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How Does Your Organization address the Archive vs Backup Issue

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Backup vs Archive

My personal opinion is that backups are done well in the electronic / digital world. However, for a true archive, which is typically “long-term” or at least 20 years, my belief is that nothing is better than using a microfilm base.

Greg Schulz, senior advisory analyst at StorageIO, explains: “Backup is for restoring a file, object, database, volume or system based on some recovery time objective and recovery point objective, whereas the archive is a picture of the data and its state at a point in time.”

Per the Northeast Document Conservation Center

6.1 Microfilm and Microfiche

Amidst the bells and whistles of the digital revolution, preservation microfilming quietly maintains its status as a highly valued and widely practiced preservation reformatting strategy. And why not?

The enduring popularity of preservation microfilm is because of its practicality. Unlike its digital counterpart, microfilm is the product of a nearly static, tested technology that is governed by carefully crafted national standards. When created and stored according to these standards, microfilm boasts a life expectancy of 500+ years. 1 It is also worth noting that, while digital data require use of a sophisticated retrieval system to access their treasures, microforms (i.e., microfilm and microfiche) can be read by the naked eye using only light and magnification.

The access potential of microforms admittedly pales in comparison with that of digital technology. Still, microforms can enhance access to information that would otherwise be unavailable because the original item is at a distant site or is vulnerable to damage and/or loss through handling. Also, microforms are relatively inexpensive to produce and to copy.

One key indicator of the continuing relevance of preservation microfilming is its ongoing support at the national level

How does your organization address this issue?

Kevin Williams, CDIA+
Owner
SRIIA Technologies, Inc.
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