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Vinchin Blog Local Archive vs. Cloud Archive: What’s the Difference?

Local Archive vs. Cloud Archive: What’s the Difference?

2022-06-08 | Echo

Table of contents
  • What is local archive?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of local archive?
  • What is cloud archive?
  • What are the benefits of cloud archive?
  • Conclusion:


An archive is a collection of historical records or materials in any medium, as well as the physical location where they are kept. Archiving is the process of securely storing inactive information in any format for long periods of time. This data may or may not be used again in the future, but it should be kept until its retention period expires.

Organizations often adopts archive because of following situations:

Regulatory compliance: The use of archive is inevitable if the authorities require companies to take certain data retention measures.

Space reclamation: The needs of freeing up storage space is mounting as the old data accumulates and cost rises. Efficacious storage for enterprises comes with prices, so you can make the best of your investment on it by transferring expired data to a multipurpose storage tier.

Data lifecycle management: It is necessary for corporations that using archive media automates data lifecycle management to maintain data quality, which in turn improves process and efficiency.

Within the industry, archive falls into two categories, local archive and cloud archive, on which technical pros must clarify differences between the two and make the best choices on how their data should be archived.

What is local archive?

A local archive is to store organized data sets in local storage media such as tapes, USB, CD discs or hard drives for a long period of time in order to ensure that they can be finely retrieved in the future.

Local archive varies with the storage media:

Optical media: Recordable optical media such as CD/DVD discs are the longest storage medium that can hold data up to 50-100 years without power or the jeopardy of magnetic degradation, yet it’s not the primary option for local archive due to the cost and inability to access randomly. Optics, however, are still a suitable alternative for individuals who seek completely immutable storage and have a budget.

Tape archive: Tape archive (tar) is a traditional Unix archive format and the most common way to keep data locally. Almost any modern storage medium pales in comparison to tape storage in durability, and its cartridges can also be transported to any location for reservation or disaster recovery. Though the slow access speeds and limited scalability hold users back.

Local hard drives: Basically, local hard drives contain HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). HDD is another storage device that lives inside the computer. It is cost-saving and practical especially when it comes to photos, videos or business files archive. SSD is a flash-based memory faster than HDD but it is expensive and has limited write/erase cycles. It also almost impossible to recover data if data are deleted.

Except the archiving media mentioned above, there are other storage media including USB flash drives, local and network folders, PACS servers or external hard drive.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of local archive?


1.  Use existing storage assets;

2.  Easy and low latency access to the data;

3.  The data lives in the corporate data center and is under IT's control;

4.  Data can be stored for years;

5.  Small early configuration investment.


1.  Costly maintenance: patch management, data backup or replication, power and cooling 2.  expenditures, and periodical storage media replacement costs;

3.  Vulnerable to physical environments;

4.  Limited scalability;

5.  Slow access speed for the geographical and other physical restrictions;

6.  Heavy management workload for data input and retrieval.

What is cloud archive?

A cloud archive is a storage as a service (SaaS) solution for long-term data retention. The archive stores data that is rarely accessed and can be optimized for security and compliance with data privacy regulations. Cloud archive is often done in public cloud, although hybrid setup of local and cloud archive rarely exists for some chronical old data is hard to move up to cloud.

What are the benefits of cloud archive?

Long-term data retention is frequently required, whether for corporate reasons or other obligations. While storage cost and data security are two main factors need to be taken into account when one chooses which archive to implement. Cloud archive makes it easier, cheaper and safer contrasting with on-premise storage. Other strengths of cloud archive are listed below:

1.  No archive storage hardware cost therefore no upfront investment in storage hardware;

2.  Use less power and cooling resources;

3.  Compliance with data regulation policies;

4.  Allow users to search and retrieve stored data remotely;

5.  Fast access speed;

6.  High scalability, elasticity and durability;

7.  Enhanced data security and integrity.

Historically, companies stored huge amounts of data on local archive such as tape, hard drive and more for the portability and lower cost. But once the data exceeded storage capacity, local archives had to be spanned and extended. It often took them hours to restore data for review and audit. Cloud storage, on the other hand, is more convenient and offers better uptime and provisioning, over time it becomes more favored over local archive.

Cloud archive vendors provide cloud storage service for corporations of all size, which saves the deploying and maintaining costs. Vinchin Backup & Recovery is one of the reliable backup software providing simplified and streamlined cloud archive services for users. The software encrypts the data before archiving to prevent data exfiltration or leakage, it also enables full VM restore, instant restore and file-level recovery for convenient data restore under different scenarios. Optimal technologies for storage are available such as data compression and deduplication to maximize cloud space and investment. To know more about how to archive with the software, go to here.


By archiving data on cloud for a long period of time, we ensure that production system uses fewer resources, runs more efficiently and shortens storage costs. Cloud archive is preferred by institutions and enterprises over traditional archive for the easier management and maintenance. It’s so important and crucial that it should be incorporated into every organization’s data management plan. Download Vinchin Backup & Recovery and cloud archive with the solution for better data administration.

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