Data Backup vs. Data Archive for Your Business
Chances are you’re careful with your data – in the digital business world, it is the most valuable asset any business can have. When it comes to ensuring your data is accessible, two words that almost seem interchangeable come to mind – backups and archives. And while they may both seem like the same practice of ensuring access to old data on the surface, there are a few key differences between backups and archives and how you should implement each for the continued success of your business.
How you handle both may end up affecting the outcome of your business during a crisis – but only if they’re implemented correctly.
The Importance of Data Backups
In short, the primary role data backups play is ensuring your data and systems can be restored to how they were before an accident. This could mean restoring your systems to get you back-up-and-running after a natural disaster, accessing core system functions after a massive hack, or getting to your personal data after a human error incident has left your current systems without the core data they need to function.
Backups are a vital role in modern business – and for good reason. On average, 30% of businesses that lose their data to fires, a common emergency situation, go out of business within 3 years – and that number jumps to 70% within 5 years. And while technology is improving in function and reliability, hard drives do fail from time to time, and you have an 11% chance your hard drive will fail after only 4 years of use. It’s these times when things go wrong, and your data is inaccessible that backups become crucial – they’re the most efficient way to restore your system to how it was before an accident or malfunction occurred.
Why You Still Need to Archive
If backups can restore your data to how it was before an accident, then that should be all you need to access old data, right?
Actually, that’s incorrect – and where archiving comes into play.
Where backups are the usually-automated restorative steps you take in case of an emergency, archiving is what you do to ensure that your old data is easily accessed later down the line. Take for example the search for an old email – in a backup, you could try and restore your data to that date, but you’d lose all your information in the process. Archiving, however, which focuses on random read access and data authenticity, will allow you to search through old files to find the data you’re looking for without needing to restore your entire system.
Data backups are the carbon copies you can rely on when things go wrong, and you lose your data, where archives are like access to the library – you’re able to sort and search through a wealth of knowledge at ease. Archiving allows you to revisit old data that may not be necessary to use every day, but could come in handy to be able to access later on down the line.
Steps Towards Implementing Both in Your Business
Implementing data backups and archives are not an “either or” situation – and smart business will have both in play. But, ensuring that both systems are functioning in an effective manner to allow you the desired access and outcome of each process can be trick for small businesses to take on.
That’s why we recommend you partner with an outside IT consultant to help you install and run your data backups and archives. Chances are you’re not going to want to worry about your backups and archives every day and working with NENs means that’s another thing we can take off your plate. Give us a call today to learn about how we can work with your data to guarantee your organization be back up-and-running after a disaster – while still being able to access your old data with ease.