As companies store more vital data in the cloud, there’s quite a bit of confusion around backup vs archiving. Companies are wondering if a backup solution, an archive solution, or both are appropriate for their data needs. Each serves a very different purpose so it’s important to have an understanding of the distinction between the two when choosing which solution is necessary. 

When to Use an Archiving Tool

Archiving tools are used for expediting both auditing and compliance tasks. Archiving solutions create copies of data that are intended to illustrate who had access to emails and documents when, and who made which changes at what time. Their interfaces and data exports are designed to satisfy regulators and investigators. This type of purchase is typically driven by the legal department or governance department within an organization. Archiving solutions are best practices for businesses in regulated industries (think finance and healthcare). If you ever get sued, you’ll be glad you deployed an archiving tool beforehand.

Example: Google Vault

When to Use a Backup Tool

Backup tools help in situations related to disaster recovery, security breaches, or user errors. A Backup solution creates copies of data that are intended to maximize speed of recovery, such that you can restore any lost items or accounts with minimum delay. The decision to purchase a backup solution is typically made by someone in the IT department. Backup is really a best practice for all companies and as a result, there has been an increase in companies adopting cloud-to-cloud backup solutions.

Example: Backupify

There are times when your business might require both solutions, but a good rule of thumb is “Archiving is for Discovery while Backups are for Recovery.” For more information, check out “Backupify and Google Vault: Why You Need Both”.