“We use Google Vault with Google Apps, so we’re backed up, right?”

In a word: no.

At most, Google Vault preserves email and allows an authorized person to search existing Google Drive files.

Google Vault provides email retention, search and export for organizations that use Google Apps for Work. An Apps administrator creates a “matter” that specifies which emails will be preserved—and for how long. Only items that match the criteria will be preserved. For example, the matter may apply to a specific account, a defined time period, or only to email containing a specific word (or words). Preserved emails may then be searched or exported by an authorized person.

Vault helps your organization meet legal discovery and compliance needs.

Google Apps Backup from Backupify saves a person’s contacts, documents, calendars, sites, and email.

Backupify backs up every account up to 3 times a day. Unlike Vault, the backup saves everything: every contact, every document, every appointment, every Google Site, and every email. Backupify keeps data ready to be restored. An authorized person not only can search or export backed up data, but also can restore data to a person’s account.

Backupify helps your organization protect against data loss.

“But doesn’t Google automatically save my data?”

Yes, to a point. Google can’t prevent people from deleting data.

One of the best features of Google Docs is that there’s no “File > Save” menu. Open a document, edit, then stop when you want. Docs, Sheets, and Slides all save automatically. You focus on your work, not file management. You work, Google saves.

Google also allows users to delete data. Move a contact, document, appointment, or email to the Trash, then “Empty Trash”—or delete a Google Site.

Some data may be recoverable. You can restore a deleted contact or Google Site for up to 30 days. With help from a Google Apps Administrator, you should be able to recover email and Drive documents for up to 25 days. If an Administrator previously enabled Google Calendar Rescue powered by Backupify, every user in the organizations can restore calendar items deleted within the past seven days.

Google Vault only preserves email that matches a retention rule. If the lost email matched a retention rule, Google Vault would have preserved the email. In that case, an authorized person could export the email from Vault, then use a third-party tool to move the email back into Gmail.

It’s much simpler to recover data with Google Apps Backup from Backupify. Login to your Gmail account, open the App Launcher, then choose Backupify. Search and select any—or all—items backed up from Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Contacts, or Sites, then restore. You’ll receive an email to notify you when the data has been restored. (Alternatively, an Administrator may choose which users may restore data.)

“So do I need both Google Apps Backup from Backupify and Google Vault?”

It depends.

Backupify preserves data for recovery. When a person deletes or overwrites data, Backupify provides a simple process to restore a deleted items in Google Apps. An automatically occurring cloud to cloud backup system protects against data loss and simplifies data recovery.

Google Vault preserves email and allows Drive search for eDiscovery and legal compliance purposes. Vault ensures the organization can provide data from Google Apps for Work in order to comply with legal requirements.

Put simply: use Backupify for data recovery, and Vault for legal discovery.