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How to Perform Synthetic Full Backup with CloudBerry Backup

We have developed a synthetic full backup feature for image-based backups in CloudBerry Backup. This enhancement decreases the amount of data uploaded to the cloud and accelerates the overall process. In this article we are going to explain the technical background and show how to use this feature.

How It Works in CloudBerry Backup

Synthetic full backup is based on the technology of comparing blocks of data. Local data blocks are compared to the cloud repository and then only the modified blocks are uploaded to the cloud. Existing blocks in the cloud that haven't been modified since the last full backup or the last synthetic full session are automatically copied to the new backup file by AWS services within the cloud.

In the upshot, synthetic full backup helps to decrease upload volume from the local computer. According to our tests, it makes backup process up to 20 times faster (since copying files within the cloud is considerably faster than copying them from the local PC to the cloud).

At the moment, the feature sticks to the AWS and Wasabi Hot Storage. We’re working on implementing this feature for Azure Blob storage.

How to Enable Synthetic Full Backup in CloudBerry Backup

Please note that there are some restrictions on using the synthetic full backup feature:

  • Amazon S3 or Wasabi Hot Storage must be the target cloud storage.
  • Encryption options must remain unchanged since the last full backup.
  • One or more full backups have to be made before you activate synthetic backup.

To enable this feature, create a new image-based plan. Select the block-level checkbox when configuring a particular plan. Then select the Synthetic full backup checkbox.

Enabling Synthetic full backup option

Then, force a full backup from the Backup Plans tab to start using the synthetic full backup feature. You can see it working in the progress bar.

Synthetic full backup - working in the progress bar

The synthetic image will display under the Backup Storage tab.

Synthetic image under the Backup Storage tab

CloudBerry Backup identifies the synthetic image as a full backup because there is no technical distinction between them so that you can operate them with CloudBerry Explorer, CloudBerry Drive or third-party apps.

This feature only makes sense if the source partition is larger than 100MB. The effectiveness of synthetic backup grows along with the volume of data that you need to backup. For as little as 100MB of data it will perform just like a regular full backup.