What data protection features does Salesforce provide out of the box? Are those features sufficient to meet customers’ needs?
Although Salesforce does a great job on service and data availability by maintaining multiple copies of customer data at different geolocations, they do acknowledge some gaps in their data protection strategy and recommend that their customers take backups of their Salesforce data and not rely on Salesforce to recover the data.
The Salesforce article “Data Backup & Recovery Best Practices” states, “Salesforce maintains a copy of customer data for disaster recovery purposes, but it is important for customers to develop a data backup and recovery strategy as part of their overall data management and security model. The Salesforce Data Recovery service is an expensive and time-consuming process and should only be used as a last resort, when no other copy of the data is available”
The above statement proves to be a testimonial which drives the need for a product like “NetApp SaaS backup for Salesforce”.
Let’s examine the probable reasons for the above Salesforce recommendation.
Cost associated with recovery. Salesforce charges for its data recovery services. According to Salesforce, “The price for this service is a flat rate of $10,000,” and “The process must be performed manually and usually takes a minimum of 6-8 weeks to complete.”
- Backup RPO is 24 hour, because Salesforce takes full a backup once a week and incremental backups once a day.
- No on-demand backup.
Restore granularity and levels. For restore, Salesforce provides the customer with a huge .csv file that contains the data for their entire organization. The customer is expected to find what needs to be restored and then restore the data manually.
No metadata restore. Only data is restored; there is no metadata restore option.
Backup data retention and legal compliance
- Every delete in Salesforce is a soft delete, moving data to the recycle bin, where it can reside for as long as 15 days.
- Salesforce retains the backup copy fora maximum of 90 days.
Lack of self-service for data recovery. The customer has to call the Salesforce.com customer support team to recover their data.
Lack of flexibility of storage targets. There is no option for on-premises backup, which could be essential for regulatory compliance reasons.
To facilitate their recommendation that customers take backups of their own data, Salesforce provides the following options.
Native Data Backup Options
The following options are available to customers for backing up their data. For more information about these methods, see “How to back up and restore your Salesforce data.”
- Data Export Service. Manual or scheduled exports of your data via the UI. Export Backup Data from Salesforce.
- Data Loader. Manual on-demand exports of your data via the API. Export Data.
- Report Export. Manual on-demand exports of your data via reports. Export a Report.
Native Metadata Backup Options
The following options are available to customers for backing up their metadata.
- Change Sets. Copy metadata from your production organization to a sandbox or developer organization. For more information, see Change Sets Overview.
- Sandbox Refresh. By refreshing a related sandbox, your configuration metadata is copied over automatically. For more information, see Creating or Refreshing a Sandbox.
- com Migration Tool. Java/Ant-based command-line utility for moving metadata between a local directory and a Salesforce organization. For more information, see Force.com Migration Tool.
It’s obvious that using these Salesforce tools and features for data backup and recovery would require manual intervention, effort, significant infrastructure investment, and – in many cases — special skillsets. All of these factors would make the RTO higher and the recovery process very cumbersome, underscoring the definite need for a third-party solution to help bridge this gap for customers.
The next questions are, what would a potential solution look like, and what would be the basis for choosing a third-party solution? To learn about potential solutions, read “Salesforce Data Protection: How to Backup Your Data”