Software as a Service applications are often billed as being immune to disasters. That’s true to a point; your SaaS solutions are unlikely to be affected by natural disasters that strike your place of business—unless you happen to share a ZIP code with one of the handful of data centers that house your SaaS solution.
Google Apps users in the United States have their information stored in one of six data centers, each of which resides in a geographic area prone to some combination of earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes. Some of these risks you might not expect.
For example, you probably aren’t surprised to learn that Google’s data center in Berkeley County, South Carolina is in a hotspot for Atlantic hurricanes to make landfall, but did you know it also sits in a major earthquake zone? Not to worry; Google can always fail over your data to Mayes County, Oklahoma—near the heart of Tornado Alley. Council Bluffs, Iowa; Douglas County, Georgia; Lenoir, North Carolina; and The Dalles, Oregon all have their own major risks.
Microsoft Office 365 only has five US data centers to worry about, which means there’s one less location to suffer a disaster—or serve as a failover for your data. The Des Moines, Iowa data center stares down tornado threats year round; Quincy, Washington lives in moderate fear of earthquakes and Boydton, Virginia is no stranger to major flooding. And nothing bad ever happens in Chicago, Illinois or San Antonio, Texas that could lead to major power outages, right?
And as for Salesforce, they only run two US data centers (actually subcontracted to a partner provider called Equinix): one in the earthquake epicenter of San Jose, California and the other in the hurricane heartland of Reston, Virginia.
SaaS solutions are remarkably resilient, but Mother Nature is often simply irresistible in her fury. While it’s unlikely even a major natural disaster will permanently destroy your SaaS data, you could certainly suffer a prolonged SaaS outage—with only a handful of service credits to salve the wounds to your business. A SaaS backup could give you access to your Software-as-a-Service data even when your SaaS solution is offline or unreliable.
Hope is not a backup plan. SaaS backup is the only way to truly disaster-proof your critical business information.