Timestamp Backup: How to Create Versioned Data Backup

Handy Backup allows performing backing up data using time stamps. The time stamp is a descriptor that defines the exact date and time of creating a particular backup. When enabling this option, Handy Backup generates this descriptor automatically in the directory name.

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Time Stamp Backup: How to Create Versioned Data Backups

Principal Advantages of Time Stamp Backup

This technique has some significant advantages allowing user doing one or both of the things:

  • Saving storage space from keeping unnecessary copies of data;
  • Reducing time needed to navigate through different backup versions of the same data set.

Note: Starting from version 7.5.3, you can apply time-stamping backup for any task created in previous versions under the major revision of 7.x.x. Just set up version 7.5.3 over the previous version 7 software.

Benefits of Time-Stamped Backups

Automating External Operations with Time-stamped Copies

Automating External Operations with Time-stamped Copies

Performing backup with time stamp user can automate the control over different backup copies, allowing external software selecting and using just copies with appropriate time stamps. This allows user to merge the processing of time-stamped copies with some particular workflow.

Time Control when Creating Particular Backup

Time Control when Creating Particular Backup

Time stamp backup make it transparent when saving a particular copy of data. User can extract contemporary data from just this copy, e.g. to return the time-specific version of data or to find the last error-free information.

Recovering a Particular Copy Instead of Very Last

Recovering a Particular Copy Instead of Very Last

This function grants user complete control over time if matters touch backups. Grabbing the particular backup with timestamp, user can restore it manually or through the restoration task. This can be useful when, say, the information in last backup may be corrupt.

Database Backup with Time Stamp

Database Backup with Time Stamp

Versions of database content tends to change almost for every minute or faster. Sometimes, you need to restore a particular condition of database from backup; the timestamp can help in this task, drastically reducing overall time for finding the information just needed.

Format of Time Stamp Backup

When a user backup file with a date-time stamp, the name of the resulting backup directory has the following format:[ [backup_number]_[date_time]_[backup_type]

  • The backup_number is a number of version, starting with “0” (non-versioned backups are always stored at “0”’s).
  • The date_time is a set of date and time when the particular backup copy was created.
  • The backup_type can take one of three values: FULL for full backup, INC for incremental and DIFF for differential backup.

Full and incremental backups can be versioned or not. Differential backups are always versioned.

The program always save a history of backup versions in files called “Backup History.xml”. You can find these files in backup storage directories along with folders containing backup copies.

Performing Backup with Time Stamp

Creating time stamp backup is easy. Just mark the checkbox called “Store versioned backups” on the Step 4. This makes the button “Versions rotation settings” active; clicking on it, you can specify all the parameters of backup with time stamp.

Time Stamp Backup in Handy Backup

A new dialog will open. You will need a time stamp section of this dialog, located in a lower part.

Time Stamp Backup Settings  in Handy Backup

Let us explain the parameters:

  • Timestamp accuracy : A minimal measure of time between time stamp backup intervals.
  • Timestamp format : A sequence of time measures in a time stamp name.

After choosing both parameters, click OK to return to Step 4 window.

Testimonials About Time Stamp Backup by Handy Backup

Review About Time Stamp Software by Handy Backup

"Versioned backup allows me always taking an appropriate version of backup files, and time stamps are useful both for myself and for some scripts that help me sorting my data heap. Excellent way to save a lot of time!"

Maria Gutierrez, a portrait photographer

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Using Time Stamp Backup

As mentioned above, backup with time stamp creates a folder with the name containing date and time of creating, along with version number. It is a simple task to find the particular time-based information using these names.

As Handy Backup stores backup copies in their native formats, requiring no special restoration procedure to use backup data, you can extract the necessary information from backup copies automatically or manually and use it as needed.

Using Time Stamp Backup

Other way is to specify the time stamp backup copy as the data source for the restoration task, automating returning of data from the particular time. It can be also helpful for restoring database backup with time stamp.

Examples of Time Stamp Backup

The timestamp backup data technique is quite different for different types of information. Do not take too many copies with too small intervals between, as it can spoil your storage or fill it with garbage. In addition, each backup will take time, and multiple time-stamped backups are always time-consuming.

  • For manually modified data changing on daily base, select a daily or weekly copy with an appropriate time stamp.
  • For making a complete archive or for a disk image backup, make it once per week or month, keep from three to six versions and definitely set a time stamp on each.
  • For active databases, virtual machines and other server-level data, use backups in a several hours interval (up to a day), and store from seven (in a week cycle) to ten copies.
Examples of TimeStamp Backup

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question (Q): Which version of Handy Backup allows backup with time stamp?

Answer (A): Time stamps are available from the version 7.5.3.

Q: Can I change the format of time stamps?

A: Version 7.5.3 supports only one format of time stamp backup. If you can feel you need time stamps in other formats please tell us about it sending us E-mail at support@handybackup.net, sales@handybackup.net, or contact us using social networks. We are always glad to add your ideas and needs for the functionality of our product.

Q: Can I add or remove time stamps using existing tasks?

A: You can always add time stamps for any task created without these stamps. Removing time stamps is impossible for now.

Q: What is the number preceding the time stamp in the folder name?

A: This is a serial number of backup copy, an important part of time stamp engine. Many users need it for automation some actions with time-stamped copies.

Q: Can I remove these serial number marks?

A: Of course. If you are want to remove serial number from time stamp, please run the script doing this action after completing the backup task. The script can be obtained via E-mail (see our contacts above). Also you can write your own script; this can be highly evaluated both by our developing team and by many users throughout the world.

Free Download

Version 8.4.6, built on April 25, 2023
116 MB

See also Handy Backup Whitepaper: Versioned Backup


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