Data Center Equipment

Backup and archive are constant topics of conversation in the data storage industry. Due to the importance of backup and archive, the lines between these two concepts are usually blurred. While they both relate to data security they are not the same. This is  usually where the similarities end.

Backup and archive have different goals when it comes to recovery and retention. Confusing the two can also impact your overall data storage strategy. This article is meant to highlight the key differences between data backup and archiving.

What is Data Backup?

TechTarget defines backup as the copying of physical or virtual files or databases to a secondary site for preservation. Backup should be a large part of your Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy. This ensures that the latest version of your data can be accessed in the event of equipment failure or any other type of catastrophe.

However, having another copy of data is only half the battle when it comes to your DR strategy. When it comes to restoring your data to reduce downtime, speed is the name of the game. Speeding up recovery times and maintaining data integrity is a key difference between backup and archive.

What is Data Archiving?

When it comes to archiving, it’s less about speed and more about maintaining. Archiving is used to preserve data files that are no longer changing. These files may need to be accessed at a later date, sometimes decades in the future. This is another key difference between archive and backup. Your data archive acts as a repository for data that needs to be maintained for an extended amount of time, whereas backup requires the latest version of data in case of emergency. However, with files reaching back years, a good archive strategy will optimize searchability for users. Being able to access the correct file when needed can help with compliance in the event of an audit and aids in data retention.

Backup vs. Archive

Over time backup and archive have become synonymous  with some IT professionals making the mistake of combining both concepts into one strategy. This may not be the best option as we see that backup and archive have different objectives when it comes to data retention and recovery time.

What Now?

Whether you are looking to implement your backup or archive strategy using a tape or disk based solution, our dedicated storage team can help you craft a strategy that meets both your backup and archive needs. To get started today, request a quote or chat with a storage specialist today.