“Back That SaaS Up,” Office 365 Edition – Lessons Learned from Beta
When we announced our Spanning Backup for Office 365 beta, we expected a strong, positive response. But we were surprised by how much our beta customers “get it.” IT leaders and cloud application owners truly understand the need for SaaS application data protection. It’s becoming very clear, now more than ever, that even the best cloud application providers can’t protect an organization from user-driven data loss.
That’s why this week, we are excited to be showcasing Spanning Backup for Office 365 at both Microsoft Ignite in Chicago and EMC World in Las Vegas. We look forward to sharing what we’ve learned about Office 365 data protection with those who have already moved, and those who are considering moving, to Microsoft’s fastest-growing cloud service. For those that can’t make either event, here is what we’ll be talking about:
- Data loss is very possible in Office 365. A number of beta participants shared their experiences with data loss in Office 365. Some lost data due to misconfigured environments, some to user error or malicious intent. When they asked Microsoft to help them recover their data, Microsoft was unable to help.
- Your organization is responsible for protecting its cloud data. Most of our beta participants moved from on-premises environments, so backup is a familiar concept to them. They know they’re still responsible for protecting their data even if it’s in the cloud, and some have even made third-party backup a prerequisite to moving to Office 365.
- Replication is not backup, and Microsoft can’t protect you from you. Microsoft is renowned for their highly-available infrastructure, replicating customers’ data in six different redundant data centers. The problem is that when data is accidentally deleted, that error is replicated – six times. Our beta participants wanted a better way to backup, one that would, for example, go back to a last known “good” state at any point in time, show how a mailbox looked, and enable a fast, easy restore of a selected snapshot.
- Data protection can’t be cut – so end user empowerment is key. Many IT organizations are moving to the cloud to reduce infrastructure costs in response to budget pressure. However, with the increased functionality and complexity of enterprise-ready cloud applications like Office 365, IT is expected to do even more than ever, and with fewer resources for things like data protection. For this reason, end-user-enabled data recovery is much more critical as organizations move to the cloud. Empowering end users to fix their own mistakes can save hundreds of hours of IT time otherwise spent digging through archives and performing restores.
- Third-party backup provides needed business continuity. One of the perceived risks we’ve heard regarding Office 365 is ensuring business continuity if the organization decided to leave the Microsoft cloud. A third-party backup solution like Spanning Backup for Office 365 is something our beta testers sought to remove that risk.
Ultimately, it’s clear that our Spanning Backup for Office 365 beta participants have the same reasons for seeking third-party backup as do our Spanning Backup for Google Apps and Spanning Backup for Salesforce customers. They understand the many reasons trusted cloud providers can’t protect your organization from itself – you need to “back that SaaS up.”