What differentiates an archive from a backup?

Even though both terms seem clear – at least in IT – they still get mixed up from time to time. Surely everybody regularly backups data. But do you also archive? And if not – why?

First of all we need to be aware why we do backups: a backup aims at copying the entire storage device to protect your company from data losses if the medium gets destroyed or lost. In that case you are prepared to simply restore the original data.

However, an archive is more than just a “bunch of data”. All files within an archive are tagged and retrievable. You don’t need to recover a complete tape for example in order to access one specific document.

This is also the reason why backups don’t meet legal requirements for archiving. Apart from national differences in details they all have one principle in common: it must be possible to retrieve a certain document (or proof that it does not exist) within an acceptable timeframe. In contrast to a backup system a compliant archive adds control features and impedes the deletion or modification of files or at least tracks changes.

By the way, best practice shows that you also simplify daily work routines when granting access to the archive for colleagues. Then, they can benefit from quick search functionality and retrieve old (or even newer) e-mails within less time than before.


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The original article/video can be found at What differentiates an archive from a backup?

About the Author: Shannon Lewis

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