A common misconception in data retainment is that a backup system is all that is required to ensure safe and trustworthy storage.  Backup does not serve the same purpose as archiving. It is critical to know the difference to ensure you have the right system in place for your needs.

Purpose of:

  • Backup: to preserve an image of data at a certain point in time
  • Archives: to preserve a complete record of all important information

What they actually do:

  • Backup: restores servers or other platforms once a crash, malware or other data loss occurs
  • Archives: meets the requirements of e-discovery requests, necessary audits, early case assessments or restoration of missing content

How long data is kept:

  • Backup: typically 30-90 days
  • Archives: many years or however long the records retention policy is

Type of content that is stored:

  • Backup: raw, unindexed
  • Archives: indexed

Ease in modifying previous content:

  • Backup: straightforward
  • Archives: very hard

How much content is captured:

  • Backup: live data, current file versions and metadata
  • Archives: entire history including changes to content and metadata

Ease of accessing stored content over a long time:

  • Backup: difficult if backup software or policies have changed, impossible if backup software has been stopped in the past
  • Archives: easy

Satisfies legal and regulatory obligations:

  • Backup: hard to satisfy
  • Archives: typically satisfies requirements

Clearly, backup is insufficient as a strategy for long term data storage because it fails to satisfy the requirements of data verification, historical retainment, and compliance.  Failure to observe the requirements of archives can result in lost data, steep government fines, or loss of lawsuits. Businesses, governments, healthcare facilities, and many other sectors have relied on optical storage in the past to satisfy these requirements.

Archiving reduces the costs associated with managing retention obligations and satisfying business processes. Through keeping all electronic data—not just emails, but files, instant messages, social media posts, etc. —an organization will reduce its risk and cost of operations.

To finally have peace of mind about your company’s data, contact MagnaStor today.