What is SaaS Backup?
SaaS backup software is technology designed to store and protect data created by SaaS products. SaaS products are any software licensed out and delivered via the cloud rather than installed on-premises. SaaS backup software stores this data either elsewhere on the cloud or on-premises so that if the SaaS products fail, its information is stored safely. When SaaS products fail, data stored by SaaS backup solutions can be used to restore the SaaS product to a functional state.
SaaS backup software has to integrate with the SaaS products to store the data they produce. As a result, not every SaaS backup software works with every SaaS product. Many SaaS backup solutions specialize in backing up particular suites of products, such as Office 365 or G Suite. Other SaaS backup solutions aim to integrate with a greater variety of SaaS software but may lack features that more specific SaaS backup solutions provide.
SaaS Backup Software Features & Capabilities
Many SaaS backup solutions have features relevant to the software they are backing up. For example, SaaS backup software that integrates with email systems may have data archiving features specifically for email. Despite this, some key features are present in most SaaS backup software.
- SaaS product integration
- Data storage through the cloud or on-premises
- Data encryption
- Data Restoration
- Data Auditing and search
Why you need Office 365 backup
SaaS productivity apps like Microsoft Office 365 make sense in today’s mobile world—the benefits of easy access to documents from any device and improved collaboration are obvious. However, many organizations believe that moving to Office 365 means backup is no longer necessary. According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group report, one in four businesses don’t believe they need to backup Office 365.
However, Microsoft does not guarantee complete and fast restores of deleted or corrupted Office 365 data. In short, Microsoft ensures that it won’t lose your data. However, the company doesn’t make any guarantees about recovering it for you.
So, let’s look at Microsoft’s native data protection vs. your responsibilities.
- Protection against loss of service due to hardware failure or natural disaster
- Short-term protection against user and admin error (Recycle Bin, soft delete)
You must protect against data loss due to:
- Accidental deletion
- Hackers, ransomware, and other malware
- Malicious insiders
- Departing employees
That’s why Microsoft recommends third-party backup in the Service Availability section of its Services Agreement.
Should I Backup OneDrive?
The OneDrive backup is a “sync and share” service, which means your documents, spreadsheets, music, and image files are protected. Unfortunately, sync and share doesn’t protect everything on your hard drive, so when you suffer hardware failure like a crashing disk drive, you’ll lose the rest of your data, including your apps and operating system.
Let’s take a look at what a Microsoft OneDrive backup is good for, where it leaves your data exposed, and how you can better protect yourself.
Backing up files to OneDrive does just what it says. It backs up the files, not the applications or operating system. OneDrive allows you to make multiple copies of your files to a cloud storage location. Similar to other solutions, like Google Drive and Dropbox, it comes with limitations.
Benefits of OneDrive Backups
When you back up files to OneDrive, you create a second version of your file folders, not your entire hard drive. Cloud storage solutions offer value in a variety of ways.
First, they enable remote file use with smartphones and tablets. Even if you’re sharing photos with friends, you can still access anything you need.
Second, they offer an easy-to-recover option if you lose your device. If you need those files immediately, you can still download them or use them in a web application.
Limitations of Sync and Share
First, sync and share stores the same files on your hard drive as in the cloud. If you accidentally delete a file or make a change to it, the actions occur in both locations.
Second, sync and share only works with files. If something happens to your hard drive, you can’t restore applications and operating system settings. File recovery allows you to download documents, spreadsheets, music, and images. However, it does not make a full image of your hard drive that will enable you to use a bootable media for complete restoration.
Complete system backups allow you to recover your hard drive settings and restore your applications. Drive cloning using a mirror image duplicates all the information on your hard drive enabling you to get back to regular use more rapidly.
Third, since many cloud storage sync and share locations have become targets for hackers, only backing up to OneDrive might put your information at risk. OneDrive, for example, does not allow you to encrypt data either while it’s moving between your device and the cloud or while it’s sitting on the cloud – so if someone gets into your OneDrive folder, they can access (and change) your data.
Does SharePoint Automatically Backup?
As organizations across the globe migrate their Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint workloads to the cloud, they’re discovering that they need to review and adapt IT processes to better align with changes in functionality, both positive and negative. This is particularly true when it comes to data protection.
We’d like to help ensure that you don’t suffer any data protection ‘gotchas’ once you’re up and running, so we’ve compiled four key facts about data protection for Office 365 and Sharepoint Online for you to consider. If you assume (like many of our customers) that Microsoft’s got your back with regard to data protection, you’re right, but there is only so much that they can or will do. Even Microsoft states: “With Office 365, it’s your data. You own it. You control it.”
So let’s talk about why.
With the move from on premises to the cloud, IT receives many benefits, ranging from reduced capital expenses for infrastructure and data center usage, to simplified deployment and management. With the shift to cloud, however, IT must also consider potential new or changing responsibilities, such as data residency, data management and data protection.
“With organizations of all sizes moving to Office 365 at a rapid pace, it is critical that the same rigor for data protection that IT places on data center data is also applied to cloud-based data—and folks need to understand that most SaaS solutions don’t do protection, preservation or retention, just availability.” – Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst, ESG
Here are 4 key facts about data protection for Office 365 and SharePoint:
- Common causes of data loss are still risks in Office 365 and SharePoint Online
- You share responsibility for data protection in Office 365 and SharePoint Online
- Traditional methods of data protection don’t work with Office 365 and SharePoint Online
- Cloud-to-cloud backup is the best option for you to protect your data and be able to quickly recover
If you are looking for a Managed Service Provider to take care of your SaaS Backups, including Office 365 and G-Suite, please contact us.