backup archive

Backup and Archive

Tricky Computer Terms: Backup and Archive

Alright kids, gather around the Smile IT campfire of knowledge. It’s time for the computer terminology equivalent of Kum Ba Yah, so dust off the thinking caps and prepare yourself for enlightenment. Today we’re focusing on two members of the IT vocabulary that we all think we know but could probably do with a bit more clarification and understanding. Ladies and gents, it’s ‘backup’ and ‘archive’!

What is a Backup?

Backups are an everyday part of our modern lives. A backup is a direct copy of data that we can revert to if our original data is lost or damaged. Companies usually make scheduled, regular backups of their data in case of hardware failure or a fire or other natural disaster. More often than not, the backup will be cloud-based so it’s accessible from anywhere and not as susceptible to physical damage or human error. So when the office cat jumps on your keyboard and deletes three years of accounting records, fear not. Your backup will save the day!

What is an Archive?

An archive is a collection of historical records that is kept for the long term. Usually, it’s data that is not currently been used, but it needs to be stored for reference and chronological purposes.

Archives are normally pretty methodically catalogued based on searchable criteria like dates or types of data. This makes it super easy to look through the archive and find what you need to find.

How do They Work Together?

Backups are awesome. They are the ultimate safety net for your company data and your employee information. When you encounter a problem, you can just restore your data and pick up where you left off with minimum downtime. But – when you back up tons of data, the backup infrastructure can be overloaded and run slower.

This is where archiving comes in. By archiving the older backups, you take the pressure off your storage infrastructure. Your recent data is still available as a restorable backup to get your company back on its feet in the event of a problem, and your older data is available as a searchable archive. This is a cost effective and efficient way of ensuring your data is kept safe!

More questions? Get in touch!

When he’s not writing tech articles or turning IT startups into established and consistent managed service providers, Peter Drummond can be found kitesurfing on the Gold Coast or hanging out with his family!