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5.3.2 Archiving / Backing up Data


Revision Points:

Candidates are expected to:

  • describe the difference between data which is backed up and data which is archived.

Archived data:

Data that is archived is no longer actively used but it is too important to delete permanently.  Data that is archived is usually stored on some form of removable storage media such as a writable CD-Rom or DVD. Another alternative media is a removable hard-drive or a large capacity floppy disk such as a Zip Drive.

The more valuable the archived data, the more important it is that the media with the archived data on is usually stored somewhere safe, just in case it is ever needed again.


Backed up data:

Data that is backed up is a copy of the active data that is only used if the original data is damaged or deleted in some way.

Backing up can be done manually or automatically by a program.  The media used can be the same as for archiving but automatic backing up of data is often onto magnetic tape as this is fairly simple technology to automate and has a huge capacity, enough to back up the data on a whole server.

Backup data media is often stored well away from the original data so if the original data is destroyed by an event such as a fire then the backup data is safe.  The KLB School servers are backed up every night onto tape and the previous backup tape is taken home each night by the network manager.  A backup of the whole system is taken before important changes such as upgrades to the network system.

With the rise in fast Internet access it is now possible to backup data automatically to servers anywhere in the world.

Pupils at GCSE level are encouraged to save a copy of important files every now and again so they have a backup if a file is accidentally deleted.  The copy can simply be located somewhere else on your user area or it can be saved on a memory stick or emailed home as an attachment for example.

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