Why Do SaaS Applications Need Third-Party Backup?

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Why Do SaaS Applications Need Third-Party Backup?

The SaaS application is responsible for the performance and security of their application, while you are responsible for the security and backup of your data that’s on the application.

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We had the opportunity to meet virtually with Ori Yankelev, co-founder and V.P. of Sales for OwnBackup during IT Press Tour #35.

Why do SaaS applications, like Salesforce, need third party backup in the first place? If Salesforce is basically a relational database, then relational database backup is not difficult new technology is being done for years. Why do SaaS applications always seem to need a third-party backup partner?

There's a very simple answer to that question: there's a conceptual and contractual separation between the ownership of the data and ownership of application when it comes to SaaS. The traditional relational database backup solutions require the customer, the user of the backup solution to have access to the underlying infrastructure. 

That's how all of these solutions work, you have to install the agent on the infrastructure. With a multi-tenant environment, that's not an option. So no customer can install Oracle Database relational database backups, which run on their Salesforce instance because they don't have access to the infrastructure

This is true for any SaaS application, the customer doesn't have access to the infrastructure, so the only way to access the data in the way all SaaS application vendors have provided customers with access to the data through API's. So the new school of SaaS backup and recovery vendors that are out there, they major in becoming experts in how to use the vendors’ API's to deliver the best possible backup and recovery solution for the customers.

How are people backing up data today?

Every SaaS vendor has some backup and recovery, but it's used for internal purposes, it's not necessarily provided to the customer to access. We surveyed more than 1,000 Salesforce users last year. Salesforce customers aren't backing anything up. About 20% are using the Salesforce weekly export, about 15% are doing some kind of on-premise database integration, and only about 10% 12% are using third-party applications on backup. And we actually think that's high that's disproportionate in this data set. So, you know, if you actually drill into the weekly export in the on-premise integrations, what we see is that about 80% of companies don't really have a comprehensive backup and recovery solution. 

When you add in the surge of the mobile workforce and lack of oversight that's ensuing in terms of cyber attacks, we're definitely going to see an increase in data loss incidents. Almost one-third of the survey respondents reported some kind of data loss or corruption in Salesforce. These questions, again, are becoming more important and are coming to light as a spotlight gets shined on business continuity plans, and backup and recovery plans. As we transition into more remote work, this is going to become more important. 

What are the Salesforce data recovery options?

Salesforce recommends all their customers backup themselves since they're responsible for backup recovery, and they recommend third-party services from the app exchange like own backup. That's a kind of contractual obligation that customers have to protect their own data. But it's also a recommendation that Salesforce provides.

Now, Salesforce does have some out of the box functionality, something called the weekly export. They have API's customers can use to export data to an external data warehouse. And they offer sandboxes. You can have a full sandbox that refreshes every 30 days. And they also have the data recovery service, but that option is going to be retired this coming July. So that option will no longer be available. That was their sort of measure of last resort where if you weren't backing up your data yourself and you had some kind of user inflicted data loss, they can kind of go into their own backups and find the data for you and send it back to you in CSV files. That option is no longer available. So it means that customers are only going to have the three options and outside of that they would have to work with a third-party solution like OwnBackup.

I don’t think most established enterprises would consider those options viable for meeting their needs for a number of different reasons. None of them really have a suitable or comprehensive recovery option for the data. Most of them don't really even provide a suitable backup option. The weekly export does provide a backup of all the data but it doesn't include any metadata and it also is only once a week. So that's it. That's also a challenge for many companies. So ultimately, what we feel are the core principles when it comes to backup and recovery are essentially what we think enterprises are looking for. 

What should companies be looking for in a backup and recovery solution?

These are the foundational principles that we've sort of built our solution on. The ultimate problem you’re trying to solve is to make sure your data is backed up, you can restore it, it's secure, it can meet your RPO requirements and your RTO requirements. When you're talking about backing up a relational database like Salesforce, the integrity of the data is incredibly important because you're putting data back into a relational environment where there are certain architectural and structural elements and limitations that you have to be able to deal with like dealing with mapping record IDs. And so if you don't have the full integrity of the database in your backup, you actually can't restore the data properly.

How do you see this evolving?

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, we're seeing business continuity is getting a spotlight shined on it. Customers are thinking about their backup and recovery strategies now more than ever, and they're looking at their critical systems like Salesforce that they may not have looked at previously. 

The first thing we see is remote workers add risk. The other thing we're seeing is a spike in cyberattacks and phishing attacks which could be followed by ransomware attacks. One of your best defenses against ransomware attacks is having a comprehensive backup and recovery strategy.

Can you afford to be without a backup and recovery solution for all of the data in your SaaS applications?

backup ,backup and recovery ,cloud ,disaster recovery ,recovery ,saas apps ,saas backup

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