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Salesforce is a widely used cloud platform with its own suite of applications. The platform's native backup capabilities have improved over time, but that still may not be enough for critical data. When it comes to Salesforce backup options, organizations are likely better off using a third-party data protection tool.
Organizations that use Salesforce typically have vast quantities of data accumulated over a period of years. This data is valuable to the company and is likely to be irreplaceable. Salesforce data is related to an organization's sales and marketing efforts, so losing Salesforce data could do irreparable harm to the organization.
As is the case with most other SaaS applications, Salesforce customers are responsible for backing up and protecting their own data. Remember that SaaS applications are not immune to data loss simply because they reside in the cloud. Data loss can easily occur as a result of accidental modification or deletion, malicious activity by a disgruntled employee, ransomware attacks or countless other events.
Native Salesforce backup options
In September 2021, Salesforce announced a new data recovery service called Backup and Restore. The new Backup and Restore service supports automated daily backups of Salesforce data. The service also contains other useful features such as reporting, role-based access control and data lifecycle management -- the ability to purge outdated backups. In addition, the service allows admins to run restore operations based on either field or time criteria.
Prior to the introduction of Backup and Restore, the primary method for backing up Salesforce data involved exporting the data using the Data Export Service, the Data Loader or the Export Report option.
Third-party Salesforce backup options
Because Salesforce is such a widely used application, there are numerous third-party vendors that offer Salesforce backup capabilities. Some options include Druva, Veeam, Commvault, Backup Exec, Barracuda Backup and Backupify.
There are two main advantages to using a third-party backup tool as opposed to using Salesforce's own backup and recovery options.
The first of these advantages is that a third-party vendor will likely make it easier to comply with an organization's backup requirements. Salesforce enables automated daily data backups, but many organizations require that backups occur on a more frequent basis. A third-party backup tool might have the option of creating these recovery points more frequently.
The second major advantage associated with using a third-party Salesforce backup option is that doing so can make it easier to integrate Salesforce backups into an existing backup architecture. If, for example, an organization is already using a particular third-party backup vendor, then it makes sense to use that vendor's backup software for Salesforce data as well, rather than the native Salesforce backup. That way, the organization can manage Salesforce backups through the same software and management console as its other backups.
One last thing to keep in mind is that backups are a backup vendor's primary business, which means these vendors work diligently to make sure their products perform as expected and work at least as well as the backup tools offered by their competitors. Salesforce, on the other hand, is not a backup company. While the backup tools integrated into the Salesforce platform will likely work as advertised, users may find that a dedicated backup tool offers greater capabilities than what is available natively.