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Data replay

(also continuous snapshots, data instant replay, snapshot replication)

Data replay definition

Data replay is a process that creates ongoing data snapshots, enabling data backup and restoration. Businesses and other entities use data replay to counter data loss due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events.

Data replay's effectiveness lies in its ability to schedule limitless snapshots. This capability for rapid data recovery — sometimes in seconds — is crucial in preventing data corruption and omissions during backup and recovery.

See also: backup, data backup, incremental backups, computer forensics

Uses of data replay

  • Disaster recovery. In the event of data loss due to hardware failures, natural disasters, or other catastrophic events, the replayed data can be used to restore systems to their previous state.
  • Data backup. By replaying data snapshots, a system can restore data to a specific point in time.
  • Testing and development. Developers use data replay for testing. When debugging or testing new software, they replay data operations to recreate specific scenarios.
  • Data analysis. Data replay is a reliable way to analyze historical data trends. Businesses replay data over a specific period to gain insights for decision-making or reporting.
  • Audit and compliance. Organizations that maintain rigorous audit trails use data replay to keep a historical record of data changes and transactions.
  • Training and simulation. Data replay simulates real-world scenarios, allowing trainees to experience and react to historical data patterns in a controlled environment.
  • Forensic analysis. After a security breach, investigators use data replay to review the events that led to the breach.