Data Archives Vs. Data Backups

In the digital age, the ability to store, access, and recover data quickly is vital to running a successful business. The development of cloud storage has allowed companies, both large and small, to store large amounts of data in the cloud, thus adding a level of security and reducing the burden on in-house servers.

When we talk about cloud storage we often hear the terms “archive” and backup” used almost interchangeably. But the two are actually different yet complementary systems that perform two distinct functions.

Archiving vs. Backup - What’s the Difference?

An archive typically refers to the long-term storage of large amounts of historical data for future reference. The aim of an archive is essentially to organize and warehouse information so files can be retrieved easily. Archives are typically used to build a permanent record of documents, transactions, and correspondence that can be accessed on demand. Archived data may be deleted from a source system, so it’s not unusual for an archive to represent the only extant copy of a file.

An archive may be created to warehouse information from past transactions, inactive accounts, or workers who are no longer with the company. An archive is also useful when you’re looking to store metadata (such as tags, keywords, and formatting info) about a project for future reference.

A backup, however, is a digital copy of any information you cannot afford to lose. Designed primarily for short-term data retention, a backup allows you to quickly restore your original data in the event of a breach, hardware failure, or catastrophic data loss. Unlike an archive, its purpose isn’t to organize the data so it can be cherry-picked later, but rather to retain a complete working copy of your current data to ensure the uninterrupted operation of your business.

Backups are typically performed either on a scheduled basis or on the fly as data change. And backup includes not just the data, but also the operating system and applications—allowing restoration of the entire system in the event of a catastrophic loss. Backup also extends to the devices your workers use daily, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Additionally, virtualization has created a system in which VMDK files can preserve both structured (database, OS, etc.) and unstructured data (your files), which can greatly speed restoration of your system after a loss or breach.

Why Your Business Needs Both Archives and Backup

Cloud storage has become critical to the way companies do business. Archives and backups comprise two essentially different but complementary systems for maintaining a digital record of your data.

You need archives to:

  • Create a place for long-term file storage.
  • Organize data for easy retrieval.
  • Build a record of past transactions and communications.

You need backups to:

  • Preserve a working copy of your OS and data files.
  • Respond instantly to a data breach or loss.
  • Restore lost or corrupted files quickly.
  • Protect your business from security threats such as hackers, malware, and ransomware.

By employing data archiving and backup together, you’re both protecting your business from potentially catastrophic interruptions while also creating what is essentially a library of your past projects, contracts, transactions, and documents tat you and your team members can access on demand.

Need to set up or improve your cloud storage, archiving, or data backup and data recovery systems? An experienced managed IT consultant can help. At Iconic Technologies, we’ve built our reputation helping businesses like yours manage large amounts of information, eliminate vulnerabilities in cybersecurity, and reduce recovery times after a data breach or loss. Our skilled team members have the experience to help determine the best archiving and data backup solutions for your business. Why put your business at risk?

Contact Iconic Technologies today, and discover the peace of mind you deserve.

Interested in learning more? Contact one of our representatives today!

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