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Differential Backup - Definition

A Differential Backup, as it refers to Tape Backup systems, is a backup of every file on a file system, which has changed since the last full backup. A Differential Backup can be an optimal middle ground between a full backup and an incremental backup. Differential Backups are less time consuming than normal backups, and recovery only requires the last normal backup tape and last differential tape. If large amounts of data change daily, Differential Backups can be more time consuming than incremental backups.

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