With stories of cyberattacks, hardware failure, and crippling data loss happening all around, the ability to access and recover your data has never been more critical to the continuing success of a business.
In order to determine what kind of enterprise data storage technology best fits your operations and security requirements, you need to be able to answer a few questions about your data. What data do you want to store? What do you need to use that data for? Who will have access to this data? How often will you use it? And lastly, how much do you want to spend every year to save and protect your data?
Not quite as simple as you thought, right? There are a ton of different data storage tools out there that all provide distinctive benefits regarding security and storage. But it does take some time to get familiar with the language and overall purpose behind each solution. It’s easy to confuse technology like data backups and data archiving especially – which is why we’re going to outline the differences between the two and help you understand when and why you would want to incorporate these tools into your current infrastructure.
Restore your Systems with a Data Backup
Data backups and disaster recovery go hand in hand. If a massive flood happens and destroys your desktop computers and servers, how will you recover all the information lost? The purpose of a backup is to be able to return your computer, file system, or business application to a state it existed previously.
Backups work by copying data on a regular basis, according to a schedule or simply when the original data changes. They typically run as a batch process, backing up your operational data every day or week, usually after business hours. Your data is stored on tape with no search capabilities.
In terms of what types of data, you can back-up anything from Dynamics NAV data to application files. They are frequently accessed to ensure you have the most current version of data to roll back to in case of an unforeseen event or theft.
Retrieve your Information with Data Archiving
While still a form of data storage, data archiving has nothing to do recovering the latest version of your data. Instead, it provides access to a permanent record of data, legal documents, correspondence, etc. Think about the data that exists in your systems that you don’t use often. It’s still essential for compliance and historical reporting, but it’s not going to cause days and days of downtime if you can’t recover it.
Similar to data backups, archiving works by copying the data. But this only happens once and is dependent on the parameters you set for archiving, such as the age of the data or whether a project is still active. The biggest differences between archives and backup are how they store data and what data they store. Data archiving is a discovery tool. The data that is archived is created in real-time as it’s received and created.
Data archiving tools include indexing and search capabilities within files, so you can easily find and reference data that you need. Data archives will show a history of files, including where they existed and who changed them. These data archives store the metadata in a file and put it in a database that can be quickly searched.
Data Backups and Data Archiving Should Compliment, Not Compete!
If you want to be confident that your active business data is protected from short-term loss, and that your important records are maintained and fully accessible in the long-term, we recommend you invest in both data backups and data archiving technology.
While progress has been made to evolve these data storage tools, you still need two separate solutions and strategies to back-up your most critical operational data and store and archive your older (but still valuable) data. Data backups and archiving are designed as complementary services, not to replace each other.
You can try to use backups for archiving or archiving for backups – but it will likely eat up resources, and you’ll end up paying some pretty hefty data storage fees. If you take Microsoft Azure, for example, the monthly storage cost for 100 GB of frequently accessed data (i.e. data backups) is $2 versus 20 cents for archiving it. That might not seem like a lot but when you calculate the amount of data you need to store based on the number of employees, desktops, servers, mobile devices, etc. – it adds up. And it doubles every year. Storing each byte in the right place can save you a significant amount of money.
Trust Your Data Storage to Tigunia
Speaking of Azure, cloud storage solutions are a great, cost-efficient option to keep your data safe and protected. At Tigunia, preventing downtime and protecting data is our business. We have the people, technology, and expertise to help you beef up your first line of defense. We don’t want you to risk losing your data from an accident or face serious business fines for not having the right data available for a legal inquiry. With our knowledge and experience, we can help you select the right tools and services for data backups and data archiving.