It is very common to come across the terms data backup and archive. These two terminologies are usually mentioned together which is not astounding since both support primary data storage. I often stumble upon users who are of the opinion that data archiving is analogous to data backup. Simply put, backup and archive have nothing to share in common. They are poles apart.

Through this post, I would like to highlight the key difference between the two technologies.

As per definition:-

Data Backup: Data backup can be referred to as an assortment of data stored in remote location for purposes of data recovery in case the original copy of data is gone astray or becomes unattainable due to any reason.

Data Archive: Data archiving is a collection of data objects, possibly with connected metadata, in storage system to safeguard and retain data for long-run.

Online data backup and archive serve different purposes and so let's have a closer look at key differences between the two solutions.

  -  Data Online data backup: enables you to protect your both active and inactive data. Your data is stored in remote location. While, achieving allows you to store and maintain older or inactive data for extended periods of time. A key differentiator in case of any unexpected event the data archived will be lost permanently.

 - Accessibility: Cloud-based online backup can be accessed anytime and from anywhere. All you need to have is an Internet-enabled device to access your data. Whereas, an archive is devised in a very different manner. In this provision, data objects, such as files and databases are typically stored individually. Hence, the end user can fetch only single file at a time (since complete data can't be accessed in one go) through instant granular access procedure.

 - Updation: Backup process in cloud is automatic and can be changed as well as over-written whenever required, while this is not possible in case of an archive (as it is a permanent data storage provision).

 - Disaster Recovery: Disaster recovery provision in case of the online data backup is far more easy and cost effective as compared to an archive.

To summarize, would say that both data backup and archive are two processes that provide solutions for entirely different problems. Hence, don't get bemused with them. Determine your business requirements and choose the right strategy to keep your mission-critical data safe and secure.