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Backup vs. Archive:
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Post Backup vs. Archive: 
I have some questions about when to use archive and when to use backup. Please share me with your experience:

a. Are there good archive solutions that can replace long retention backups?
b. Are there any regulations that force using long retention backups instead of archives?
c. What are the risks in archiving files for long retention instead of using the known and proven backup method?
d. Can someone guess if archive systems will replace long retention backups some when?

Thanks, Einat.

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a. Are there good archive solutions that can replace long retention backups?
- Yes. Your retention drivers will largely dictate what kind of system you'll need. Just be sure to get all of the stakeholders involved. They could be various BU owners, Legal, HR, and your typical IT team members like messaging, server admins, backup admins, and whomever may be responsible for archiving operations.

b. Are there any regulations that force using long retention backups instead of archives?
- The regulations don't specify a backup or archive in particular, rather some may be more particular about how the data is stored, and of course that might narrow down some of your choices.

c. What are the risks in archiving files for long retention instead of using the known and proven backup method?
- I'm not sure there are really any more risks compared to the risks of backups, other than with most traditional backup methods you'll likely have redundant copies of the backup data on various forms of media, and in archiving you generally tier a single copy of the data off from tier/media to tier/media.

d. Can someone guess if archive systems will replace long retention backups some when?
- In many companies this has already happened. I suspect some will use backups for what archiving should be doing for a long time to come, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

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a. Are there good archive solutions that can replace long retention backups?
<J> As a former StorageTek employee I would strongly suggest that you not use tape for long term (10+ years) retention backups as tape media is not suited for this purpose as its lifespan is heavily impacted by humidity, light and heat. Google acclerated life testing on tape.

b. Are there any regulations that force using long retention backups instead of archives?
<J> Regulations do not specify backups or archive, the do specify the following:
1. How long the data must be retained
2. How many copies of the data must be kept (if more than 1)
3. Whether the data has to be immutible (not changeable) and this is often called WORM (write once and read many)

c. What are the risks in archiving files for long retention instead of using the known and proven backup method?
<J> The biggest problem with tape will be apparent if you ever are party to an e-discovery and the oposing counsel asks you to prove the data you are providing is the original data and not changed. Once you mention that the storage media is tape they will want to a copy of every tape that contains that data...chews up lots of time and expense.
d. Can someone guess if archive systems will replace long retention backups some when?
Archive systems are for archinging not backup/restore so IMHO they will never replace tape systems for archiving and vice versa.

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