Customers evaluating our Backupify for Google Apps product often ask us to compare our feature list to Postini, specifically Postini Message Discovery (also known as Google Message Discovery). The answer is simple:
- Backupify for Google Apps is a backup solution
- Postini Message Discovery is an archiving tool
Archiving and backup are two very different use cases, and it’s important to understand the distinction when evaluating products designed to meet each demand.
The rule of thumb: Archiving is for discovery, backups are for recovery.
More broadly, archiving tools are for expediting auditing and compliance tasks, backup tools aid in error correction and disaster recovery. While you can use most backup tools to aid discovery tasks, and it’s possible to employ some archiving systems as recovery solutions, neither are ideal for those use cases.
Why You Need An Archiving Tool
Because you have to know where your data has been, and have to be able to prove it.
Archiving tools are designed to make compliance audits and legal discovery requests simpler. Archiving systems create copies of data that are intended to illustrate who had access to emails and documents when, and who made which changes at what time. Their interfaces and data exports are designed to satisfy regulators and investigators.
If you ever get sued, you’ll be glad you deployed an archiving tool beforehand. However, if you try to restore an email or document with your archiving tool, you’ll be upset you didn’t have a backup system instead.
Why You Need A Backup Tool
Because you can’t live without your data and, if it’s ever lost, you want to get it back as fast as possible.
Backup tools are designed to keep your business data secure and intact in the event of natural disasters, security breaches or good, old-fashioned user error — the latter of which makes up nearly one-third of all data loss, and two-thirds of data losses within Google Apps. Backup systems create copies of data that are intended to maximize speed of recovery, such that you can restore any lost items or accounts with the absolute minimum delay. Their interfaces and data exports are designed to satisfy I.T. professionals.
If your system ever gets hacked or someone maliciously deletes your data, you’ll be glad you deployed a backup tool beforehand. However, if you try to piece together an audit trail with your backup records, you’ll be upset you didn’t have an archiving system instead.
Backupify vs. Postini
Backupify and Postini are not competing products, they are complementary solutions. Archiving is a best practice in regulated industries, and backup is a best practice for any critical system. It is entirely possible, and often best practice, to deploy both Postini and Backupify on your Google Apps domain. That said, there are specific differences between the two products, and you should know beforehand exactly what functionality you require — and are legally obligated to possess — before deciding whether Postini and/or Backupify is the right solution for you.