A synthetic backup
is identical to a regular full backup in terms of data, but it is created when data is collected from a previous, older full backup and assembled with subsequent incremental
backups. The incremental backup will consist only of changed information. A synthetic backup would be used when time or system requirements do not allow for a full complete backup. The end result of combining a recent full backup archive with incremental backup data is two kinds of files which is merged by a backup application
to create the synthetic backup. Benefits to using a synthetic backup include a smaller amount of time needed to perform a backup, and system restore times and costs are reduced. This backup procedure is called "synthetic" because it is not a backup created from original data.
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