According to IDC, among the Fortune 1000, the average hourly cost of an infrastructure failure is $100,000 per hour. And, the average cost of a critical application failure per hour is $500,000 to $1 million! Add to that a staggering study from Aberdeen Group that reports a mere 6% of companies survive long-term after suffering a disaster that compromises its data. With the risks high, companies must ensure they have both secure data backup and data archiving solutions in place—before they need them.

Although data backup and data archiving may seem to serve similar purposes, their processes and objectives are quite different. According to the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), the two processes are defined as follows:

  • Data backup: A collection of data stored on (usually removable) non-volatile storage media for purposes of recovery in case the original copy of data is lost or becomes inaccessible.
  • Data archive: A collection of data objects, perhaps with associated metadata, in a storage system whose primary purpose is the long-term preservation and retention of that data.

These definitions point to the foremost difference between data backup and archiving: data backup is a copy of existing primary data, whereas a data archive is the original data object, moved off of primary storage for long-term access when needed. Therefore, a loss of a data backup will retain the originals, while a loss of an archive means loss of original files.

The difference in use case for each type of data leads to different data storage processes as well. Backup data, often accessed in heavy volumes when needed, is written in large blocks to dedicated hardware. Backups also often protect operating system files, in addition to application data. Archiving, conversely, typically stores individual objects (files, databases, emails) along with their metadata to provide immediate access to detailed, individualized information.

How does Caringo fit in?

Today we announced that we have certified our comprehensive software-defined object storage, Caringo Swarm, with Veritas™ Enterprise Vault™ 11 to lower storage costs and associated legal and regulatory expenses through an integrated, long-term data retention solution. Caringo Swarm is integrated and certified with Enterprise Vault as part of the Veritas Technology Enabled Program (STEP) and is included in the certified product listing in the STEP Partner Directory.

The bottom line? Accessing backup data, although more complete, typically takes longer than archive data access. Backups are useful in disaster recovery situations, while archiving is essential in complying with data storage laws in many industries. In fact, IDC reports that in 2014, companies saved more than $11.4M using their archives for risk mitigation and avoidance of litigation.

In its report, Your Backup is Not Your Archive, Veritas offers a succinct overview (see table below) of additional differences between and benefits of both data backup and archiving solutions.

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And, storing data in the cloud may not always provide the safety net that IT leadership assumes. 2015 research shows that 90% of data loss prevention (DLP) violations occur in cloud storage applications. And, unfortunately, when data backup operations are not fully maintenanced over time, even recovery can be fruitless. Sixty-six percent of organizations saw their recovery options fail, according to Veritas.

For additional information on today’s announcement, read our press release. For more information about this integrated solution or to explore how a Caringo object storage solution can benefit your organization, we welcome you to contact us. Also, you can follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ to keep up with our latest news.