University Systems help centre

Return to top of page.
Return to primary navigation.
Skip to secondary navigation.

Difference between backups and archives

The Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) allows users to perform two data storage operations: backups and archives.


  • Can be configured to perform automatically every night.
  • Can be used to restore a computer to its previous operating condition if the hard drive fails or data is lost.
  • If the file is frequently updated, multiple versions of the file will be kept on the TSM server for 14 days and only the most recent version will be retained after that time.
  • If the file is deleted on the user's workstation, all backed up versions will be deleted from the TSM server after 130 days.


  • Cannot be automated. Clients must choose specific files to archive.
  • Archive files are kept on the TSM server for seven years. After this period they will deleted without warning.
  • Up to 14 copies of the same file can be retained depending on the archive date.

For instructions on performing tasks with TSM, visit the links below.