This year’s Super Bowl could be characterized as “The D-Bowl” – a contest that may be decided by who had the best defense. While the two final contenders are still TBD at the date of this blog’s writing [editor update – the final two are the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers], as FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine wrote regarding the NFL’s Final Four, “…defensively, this might be the best quartet of teams in any conference championship round.”
So what on earth do the Final Four have in common with SaaS and cloud data protection? You guessed it! It’s all about the D, and protecting what’s most valuable in an organization. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, one of the definitions of “defense” is a “means or method of defending or protecting oneself, one’s team, or another.” The Super Bowl finalists and EMC’s Cloud Data Protection both have strengths in protecting their teams, and in reducing the risk of loss.
For example, let’s think about Salesforce, a popular SaaS and cloud customer relationship management platform, one we use at EMC. Salesforce data is often used to populate sales pipeline reports, and that data also flows downstream into ERP systems. It contains information vital for executive management planning and resource allocation. Now imagine, if you will, that something happens to cause Salesforce data loss during the last two weeks of a quarter – what would THAT do to the reporting needed within an organization?
I know, you’re skeptical – Salesforce surely provides extensive data protection and recovery for its platform. And I’d agree that Salesforce is redundant, secure, and has a great record for uptime. But Salesforce has no way to distinguish changes made by mistake from changes made on purpose. They cannot protect an organization from admin errors, or third-party application sync errors, or custom misconfigurations that lead to data loss.
Did you know that Salesforce recommends using a third party backup like Spanning – in part because the output of Salesforce’s data protection takes the form of a weekly or monthly .csv export (data only), and that Salesforce native tools for data protection require lots of manual intervention? It can take days or weeks using native tools to recover from one of the most common use cases I hear when presenting to Salesforce User Groups. That use case is an admin accidentally overwriting hundreds of thousands of records with data in error while doing a mass upload.
One way to ensure that your SaaS data defense is strong enough for the big game is by implementing Spanning Backup for Salesforce, Office 365 or Google Apps and giving each and every member of your team the ability to recover from their own data loss events. So when you’re watching this year’s Super Bowl, watch how important defense is…and know we’re ready to help you back that SaaS up!