Addressing the Confusion between Email Backup and Email Archiving

It is a common misconception for companies to construe that email back-up is synonymous with email archiving. But there is a vast amount of difference between the two terms which impacts a company in a significant way. Understanding the purpose of each feature also helps identify the advantage of a sound email archiving system and why adopting one is necessary for every business to consider.

What is email backup?

A backup of an email is also known as a snapshot of data included in the email. Unlike email archiving solutions, only a single snapshot can exist at any point in time; thus, a new snapshot created replaces the old one. Unfortunately, upon replacing an old snapshot, the old one is gone forever, and there is no way to retrieve it. This unfortunate occurrence is quite commonplace in instances of accidental email deletion or corruption.

Some email back-up features require a complete database restoration. For example, if 20 emails were corrupted in the process, the email back-up will replace the entire email database. This process will destroy a massive volume of emails over the years, and the company may not be aware of this. Losing vital email information is detrimental to a company especially at times when a lawsuit demands the company to present email documentation as evidence.

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Another limitation of an email back-up is that it lacks sophisticated search capabilities and the stored information is liable to altering or tampering, either intentionally or accidentally.

What is email archiving?

You can compare an email archiving feature to a library. Printed books represent knowledge, and essential information carefully kept using an efficient storage and retrieval system. You cannot alter any text stored in libraries; you can only add to them.

In the same way, an email archiving solution differs from email backup because it does not only keep a record of valuable information efficiently, it also facilitates effective retrieval. If you have an email archiving solution, emails stored cannot be deleted or edited; instead, new email data keeps adding to the database.

Both incoming and outgoing emails are subject to archiving. What this does is to ensure that the company will not lose any vital information. Similar to how a library works, email archiving solutions have sophisticated indexing capabilities to allow easier search and retrieval process via the use of keywords.

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Most email archiving solutions are compatible with on-premise data servers and cloud business intelligence like Azure cloud services. The company can choose to offload all archived information directly into the secondary storage facility such as cloud storage to help increase the performance of on-premise company servers.

Adopting a cloud business intelligence based email archiving solutions serves not only to keep information but also to ensure that the company complies with legislated rules and regulations. It is more convenient to adopt an email archiving solutions than worry about possibly being subject to a lawsuit later on. When email archiving becomes a standard company practice, it will seamlessly integrate into the current software systems and IT infrastructure.

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