Wednesday, 19 November 2008

FAQ: What is difference between Backup & Archiving?

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Backup: A backup refers to a copy of data that may be used to restore the original in the event the latter is lost or damaged beyond repair. It is a safeguard for data that is being used.

Archive: An archive refers to a single or a collection of historical records specifically selected for long-term retention and future reference. It is usually data that is no longer actively used.

One of the differences worth noting in the above descriptions is that a backup is always a copy while an archive should be the original that was removed from its initial location and sent elsewhere for long-term retention.

Frequently, backup software is configured in an attempt to fulfill both roles. Data backup schedules often include daily incremental backups kept for seven days, a weekly full kept for a month, a monthly full kept for a year and finally, a yearly full kept for seven years. The yearly full backups are often referred to as seven-year archives. Some email programs allow you to create so-called archives from a user's mailbox, but they all end up in one large file (i.e., a PST file for Exchange). So, retrieving an archived record can become a daunting task.

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