Data Backup vs Data Archive

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data backup and data archive

The Difference Between Data Backup and Data Archive

Believe it or not, there’s a big difference between backup and archive. And for those that are unaware of the distinction between the two, you may be wasting precious real estate and money, as well as putting your data at risk.

Backup vs. Archive

Let’s dive right in and explore the differences between a data backup and a data archive. Data backup is defined as a copy of the initial data that is used to replace the original in the event it is lost, stolen, or destroyed.

In fact, many users may view data backup as a safety net among other things. A great example of data backup technology is disk storage and LTO technology.

Both are used as backup platforms to store a previous copy of a dataset that can replace unusable or unavailable originals.

A data archive differs from data backup in that it consists of a collection of chronological data that is rarely retrieved.

However, a data archive often contains vital data that is intended to be kept long-term for various reasons including reference and analytical applications.

Data archives are also used to free up primary disk storage space from data that is no longer actively used but must be retained.

An enterprise’s data backup is a copy of the original data, while its data archive is the original that was removed from its original location and stored at another site for long-term retention.

There have been several cases where organizations attempt to design their backup software to satisfy both backup and archive roles. 

In spite of this, the drawback of this strategy is that it becomes very problematic to find a single file for long-term archiving from an entire backup job.

Retaining a complete backup job is not a very economical way to use storage. Backups only copy the data, leaving the original file in its place, essentially freeing up no space at all.

Optimizing Both Data Backup and Data Archive

Backing up your data is simply another way of saying you’re copying your already existing data, which basically uses up more storage space.

When your original data is relocated to the data archive, storage space is increased; allowing data management to become much more efficient. 

A key differentiator between data archiving software and data backup software is the cataloging and search capabilities of an existing archive.

Metadata related to archived objects is stored in a database and can be searched based on user-supplied criteria.

How LTO technology can optimize both data backup and data archive.

Backups and archives stored on LTO tape provide the industry’s most cost-effective, high-performance and high capacity data storage.

Information on tape is essentially offline, adding a layer of protection against ransomware and cyber-attacks.

Tapes can effortlessly be copied and used for offsite storage, providing a supplementary layer of protection against unforeseen disasters.

Archives on LTO tape can be stored for up to 30 years or more.

LTO tape supports Linear Tape File System (LTFS) for native, fast access.

Encryption and WORM support are provided with LTO technology, increasing an already high-secure storage solution.


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