Glossary search


Distinguish From: 

n. ~ 1. A copy of all or portions of software or data files on a system kept on storage media, such as tape or disk, or on a separate system so that the files can be restored if the original data is deleted or damaged. - 2. Equipment held in reserve that can be substituted in case equipment in regular use fails.

- back up, v. ~ 3. To create such copies of data.


In information technology, 'archive' is commonly used as a synonym for 'backup' and 'back up'.

(Sedona Principles 2003, p. 11) An effective document retention policy, combined with a preservation approach triggered by the reasonable anticipation of litigation, would establish the principal source of discovery material, thus reducing the need to routinely access backup tapes or hard drives. Under such a policy, backup tapes and hard drives would not be governed by an inaccurate characterization of them as retention systems, but rather by a proper understanding of their role in providing for system reconstruction in the event of loss of functionality. [Note:] Unlike archival systems, which contemplate restoring data, in part or whole, to an existing, active system to be used along with other active data, backup systems are designed to completely restore active systems that have been lost or corrupted as the result of some disaster. Therefore, while data stored in offline archives may often be restored to the active system and searched, searching backup files often requires either taking active data off the system or 'cloning' the system. Both alternatives involve significant disruptions and expense.