Many G Suite users mistakenly believe that because they are using Google Vault, their email and files are backed up and easily restorable. However, this can be a dangerous assumption because Vault is designed for archiving, not for backing up. To fully understand this point and grasp why Backupify and Vault are complementary solutions, let’s make sure we understand the differences between backup and archiving.
Backup solutions, such as Backupify for G Suite and Office 365, are designed for quickly restoring data—whether you need a single file or an entire database. It’s about protecting active, frequently changing business data, so it can be restored quickly and easily in the event of data loss or corruption. Backup products are designed to provide a speedy recovery in order to reduce downtime. Today’s backup tools, whether for files that are on-prem or in the cloud, take frequent backups and store data in a manner that enables fast restores.
Archiving, on the other hand, is about saving data over a long period of time, often for legal or regulatory compliance purposes. These products, such as Google Vault, store data that is no longer changing or should not be changed. Recovery speed is not as much of a priority for archiving tools, but robust search functionality is critical. Archival tools allow users to search for files or emails based on specific criteria. For example, in an e-discovery event, you might need to find emails containing certain words sent within a specific time frame. Archiving tools, like Google Vault, are built to perform these types of tasks.
Google Vault lets you retain, archive, search, and export your organization’s email and chat messages for purposes related to e-discovery and compliance. You can set retention rules to control how long email messages and chats are retained before they are removed from user mailboxes and deleted from Google systems. Vault also offers legal hold functionality to preserve a user’s emails and chats indefinitely. Holds can be placed on all content in a user’s account, or you can target specific content based on dates and terms. Vault also allows you to search your domain’s Google Drive accounts by user account, organizational unit, date, or keyword.
While these functions are important, Vault is not a solution for backup. Here’s why: Vault doesn’t create a secondary copy of your data independent of Google—so you have a single point of failure. If something happens to Google servers, which happens more than you think, you are out of luck. This is, of course, Data Protection 101 in the on-premises IT world, but many mistakenly believe there is no need to back up data created in the cloud. However, storing data in a single cloud is just as risky as only performing backups locally. This is why many organizations take a “3, 2, 1” approach to backup (3 copies, 2 formats, 1 offsite copy). Backupify gives users an independent copy of G Suite data with automated backups to the Datto Cloud three times a day (with the option to force a backup at any time). It also provides more comprehensive coverage than Google services. In addition to email, Backupify protects users’ contacts, Drive, documents, calendars, and Google Sites.
Backupify is designed to restore files and emails quickly. It maintains label structures, so there is no need to rebuild complex file structures when restoring G Suite data. This dramatically improves restore time, especially for larger restores. The user interface is designed to mimic the G Suite environment, which makes it easy for users to restore their own documents without submitting helpdesk tickets. Because Vault is not designed for operational restores, these processes can be complex and time consuming. For example, to restore an email, you must first export the email from Vault, then use a third-party tool to move the email back into Gmail.
So, Google Vault preserves email and offers the ability to search Drive for e-discovery and compliance purposes. Backupify, on the other hand, offers a straightforward way to back up and restore deleted or corrupted G Suite data. As such, many organizations should use them side-by-side, Vault for compliance and Backupify for data protection.