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A local area network (LAN) commonly is used to backup a network’s and server’s data, but a LAN-free backup avoids using a LAN. While there are several ways of conducting a LAN-free backup, the most common method is through a storage area network (SAN), which is made to hold data. A small backup of a few gigabytes (GB) or less can easily be done through removable media, but only a major backup qualifies as a LAN-free backup. Along with keeping the network moving correctly, this also may decrease network recovery times if the backup data needs to be accessed.
It is both possible and common to use a LAN for a backup, but there are several problems with this process. All the data that have to be backed up are moving through the network, and this commonly slows down the network’s performance and processing abilities. This temporarily weakens the network, increasing the chances of a crash and decreasing the amount of work users can perform while the backup is being performed.
Several different approaches exist to conducting a LAN-free backup, but the most common uses a SAN. These networks are made, and optimized, for storing information. This means the SAN can easily take on all the backup information if there is enough computer memory. The memory is not going over the LAN, so the network’s performance should not suffer during the backup.
Users on a network typically will make small backups of local information on a single computer. This can be done through small and removable storage media, such as a CD or a universal serial bus (USB) drive. While these can qualify as backups in the smallest sense, only large backups that require a server or very large storage media can truly qualify as a LAN-free backup, because the LAN usually cannot be restored with the data stored in a CD or USB drive.
Improving a LAN’s performance is just one benefit of using a LAN-free backup. Another benefit is that a LAN typically can be recovered much quicker if it crashes and loses data. This is because the LAN does not have to worry about information access or anything else; the data just rush into the LAN to bring it back online. Storing the backup outside the LAN also increases security because, if the LAN crashes, there is a chance that the archive may be lost if it was saved on the LAN.