New Salesforce native backup may not be enterprise ready – TechTarget

After shuttering its Data Recovery Service last year, Salesforce is taking another crack at native backup.

At the CRM platform vendor’s annual Dreamforce event this week, Salesforce revealed its upcoming Backup and Restore service. The new service allows customers to natively create backup copies of Salesforce data, set retention policies for those copies, restore the data back into Salesforce organizations and audit which users are using these functions. All backup data is encrypted at rest and in transit.

Backup and Restore automatically creates daily backup copies of Salesforce data that are regionally co-located with the primary copies. Aimed at Salesforce administrators rather than an organization’s IT departments, its interface is designed to allow all its functions to be carried out through clicks and automation.

Salesforce Backup and Restore is expected to be available in October 2021, according to the vendor. At a Dreamforce virtual session, a Salesforce spokesperson stated in the chat the target general availability date is October 19, 2021.

Salesforce had a native data restoration service called Data Recovery Service, which it retired July 31, 2020. Recovery via this service took six to eight weeks, cost a flat fee of $10,000, and didn’t come with any guarantee that all data would be restored. The vendor said it shut the service down because it did not meet its quality standards. Salesforce restored the service in March and hinted it would be releasing a new native backup and restore service later.

Since then, Salesforce has been advocating the use of third-party backup vendors for customers looking to protect their Salesforce data. However, customers requesting a native backup feature for Salesforce has grown recently, said Marla Hay, vice president of product management at Salesforce. Salesforce worked with these customers to co-design Backup and Restore in order to ensure it met customer needs better than Data Recovery Service did.

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“Over the past year, we heard directly from our customers that what they wanted was a native backup and restore solution,” Hay said.

A good starting point

Salesforce Backup and Restore is very simple and rudimentary as a data protection product, said Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget. Describing it as “half a checkmark,” the service at its debut will be good enough for organizations that aren’t heavily reliant on Salesforce, but it’s not ready for the scale and demands of enterprises, he said.

Salesforce Backup and Restore has many limitations that make it unsuitable for enterprise customers, Bertrand said. It can’t perform analytics on the backup data, it stores the backups in the same place as the primary, customers can’t download a backup copy or otherwise move it out of the Salesforce environment and, most importantly, the backups are only taken daily. Most enterprises want backups of mission-critical data to be no older than 15 minutes, he explained.

“Essentially, it’s baseline recovery,” Bertrand said. “It’s a start, but if you use Salesforce as a mission-critical app, this won’t cut it.”

However, not being enterprise-ready is not a condemnation of the product, he said.

Salesforce did not indicate that it partnered with a third-party data protection vendor to develop Backup and Restore, so it’s impressive it developed a release-ready product only a year after shutting down its previous attempt at native backup and recovery, Bertrand said.

Backup and Restore is also a far jump above Data Recovery Service, he added.

This product could either be the beginning of a more robust set of native data protection capabilities, or simply placating customer demand for a native backup option — and it’s too early to see what Salesforce will do with it, Bertrand said.

“If it’s the beginning of something bigger, that’s great,” he said. “But if it’s intended to just be a checkmark, then it’s not sufficient for enterprises.”

Johnny Yu covers enterprise data protection news for TechTarget’s Storage sites SearchDataBackup and SearchDisasterRecovery. Before joining TechTarget in June 2018, he wrote for USA Today’s consumer product review site



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