How (and why) to backup your Google Apps account

Google Apps is great, especially for collaboration, but even Google isn’t immune to the basic laws of IT – no system survives contact with its users. Google is arguably the most reliable cloud solution in the world, but no system is perfect.

One of the most frequent questions we receive is, “Why would I ever want or need to backup my Google Apps account?” This is a very valid and fair question, so let’s dig into the reasoning a bit.

Simply put, backup is a best practice regardless of whether the data is stored locally or in the cloud. Chances are, you or your company are already using some type of local storage for backup. Now that companies are moving to the cloud, it just makes plain sense to backup this data as well.

Avoid a single point of failure

No critical system should ever be vulnerable to a single point of failure. If you are dealing with an on-premise  system that is at risk for hardware failure, data loss during a natural disaster or any other single point of failure, you know you need a backup. The same goes for a cloud-based solution. You don’t want to wait around for any type of outright data loss – user-induced or not. Having a backup of this data is simply a best practice.

User error causes 1/3 of data loss

We found that one-third of all data loss is due to user error. That means that someone at your company is bound to delete either an important email thread, Google Document or calendar event – by accident or not – leaving your company high and dry without a way to recover that data.

The bad news is, Google can’t save you from your users. The good news is, a backup helps safeguard against any data loss due to such user error. Due to the collaborative nature of Google Apps, any single user’s mistakes could impact many users or an entire domain. Say, for example, you accidently delete a Google Doc shared with your CEO, VP of Marketing and Sales representative.

Not only did you delete this file from your account, but from theirs as well.

Google’s security policy states:

“Once an administrator or end-user has deleted any data in Google Apps, we delete it according to our privacy policy.”

The good news is they recommend users go to a third party backup provider that will store data on their servers regardless of what happens on Google’s servers.

“For non-email data recovery solutions, please consult the Google Apps Marketplace where one of our partners may have a solution suitable to your needs.”

Disaster Recovery, or Backup?

Many people ask us, “But, doesn’t Google already back up my data?” It’s true that they do, but Google’s backup policies fall more in the category of traditional disaster recovery and failover, not backup. Google can help you continue usage of your data during a hardware failure or natural disaster as their servers are ‘in the cloud’ and not affected by any local issue. Again, that’s where a third party backup can protect you – no matter what happens on Google, your back up will be there, allowing you to restore any lost or corrupted files.

Simply put, you should back up your Google Apps domain; Google itself thinks it’s a good idea.

Interested in seeing how a backup of your Google Apps domain can help you? Try out a 15-day free trial of Backupify’s Backup for Google Apps.