The Difference between Backup vs. Archive – Identified
Often, the words backup and archive are interchangeably used in the wrong manner. Backups are very different from archives. Backups are copies of the data you want to store which will be accessed whenever the original data that you wanted to store on your system gets corrupted and is inaccessible.
Backups are snapshots of your system in use that are captured periodically. Backups allow your system to restore to the last snapshot in the case of data loss or corruption.
Archives are used whenever the data is meant to be stored for a long time and is not required for immediate operational purposes. Data Archiving is used to search for records when the system is in a “Steady-state”. This is very convenient as all the data is stored in a single repository that is indexed. This makes the searching process very simple and it can be achieved in an easy and fast manner.
Differences between a backup and an archive
To differentiate between a backup and an archive, several factors are to be considered:
As previously mentioned backups are done and can be easily accessed for operational purposes while archives are meant for long-term storage of data. In terms of location, backups are copies of the original data stored in the same system as they need to be accessed whenever the system becomes inaccessible. Archives are not required for immediate operational purposes, so they are stored on less-expensive systems meant for storing data over a long period.
Backups need to be accessible as soon as the system is inaccessible. The speed of recovering the backup comes into the picture here. In terms of data archiving, speed is more about how fast the data records can be accessed.
Backups cannot be compared on this factor. Searchability is more relevant to data archives as it involves searching for data records. Since the records are indexed, searching for records can be done very easily.
Backups are constant snapshots of a live system. Hence, the data stored in a backup is a lot lesser as opposed to the data being stored in data archives. Archives are capable and are meant to store data over long periods which typically range in terms of years.
Once you create a backup, there are constant modifications to capture the latest snapshot of the system. Whereas, when you use a data archive, you do not modify it as they are designed for long-term storage and need not be modified.
Performing data recovery on a backup is a lot easier and it is closely related to backups as well. Whereas performing data recovery on archives can be extremely costly and difficult. Performing roll-back operations on a data archive are not possible as there are no restore points (snapshots) stored on the system.
In terms of backups, all of your important files are stored in backups. Temporary files are not important so such files are normally omitted while making backups. In data archives, specific files are stored. These files which are typically used for compliance purposes are stored in data archives.
Why backup your files?
A lot of users install a lot of programs onto their systems. In today’s world, there are a lot of malicious softwares and viruses that come along with the installation packages. You can try ArchiverFS for yourself which would allow you to meet all your requirements.
While installing these softwares or downloading files from the internet, viruses can corrupt and delete your system’s files. It need not even be a virus, when you overload your system; your hard drives may crash and stop functioning. In such cases, the system reaches an unusable state. To avoid or as a solution to such a scenario, it is important to make periodical backups to avoid any sort of data loss. Even the safest users will have to make a backup to transfer the files when they purchase a new system.
Why do you need data archiving?
In today’s fast-paced world, having a fast and efficient system for data retrieval is the need of the hour. There are mainly 3 reasons why data archiving is important for organizations:
- Optimal or enhanced system performance
- For legal compliance purposes
- Converting age-old legacy systems to new systems to incorporate technologies like Big Data Analytics.
What’s the verdict?
Instead of comparing backups vs. archives, it is best to state that both have good use-cases. It completely depends on the type of organization and what are the organization’s requirements. If the organization needs fast retrieval of data then making use of an archive would be optimal. However, if the organization is concerned about the system’s safety then, performing backups would be best suited for the organization.
Systems that make use of only backups can be time-consuming, and can result in extra hardware costs and increased compliance risks. Having a combination of backups with archives will result in a system that performs faster backups, costs less, and has a reduced compliance risk. To avail more information be sure to seek assistance from experts.