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May 05, 2017
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Cloud Backup and Recovery Policies Revealed: It’s Time to Read the Fine Print

If you think your SaaS provider can automatically restore lost data in your account, think again. According to Forrester Research and a recent report “Back Up Your Critical Cloud Data Before It’s Too Late”, it might be time for a reality check.

Yes, it’s true, most enterprise-level SaaS providers and applications (think Salesforce) have methodologies in place to back up and restore data in the event of data loss or a disaster. However, they may not make this technology available to the end user. A common example here is user error where lost data happened through no fault of the vendor. An employee accidentally deletes data and then the vendor may not necessarily retrieve this data.

Before signing up with a new cloud vendor and then storing lots of highly critical data in said cloud application, make sure to thoroughly review the backup and recovery policy for the vendor.

Need further proof that reading through a cloud vendor’s SLA (carefully) is worth it? Below are some of the most popular cloud applications, the backup and restore methodology to prevent data loss in the applications, and the restore policy if a customer were to lose data in the application. (Can someone lose data in a cloud application? Absolutely! Here’s how)

Vendor

Backup methodology

Restore policy (if a customer loses data)

Box

Box replicates data between its data centers and backs up data to a third-party public cloud provider in near real time. The backups are over 99.9% timely.

If a user accidentally deletes a file, it goes into the trashcan, where a user or administrator can retrieve it, depending on how it has been configured by the admin. Administrators can configure the Box service to keep trash content for 7, 14, 30, 60, or 90 days or keep all trashcan content indefinitely if they choose. Box admins can also configure trash controls such that only admins; admins and co-admins; or nobody within the organization can permanently delete content. In case of deletion from the account, customers can still retrieve the files by contacting Box support for 30 days. In the event of primary file storage unavailability or other issue, files can be retrieved/restored from Box’s cloud-based secondary storage systems.

Concur

Concur employs a complete internal infrastructure to back up and monitor servers through secure connections. Backup media for Concur’s online servers are fully encrypted with AES-128. Media that is

stored off-site is safely transported by secure courier to a hardened off-site media storage facility.

Vendor did not disclose

Google Apps

Data is replicated multiple times across Google’s clustered active servers, so, in the case of a machine failure, data will still be accessible through another system. They also replicate data to secondary data centers to ensure safety from data center failures.

Once an administrator or end user has deleted any data in Google Apps, Google deletes it according to the customer agreement and its privacy policy.

Data is irretrievable once an administrator deletes a user account.

NetSuite

NetSuite conducts hot backups and stores data off-site in a secure location and safeguarded against almost any environmental conditions.

Vendor did not disclose

Oracle Taleo

Oracle runs nightly incremental backups of Taleo Learn products six days a week. The incremental backup data is stored to disk on Taleo’s hosting infrastructure. It runs a full backup at least once per week. Except with respect to the Taleo Learn products, the full backup data is stored to disk on Taleo’s hosting infrastructure on a weekly basis. The full backup data is then copied to disk at a physically separate location and encrypted.

Upon a customer’s written request, individual document restoration due to customer error may be provided and will be billed on a time- and-materials basis. Daily incremental backups in combination with weekly full backups are complete so that no more than 24 hours worth of data will be lost in the event of a local disk failure and no more than one week worth of data will be lost in the event of a site disaster.

Salesforce

All customer data is automatically backed up to a tape library on a nightly basis. Backup tapes are cloned to an off-site facility to verify their integrity, and the clones are stored in a secure, fire-resistant location at that off-site facility.

As a last-resort process, Salesforce.com Support can recover customer data at a specific point in time, in the case that it has been permanently deleted or corrupted. The price for this service is a minimum of $10,000.

Zuora

All data is backed up to disk at each data center, on a rotating schedule of incremental and full backups. The backups are cloned over secure links to a secure disk archive. Disks are not transported off-site and are securely destroyed when retired.

Vendor did not disclose

Always do your homework before deploying a cloud application which means reading the fine print.

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