If your tables are large it may not be possible to restore them under a different name due to space constraints. The really powerful thing about HBase backups is they are stored in WAL files that can be parsed using a simple interface that can be consumed either in Java or using the “hbase wal” utility.
Consider this scenario: A customer rep deleted some data because he thought it was unimportant. A week later the customer is upset because the data was important and you need to restore these few pieces of information. With HBase backups all you need to do is parse through the backups with a WAL reader and extract the historical values, which you can then add back in. With other databases you would have to bring another database instance online and load the backups into it. Having backups in open, well-understood formats unlocks many powerful opportunities and can bring recovery times down from days to minutes.
Read on if you manage a Hadoop cluster with HBase (or you’re likely to administer one soon).