So you have embraced “The Cloud” and all your applications and data are web based, be it Microsoft 365, One Drive, Salesforce, Xero, Sage, Zoho, Birddog, Cornerstone etc. They all claim to backup your data – but how and what for?
W. Curtis Preston – known as Mr Backup – the leading world authority on data backup and disaster recovery has issued an article with the above headline.
To summarise his arguments:
Curtis states that both the above organisations have committed backup acts with client data that are not understandable and that they do not understand backup and recovery. He further asserts that in fact this applies to virtually all SAAS (software as a service) vendors. i.e. those companies running your applications in the internet and storing your data there.
They do have copies of your data but it is only really useful in the case of their disaster – not yours. They do not backup your data in a way that is useful to you suffering a major outage or a malware attack. They are also usually “all or nothing” services, which means you can’t restore part of your data, and the process can take many days.
The two major events Curtis cites are:
- Salesforce who recently ran a database update script that accidentally corrupted user access permissions of thousands of users – giving everyone access to everything. After shutting down the service, Salesforce told their customers to fix the permissions themselves! Restoring from a backup was not even mentioned.
- Microsoft whose Windows operating system keeps all settings for the computer in a registry. Historically before one of its many system patches Microsoft backed up the registry – in case there was a problem with a patch (there often are).
Secretly, over a year ago, Microsoft disabled this key backup. Bizarrely the backup process continues to run and reports as ‘successful’ but does not store any data (you read correctly).
In conclusion Curtis states that even if these companies offered a full backup service he would not trust them as they do not perceive it as a core competency. Backup people think differently from application people and a backup mentality is essential if you want to get it right.
You can read the full article at: here