Regardless of where stored, a backup is essentially a point in time copy of your important data which is securely stored but always available should data be lost. The only reason to take a backup is so you know you can restore should the worst happen. Backups are a dynamic process as your data changes so does your backups. Archives are a different matter as they are potentially block or the whole of your data which need to be stored in the same state for long periods of time. This data is not used on a day by day basis but it may need to be drawn upon at a later date. Often archived data is moved away from existing storage infrastructure as it will never be needed immediately.
A backup is simply a copy of the current and active information stored on your servers. When a backup copy of your data is created, the original files are not affected and still reside in the same location. While an archive is also a copy of your data, the archiving process relocates the data from your business’s primary storage location and moving it on to less expensive and more long-term storage locations.
If a business loses data the ability to restore data is paramount, and the ability to restore from a time which is as close to the time of data loss is also an important factor. As such backups are usually incremental or continuous this ensuring data can be protected as quickly and as often as possible. Usually the reason for accessing archived data is not as time sensitive so 48 hours to view the archive is sometime not unacceptable.
In summary, archiving is used by business which need store data for a long or indefinite period to comply with vertical and or geographical regulations, for example solicitors or financial consultants. Backups are taken to ensure your data and business is safeguarded against human error, hardware error or any disaster in general. Data backup and data archiving as solutions are complimentary and should be used together.