Backing Up the Cloud

henny_pennyThis week’s news of the T-Mobile Sidekick Disaster is once again raising concerns about the viability of cloud computing and the need to have a strategy for data replication and archival. One article I  saw went so far as to suggest that the Sidekick debacle was all part of an evil Micrososft plot to discredit “the big switch” to the cloud. While I hardly see this as a “sky is falling” moment, it does put additional pressure on SaaS/Cloud application and platform vendors and customers to be more transparent  about data security, privacy, and all around safety.

I received this email today from a Salesforce customer that summarizes some of what you might want to consider when it comes to SaaS /Cloud data replication:

“This backup solution must be able to:

  • Backup all data from Salesforce from all standard objects, custom objects, and their related lists.
  • Restore data to Salesforce if/as/when necessary. 

It would be important that we can restore without creating duplicate records and that we have a choice whether to keep or purge records which are newer than the backup.

 The ideal solution would also:

  • Periodically perform the backup operation entirely automatically at a specified time or interval.
  • Allow us to restore to a specific date and time (instead of to whatever data has most recently been replicated.)

Obviously, all the data which is being backed up should be saved within a secure environment and there should be an administrative interface which will enable administrators to:

  • Determine when backups should happen.
  • Verify that backups have happened.
  • Manually start a backup.
  • Restore from backup.”

How important is data replication to your SaaS/Cloud strategy? Is it all about having a cloud backup or is the use case about reporting, compliance, governance, or something else?

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