Backup vs. Archiving: Know the Difference

backup vs archiving

Backup Vs. Archiving

Backup and archiving are often being confused, while in fact they differ significantly. Data backup means copying the data in order to restore the critical data in case of an unexpected data loss due to various events, like hard drive failure, theft, flood, ransomware attacks etc. Data archiving on the other hand is transferring the data to another location for as a long-term storage and it concerns data that is not used actively anymore.

In this article we’ll explain in detail what the two processes mean and what are the differences between them, plus, how does backup and archiving look like in the ZFS-based Arxys Sentio powered by Open-E JovianDSS data storage software.


Backup Defined

Let’s start from the scratch – what is backup? To cut the long story short, backup is the process of copying data, applications or files to another disk, tape, secondary computer, or also through a cloud backup solution. It is used to protect the crucial data from various risks (e.g. disk failure, natural disasters, theft, system failure and others). This type of protection enables users to access copies of their data, applications and files, and restores them in case of emergency situations.

Risk of losing your data is real and high and, honestly speaking, it is an inseparable part of data storage and management for all types of businesses which store their data digitally. In order to avoid data loss and consequently a hold-up in a smooth functioning of your business, backups MUST be made on a regular basis, as a part of a proper and secure Disaster Recovery strategy.

There are some general principles of how the data should be backed up, usually depending on the safety policy of your company as well as on the type of data. Sometimes just one copy is enough, but very often it is required to keep much more copies, both on-site and off-site, both locally and in remote sites.

The best backup solution is the one which includes both local and remote solutions and makes copies of data in different time intervals, e.g. once an hour locally and once per day remotely.

So why do I need archiving?

Simply speaking, data archiving is retaining the data, so that it can be used in the future, so it is rather a ‘historic’ collection. Data is archived if it is no longer used on a daily basis, but they have to be maintained for the potential future purposes, which might be of some great help in case you need data from a couple of years back. Sounds familiar? ?

Archiving may be done on different media: on the same device, but another disk, on portable devices, online or also on cloud. When archiving the data, you do not copy them, but you  move them to long-term data retention. Certain references are created, so that it is possible to have access to archived data. However, proper data archiving doesn’t indicate that backup is not required – in fact, the two processes should be combined.


PurposeData used regularlyData is no more actively used
MethodCopies of dataData moving
Destination of data transferOn-site (local) and off-site (remote)


All in all, backup is a necessary practice, as it gives you safety; archiving on the other hand is helpful to keep order in the data and to see clearly, what files are not used on regular basis. Combine the two of them to make sure that you manage your data properly. The good news is that you don’t need separate software products for backup and archiving, as Open-E JovianDSS with On-and Off-site Data Protections serves as a perfect medium for both, as it allows users to back up, restore and archive crucial company data in case of an unexpected disaster due to a combination of several technologies.

Arxys | Sentio (Powered by Open-E JovianDSS) for backups and archiving

With Open-E JovianDSS can take advantage of the best-in-class features and run both your backup strategies and archiving smoothly. The built-in On-and Off-site Data protection enables creating consistent snapshots and asynchronous snapshot replication to local and/or remote destinations, with replication tasks  set according to user demands thanks to advanced retention plans. It is a is very flexible solution, as it covers a range of different disaster recovery plans, without the need to use additional third-party tools, providing the following benefits:

  • Native backup of everything
  • Backup off-loaded from client to a storage server
  • Data restore after a ransomware attack
  • Instant access to / restoration of data from backup server
  • Light backup engine
  • Removal and rotation of backup media (optional)
  • Encrypted transfer
  • and more

If you have questions about how your organization can solve your data protection challenges contact one of our storage experts today. Contact Us

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