Storing your data online doesn’t mean it’s safe.
One month ago, an employee of MOSSS, a San Francisco startup, managed to accidentally delete the company’s entire G Suite account. A few weeks later, MOSSS was taking Google to court, with the intention of forcing it to restore all the lost data.
How valid MOSSS’s claim is remains to be seen, but it has lost years of vital business data and irreplaceable work files. Google, it says, failed to respond in a timely manner, before eventually saying the data was unrecoverable – hence the lawsuit.
But while this case could have some interesting implications for the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry, it already provides a valuable lesson for other businesses using cloud-based software: you still need backup.
Doesn’t Cloud Software Get Backed Up?
One of the great things about online software like Office 365 and Google’s G Suite is that it’s usually easy to restore data you’ve deleted. You’ll find the last few versions of your files can be recovered with a few clicks.
If you also have your files synced with your computer, you’ll find you have copies stored on your hard drive as well. So that’s backed up, right?
In a very limited sense, yes. But there are several reasons why it shouldn’t be considered a real backup solution – certainly not one that’s good enough for businesses, anyway.
Active Accounts Only
As MOSSS is now surely painfully aware, if you delete your account, you delete your files. If you don’t have locally stored copies, then your data may well be gone forever.
A proper backup solution will give you access to your data even after you close your account with a provider like Microsoft or Google.
While it’s handy to be able to restore previous versions of files and folders, in many cases SaaS applications will overwrite your current data when you activate at a restore.
Most also have a limit on the number of versions, so as newer versions are stored, the older ones drop off the bottom of the queue and are gone.
A dedicated backup service, in contrast, will offer more or even unlimited versions, and data restoration is non-destructive.
When you delete a file from Office 365, it’s only retained for 30 days, at most. After that, the file is permanently deleted – a common feature for cloud apps.
This might seem like enough time, but if you accidentally delete something, you may not realise you’ve done it before your 30 days is up.
A backup service that offers infinite retention means your files are stored in perpetuity, so accidental deletions aren’t the end of the world.
When you delete something from a cloud application, you might not be able to restore it with all its associated data. So you might be able to get back an email, but the attachment might be gone, for example.
The answer is to get a backup solution that backs up all, and not some, of your data: everything from calendar appointments and emails to user profiles and custom settings.
How Can TMB Help?
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, TMB offers licensing and support for the full range of Office 365 applications, so we know their limitations as well as their benefits.
Office 365’s limited data restoration is not meant to be considered a backup solution, and Microsoft is very clear about this. That’s why TMB offers a powerful Office 365 backup service specifically designed to fulfil this most vital of needs.
If your organisation is using Office 365 and doesn’t have something like this in place, you are putting your data at risk. Plus it’s a lot less hassle than suing a major corporation to get your work back.
Note: If you require backup and recovery services beyond Office 365, we offer a fully proactive backup and disaster recovery solution that includes 24x7 access.