, asynchronous replication is the process of writing data first on a local drive, then duplicating it on a secondary backup drive seconds, minutes, or hours later. With asynchronous replication, written data files are completely recorded in their original location.

Asynchronous replication works well with both local and remote backup formats. If you opt for the latter, establishing remote backups at on-site or off-site locations is possible. Typically, the lag time between data writing and replication increases as the distance between the local and remote sites becomes greater. A fast, uncompromised connection means that less time elapses before replication is complete, and there’s a smaller chance of losing data along the way.

How Synchronous Replication Works

While there’s a lag between data creation and replication with an asynchronous method, time isn’t a factor with synchronous replication. With this method, data files are copied immediately, so there’s no threat of data loss. In fact, data isn’t considered written until both the original and its copy are complete. In other words, two mirror images are always exactly the same.

If synchronous replication sounds like a tall order, it is. This replication process is demanding, and it requires a large amount of bandwidth to function properly. Also, since it’s best for both drives to be in the same general place, you’ll need to prevent more data loss by making sure that both machines receive proper protection from the elements, damage, and catastrophic situations.

Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Replication

These two types of data replication differ in a few key ways, namely time, money, and location. The recovery point objective for synchronous replication is negligible, but for asynchronous replication, the replication time can be anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour.

While synchronous replication tends to be dependent on a place, asynchronous replication isn’t, making the latter a good method for online data backup. When you consider costs, asynchronous replication is more affordable than a synchronous replication setup, which can be quite expensive. Machine performance tends to be better and faster with asynchronous replication, since duplication isn’t instantaneous with this method.

These two methods of data replication each have their own ideal applications. Most often, asynchronous replication works best in a disaster recovery situation. That is, it’s most useful as a recovery option when massive data loss occurs unexpectedly. Synchronous replication, however, is particularly handy in situations when even a momentary loss of data would be harmful. When your business processes require continually replicated data at all times, synchronous replication is your best bet.

Weigh these processes with your needs to decide the best type of data replication for you. If you’d prefer a cloud-based online backup, cost-effective asynchronous replication could be a good choice for your business.

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