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February 05, 2014
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Is 2014 the Year of Cloud-to-Cloud Backup?

“Every day enterprises send critical data to software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers without any plan for how they will back up the data and restore it. Only when they experience data loss do they ask the question, ‘Who is responsible for backing up my data?’” – Back Up Your Critical Cloud Data Before It’s Too Late, Forrester Research, February 4, 2014

Yesterday, Forrester Analyst Rachel Dines sent a wake-up call (hopefully) to the IT community through her new report where she asks leaders to “stop leaving the door open to data loss and start proactively protecting cloud data – before it’s too late.” 

According to the report, 66 is the average number of different SaaS applications that companies expect they will use in two years. This should come as no surprise. We know the cloud is growing quickly and as a result companies are storing critical data in these cloud applications. The question keeps coming up – are companies properly protecting their data?

Sadly the answer uncovered in Forrester’s report is no.

We know the causes of unrecoverable data within SaaS applications: migration errors, accidental deletion, malicious insiders, hackers, rogue applications, departing employees. Unfortunately many companies believe that their SaaS vendors will always be able to restore lost data if any of these scenarios occur….but that might not be the case.

The report goes on to highlight various SaaS vendors and their restore policies if a customer were to lose data. Here are a few examples of restore policies from popular enterprise SaaS solutions that may frighten (or at least cause companies to reconsider cloud to cloud backup solutions):

Citrix ShareFile: ShareFile end users and admins can recover items from a recycling bin for up to 7 days. The ShareFile operations team can recover files for up to 28 days before they’re permanently purged.

Google Apps: 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.

Salesforce.com: 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.

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