There seems to be some significant confusion in the industry about the difference between backup and archive. Here are my definitions of the terms.
Archive: Storage of a collection of digital data comprise an archive. Archive data is data that does not change much or at all and must be kept long periods of time. Most often today, digital archive data is managed by HSM systems.
Backup: Backups have two distinct purposes. Their primary purpose is to recover data as a reaction to data loss, be it by data deletion or corrupted data. The secondary purpose of backups is to recover data from a historical period of time within the constraints of a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application for however long copies of the data are required.
So the big difference the way I see it is that archives do not change much, and backups are used for transactional data or data that changes often.
Now, let's play archive or backup? (answers below).
More to come on this topic.
Labels: archive,data storage,backup,backup data,HSM
posted by: Henry Newman