Backupify vs. Spanning: Data protection beyond SaaS backup

Learn how comprehensive cloud-based data protection and recovery services from Backupify and Spanning Cloud Apps compare, as well as which unique features set them apart.

Backupify and Spanning Cloud Apps both offer cloud-to-cloud services for backing up and restoring SaaS application data. The two platforms are similar in many ways, providing comprehensive cloud-based data protection and flexible recovery services, while ensuring data remains secure both at rest and in motion. At the same time, each service offers unique features that set it apart, and organizations choosing between them should understand those differences before committing to either one.

Evaluating Backupify vs. Spanning Backup

Backupify helps organizations maintain control over their Office 365 and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) application data. The service provides a platform for quickly recovering data that has been accidently or maliciously deleted, while preventing data from being deleted by former employees or deprovisioned licenses. Backupify also guards against application outages, failed third-party integrations and ransomware attacks.

Spanning Backup offers similar protections for Office 365 and Google Workspace application data but also adds support for Salesforce data and metadata. Backupify also used to support Salesforce but isn't taking on new Salesforce clients. In addition, Backupify primarily targets enterprises with 250 or more users. Spanning Backup doesn't limit itself in this way; although, the service is clearly packaged as an enterprise-grade offering, just like Backupify.

Both services provide several features that distinguish them from simple backup and restore products. For example, Backupify uses intelligent retry logic and API throttling when backing up application data. The service also offers infinite retention, with the ability to store an unlimited amount of data at no additional fee.

Backupify users can configure the data retention period and retain data for inactive users who are no longer licensed to use the SaaS applications. Plus, Backupify can detect new users and automatically archive data for departing employees. The platform also provides a centralized dashboard for quickly managing backups, viewing restores and seeing activity feeds.

How Backupify and Spanning Backup compare
How SaaS data protection products from Backupify and Spanning compare.

Backupify is a Datto company, so the service runs on the Datto private cloud, which is hosted across nine data centers in different countries. The data centers include built-in redundancy and guarantee a minimum uptime of 99.982%. Security personnel, biometric scanning and activity logging guard the data centers at all times.

In contrast, Spanning is a Kaseya company. However, Spanning Backup runs on the AWS cloud, rather than Kaseya's own cloud. As a result, Spanning Backup gets a global infrastructure with all the built-in security and availability benefits that come with AWS; however, this also means that Spanning doesn't have the same level of control over infrastructure that Backupify gets with Datto data centers.

Even so, Spanning Backup offers a number of important features that make it a true enterprise service.

For example, Spanning Backup provides unlimited storage and unlimited retention. In addition, the platform includes self-service features that enable end users to easily restore their own lost data, helping to reduce IT load. The platform also provides such features as error correction suggestions, status update emails, email retention policies, and individual and organizational license management.

Despite the extras that each service offers, organizations that turn to these applications are primarily looking for backup and recovery capabilities -- areas in which both platforms excel.

Another important feature in Spanning Backup is the administrator API, which makes it possible to integrate into automated onboarding and deprovisioning processes. The platform can also monitor the dark web for a customer's stolen or compromised user credentials. If organizations discover any issues through this process, administrators can take steps to protect resources and, if necessary, restore corrupted data.

Backing up and restoring SaaS data

Despite the extras that each service offers, organizations that turn to these applications are primarily looking for backup and recovery capabilities -- areas in which both platforms excel. For this reason, IT decision-makers must evaluate these services carefully to understand exactly how these capabilities differ.

Backupify automatically backs up the application data three times a day. In addition, admins can perform on-demand backups at any time without affecting the regularly scheduled backups. As part of its data protections, Backupify also provides point-in-time backups that include daily snapshots of each user's data, enabling users to browse their data at specific points in time. Admins can easily access information about each backup through the centralized dashboard.

Backupify's restore capabilities are based on a revamped architecture that enables admins to quickly restore data with just a few clicks. The platform supports point-in-time recoveries and nondestructive restores that don't overwrite existing files, helping to avoid data loss in the event of ransomware attacks or other disruptions. Admins can also perform full restores and item-level restores that preserve the data in its original file and label structure. In addition, Backupify provides advanced search capabilities that admins can use to restore specific content.

Spanning Backup also offers extensive backup and restore features. Unlike Backupify, the platform carries out only one automatic backup each day. However, admins can perform manual backups or schedule additional backups as needed, with no limit on the number of backups. Plus, they can apply these backups to entire user accounts or to specific data, selecting from a set of granular backup options. Backups are incremental, run in the background and have the ability to auto-discover new or altered content.

Spanning Backup supports point-in-time recoveries and provides advanced search capabilities for performing granular operations, such as label-based restores. In addition, the platform enables end users to restore data themselves and supports cross-user restores for transferring data ownership. As with Backupify, admins can quickly restore data with just a few quicks. The platform also offers recovery features specific to Salesforce data, such as bulk item, cross-organizational and metadata point-in-time restores.

Both services provide export capabilities that apply to both report data and the application data itself. For example, Backupify enables administrators to export report information to CSV files, as well as export user data such as email, contact lists or other files. Spanning Backup enables admins to export the audit log to a CSV file for analytical and reporting purposes, as well as export entire user accounts or specific types of data.

The two services also include reporting capabilities that are available through their administrative dashboards. With Backupify, for example, admins can view summary and detailed reports about system events and user actions. With Spanning Backup, they can view status reports and audit logs on demand, as well as drill down into details about specific backups or restores.

Choosing a SaaS backup option

Organizations can choose from a range of SaaS backup options, including software-based backup products and cloud-based backup services. Backupify and Spanning Backup are available as cloud-based services only and not as on-premises backup software products. Both offer cloud-to-cloud backup capabilities for Office 365 and Google Workspace. Spanning Backup also supports Salesforce. Because Backupify and Spanning Backup are cloud-based services, IT teams can access and manage their backup and restore operations from any location, without having to stand up in-house infrastructure or be on premises.

When researching Backupify and Spanning Backup, decision-makers should be aware that a service's features can vary depending on the target SaaS platform. This is because of differences in the SaaS platforms themselves. For example, Spanning Backup's support for Office 365 is slightly different from its support for Salesforce. IT teams should evaluate Backupify vs. Spanning based on which SaaS applications they're running in their own organizations. They should also take advantage of the free trials so they can see each service in action. Only then can they fully assess which service will best meet their organization's needs.

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