A recent online article in Byte and Switch discusses the frequent confusion over the difference between the terms Backup and Archive. Many people fail to distinguish between the two. This is particularly true in the case of email.Email backups allow you to be able to restore the state of an email system at particular point in time. Email archives allow you to easily identify emails for inquiry or eDiscovery and includes a set of criteria for selecting which emails to archive.In the AIIM study The Role of ECM in Storage Decisions, John Mancini wrote that the terms ‘storage’, ‘archive’ and ‘backup’ are terms that “…tend to be used interchangeably, without understanding the differences in policy , practice and technology to manage each effectively.”A July 2006 survey of 500 securities companies made by the compliance management company Orchestria found that 20% of the respondents were not confident that they could meet a regulatory subpoena deadline or request for electronic records even though 95% had received such requests from regulators within the last year. And the reason cited for this inability is that 62% have not properly archived their emails in a way that allows them to efficiently search the email content.Part of the problem may be the plummeting cost of disk storage. Because it is now so easy to do complete backups of all data, people don’t feel it’s necessary to create a true data archive, and when it comes time to search the data, they are often very limited in their options.A first step in approaching the problem is to realize there are different classes of data and different purposes for storing data. For example, there is the data that needs to be called up immediately to support the running of the day-to-day business. There is data that is kept online to meet query responses on the order of minutes rather than days. And there is data that needs to be kept online but is very infrequently accessed. The introduction of the concept of ILM (Information Lifecycle Management) within ECM was created to help better distinguish between different data classes and their storage strategies.