Posts Tagged ‘Stub Files’

How Is File Archiving (Or HSM) Different Than Backup?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

The differences between file archiving and backup are easy to understand.

Backup is a process of making a copy of a file in a safe place in case the original is lost due to deletion, over-writing, file corruption, disk or other hardware failure or disaster. If a user wants to retrieve a file from a backup, they need to make a request to their IT staff who can search for it and retrieve a copy. The need to involve IT makes the retrieval process slow and expensive.

File archiving is the process of moving infrequently used files to a cheaper storage medium while providing a self-service function that allows end users to search for and retrieve the files. There are several ways to provide this self-service function and a popular approach is to leave a small “stub file” or “placeholder file” in the original location and move a complete copy of the original file to the archive . This stub file is very small, usually a few kilobytes, but it allows the user to easily find the file in its original location. To retrieve a file from the archive, the user simply opens the file and the archiving software retrieves and returns it to its original location. File archiving solutions often provide other functions such as indexed search, data de-duplication and non-repudiation.

Since IT is not involved in the retrieval process, retrieval from a file archiving system is much cheaper and faster than retrieval from a backup system.

ArchiveConnect targets customers using the stub file or placeholder file approach to file archiving.

Learn More
You can learn more about the differences between file archiving and backup by reading these two articles on Wikipedia:

Backup
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup

File Archiving (also known as HSM)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchical_storage_management