By: Mike Pav, VP Engineering, Spanning
You may have heard that “backup is fine, but it’s the restore that counts.” You may have also heard that flossing daily will fight cavities, prevent heart disease and make you better looking, but if you are anything like me, flossing and testing a restore are pretty much at the bottom of my list of fun things to do. So while this article is not going to help with your dental hygiene, it can help you better understand what backup means in the Google Apps world, and more importantly, what a restore looks like.
Google avows “Your work is always backed up”, so Google is really not going to lose any of your content. But you might. You or someone (or something) else could accidentally delete data. Third-party backup of your Google content is not to protect you from a Google outage; it is to protect you from yourself, your well-meaning co-workers, or the myriad devices that you use to sync your data all over the place.
We have plenty of cases where folks have found that their data has gone missing. You can read some of these stories here. For the tl;dr crowd, consider the case where you try to clean up your cluttered calendar on your phone only to realize that deleting events from your phone also deletes them everywhere else. Or, if you have a central document share folder on Google Drive where multiple people have write access, you are going to find that someone has replaced a file that you cared about with a new version. Finally, you may find that, in your zeal to clean out your inbox, you deleted a couple of important messages along with their attachments.
When you encounter one of these inevitable, heart attack-inducing situations, don’t wish that you would have been flossing. Instead, make sure that you have Spanning Backup installed in your Google Apps Domain. While you will be comforted that we are diligently backing up all the content for your whole domain, it is the restore process that will keep you out of the ER. Here are a few reasons why our restore process is the best on the market:
- You may not know exactly what you lost so you will likely restore a batch of documents or email messages. Have no fear, when we restore, we create new documents so that if you restore a document that still exists, we will not overwrite its content. For email messages, when they are restored the messages are simply marked as unread.
- When you restore, you want your content to show back up in the same place that it disappeared from. For documents, we will re-create the folder hierarchy and root all the documents under a “restored from …” folder so that you can simply drag the restored files into their new location. All of the sharing information is recreated so those restored documents can be immediately put back into service in your domain.
- While the restore is running you need to get some immediate feedback about how long this process will take. Not knowing when you will be back up and running is just too stressful. Our restore screens all provide a real-time estimate of how long the restore will take, and this estimate is continuously updated.
So please do listen to your dentist and your friendly Spanning representative; take a few minutes and do something simple for your mental and physical health. Running a trial restore takes no more time than flossing, is much less effort, and won’t require you to rinse when you’re done.