The Importance of Non-Destructive Restores For Google Apps

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If you have looked into cloud-to-cloud backup solutions for Google Apps, you’ve probably pored over exactly how much data, in what form, with what type of security, and with what frequency is copied to your online archives. This is typical.

Most people, however, overlook and equally important component of a backup solution: the restore process. What is that like? How does it work? Is it quick and easy? What if the data you are restoring already exists in the account?

At Backupify, we spent a lot of time fine-tuning the restore process to make it as fast as possible to get your data restored and get back to business. For example, we have a centralized user admin panel so you can restore data for multiple accounts without having to endure the slow tedious process of logging out and logging back in as each user.

We also put a lot of checks and balances in place to make sure our restores are non-destructive. If you try to restore something that already exists in Google Docs, Calendar or Contacts we simply upload an archive version alongside the original, with the latter sporting a “Backupify_restore” label. This allows you to quickly login to your original Google Apps account and find the piece of data you just tried to restore. Of course, if the data doesn’t exist in your account and you restore it, we do push the original back to your Google Apps account, and again add the “Backupify_restore” label to make it easy to find. (Gmail does not allow duplicate versions of the same message, but this also means we can’t restore a message that isn’t missing. Intact messages are “replaced” with exact duplicates, plus the “Backupify_restore” label. Corrupt versions are replaced with uncorrupt versions, plus the “Backupify_restore” label.)

One thing to note is that, while we do offer backup and automated restore for Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Contacts, we only offer backup for Google Sites. The restore functionality that Google provides over their APIs isn’t adequate to restore Google Sites in an easy way, so for the time being, that restore process is still manual. We’d rather not do a direct Google Sites restore than do one badly. At Backupify, we don’t take shortcuts with your data.

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