Data archive and it’s differences from a backup

With the turn on the New Year upon us; a yearly data archive can be a topic on the minds of businesses and IT departments alike. Whenever I hear the word data archive or data archiving – I think of these bad boys:

When someone mentiones data archive - a stack of floppy disks will be what comes to mind with older IT pros.

But; what is a data archive and how does it differ from a backup?

What is a data archive?

A data archive is the process of moving data that is typically non-changing or static; but is likely to be required for reference in the future or for compliance purposes (certain industries and business need to abide by laws such as the HIPPA laws for medical/health care in the US or the privacy act that governs Australia).

To improve search capability a data archive can be highly indexed – it’s granular enough that search terms can be found within files themselves, instead of just the file name level.

What is the difference between a data archive and a data backup?

The two appear to be related, however in reality they deal with different concepts of data protection.
Data archive is (as mentioned above) related to storing data which is typically static.

Data backups have the purpose of being able to recover data should a critical IT event or disaster occur.

The guys over at Waterford Technologies have written a really good piece that goes into more depth around the differences of archiving vs backup.

How often should a business run a data archive?

The answer to such a question is as individual as the business or industry it relates to. In most cases a yearly archive will be enough to protect the data without concern. As with everything though, any applicable compliance requirements or laws need their due diligence taken.

To make this easier though, the majority of backup and data archiving solutions allow the ability to schedule an archiving job. This reduces user interaction (apart from making sure the selected data is relevant) to complete the task.

Should the data in a backup overlap with a data archive?

A common theory is to perform an archive prior to a backup. This is to create a once off copy of data that doesn’t change regularly or required for everyday operations.

This will then reduce the overall data set that the backup deals with – which increases efficiency around storage size (no wastage on static data), backup time and making sure that the backup will complete within the allocated backup window.

Have any other ideas around archiving data which we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments section below. Also take a look at our website for ways which we can help protect your data and ensure its availability when needed most.

By |2018-05-11T16:58:02+00:00January 1st, 2018|

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