Google recently announced a number of updates to Google Vault for Drive. The updates allow users to set retention rules and place legal holds on files in Google Drive and search, export, set retention rules, and place legal holds on files stored in Team Drives. These capabilities are aimed at giving G Suite Business, Education, and Enterprise customers better data governance control. This makes perfect sense, because Google Vault is built for archiving rather than backup and recovery.
Archiving tools, like Google Vault for Drive, are designed to retain data for a specific period of time, typically to meet business or regulatory compliance requirements. They also feature robust search capabilities that allow users to search for files or emails based on given criteria. For example, in an e-discovery event, you might need to find emails containing certain words sent within a specific time frame.
Backup solutions, such as Backupify for G Suite, are about protecting frequently changing business data, so it can be restored quickly and easily in the event of data loss or corruption—whether you need a single file or hundreds across multiple users. Today’s backup tools take frequent backups and store data in a manner that enables fast restores.
Conversely, archiving tools are not built to facilitate fast restores. It’s simply not a requirement. That’s what backup is for. If you need to find a single file, or a small group of files using an archiving product, that’s no sweat. But, if you need to recover a large number of files—for example, everything in a user’s Drive or a Team Drive—you’re in for some tedious, time-consuming work.
Why? Because Google Vault for Drive does not retain folder structures, only files. So, recoveries lack organizational structure—you need to sort through every file and rebuild folder structures manually. To make matters worse, Vault for Drive stores metadata separately from files. So in addition to rebuilding folder structures, all sharing permissions must be reassigned following recovery. Consider how time consuming this would be for a single user, let alone a large group of users. The lost productivity associated with that process could have a serious financial impact.
It is also worth noting that Google has added a versioning feature to Google Vault for Drive, which allows users export previous versions of files. This addition allows users to export files as they existed on a given date. This could be useful for recovering files following a ransomware infection. However, because Vault does not retain folder structures, if a large number of files is impacted, again, recovery is a bear. Backupify for G Suite allows users to quickly and easily restore data to a point in time before your files were encrypted.
Because it it is built for operational restores, Backupify for G Suite maintains label structures and metadata, so there is no need to rebuild complex folder structures and re-grant permissions after restoring G Suite data. Obviously, this dramatically improves restore time for large restores. Also, the user interface is designed to mimic the G Suite environment, which makes it intuitive for users to restore their own documents—reducing demand on helpdesk.
Finally, Vault doesn’t create a secondary copy of your data independent of Google. This is Disaster Recovery 101 the on-prem IT world, however, many people still believe there is no need to back up data created in the cloud. But, storing data in a single cloud is just as risky as only performing backups locally. Backupify gives users an independent copy of G Suite data with automated backups to the Datto Cloud three times a day (and the option to force a backup at any time).
Confusion about the differences between backup and archiving goes far beyond Backupify and Vault. It’s a long standing misconception that the two terms are interchangeable. However, this is simply not true. Simply put, archiving allows users to retain, search and export files for e-discovery and compliance purposes. Backup, on the other hand, offers a fast and easy way to quickly restore deleted or corrupted data. As such, many organizations require separate backup and archiving solutions.