Data Backup vs Data Archiving: 5 Major Differences To Know

Data backup vs data archiving; two terms that are often used interchangeably but serve very different purposes.

Data is a business’s most valuable asset. Hence, it’s vital that data protection practices are in place to protect it.

However, many IT professionals wrongly assume that data backup and data archiving are the same since they both make and store a copy of production data.

But that is the only thing they have in common.

In this article, we highlight the differences between data backup and data archiving to understand their distinct functions better.

Data Backup vs Data Archiving: 5 Key Differences

1. Data Backup vs Data Archiving Definitions

A data backup is when a business’s data is copied from a primary location (for example, the office) to a secondary, remote location. This protects the data in case of an unforeseeable disaster, accident or malicious action.

On the other hand, data archiving is intended to be used as a storage for data that is not changing frequently and not required regularly but still needs to be kept for future reference.

A business’s operations will not be affected if these files are removed from its servers. However, if employees need the data, they can always retrieve them with file stubbing.

2. Data Retention

The duration a file is stored in a data backup is much shorter compared to one stored in an archive.

Depending on the importance of the data, it may be updated daily or even multiple times a day. Therefore, the data is only stored for a short period of time.

On the other hand, data archiving is used when a business wants to store large amounts of data for many years. For this reason, the ability to store data over longer periods is very important.

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3. Disaster Recovery

Data backup and disaster recovery are closely related to one another. IT professionals generally carry out data backups to protect the business’s information.

They will then conduct a separate process to transfer the data to an offsite location as part of their disaster recovery solution.

However, it can be difficult and costly for a business to implement a disaster recovery solution to its data archiving system.

This is because businesses will have to buy expensive archive systems for both the disaster recovery site and the production environment.

4. Accessing Data

Data backups are normally used for fast, large-scale recoveries. The data is written to deduplication appliances or tape libraries for quicker access to large volumes of information.

Companies may use backup applications to protect their application softwares, OS files and individual data objects—though it’s optimised for larger-scale recoveries.

Data archiving, however, is designed to store individual data objects, including email messages, files, databases and more. It provides fast access to stored data, so it’s easy to find, for example, an email from five years ago.

Unlike backup systems, data archives do not provide volume level or full server recoveries. They contain only a subset of a business’s data.

5. Financial Value

A common factor most IT departments in businesses are worried about is their budget.

Tiering and storing files in a data archiving system is more cost effective than using a data backup system. That is why most companies prefer to use a data archive as their primary method of storing data.

While a data backup system is costlier, it helps businesses recover quickly if their data is corrupted, stolen, or lost due to a mistake.

That is why it’s worth choosing a cloud data backup service. However, it is important you do your research, and don’t just choose the first service you come across.

Read More: The Importance of Endpoint Backup

Build a Reliable Backup and Recovery Strategy with Aegis

While data backup and data archiving are used for completely different purposes, they are vital for a business to operate efficiently.

Business owners must ensure their confidential data are protected from accidental loss or malicious attacks and are available and retrievable when needed.

Aegis is a prominent cloud service provider in Malaysia. With over a decade of backup and disaster recovery experience, we offer businesses data backup and restoration solutions at an affordable price.

Our Disaster Recovery-As-A-Service (DRaaS) is a cost-effective managed cloud disaster recovery solution that provides complimentary unlimited disaster recovery resources.

To ease the burden on IT backup administrators, we have the expertise to plan and execute complimentary unlimited disaster recovery drills to lower the business’s risk of being unable to recover from a disaster.

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