Protecting Cloud Data
Q&A with Spanning Cloud Apps Jeff Erramouspe
By Jeff Erramouspe, Chief Revenue Officer
1.) Why is backup in the cloud important?
Cloud solutions are flexible, cost effective and easy to implement and use. Their innocuous imagery can lull IT professionals into a false sense of security. It is easy for users, either on their own or by collaborating with others, to accidentally delete critical data from their cloud application. Having the option to restore critical data with backup is the only way to protect people from costly disruption. One day of lost work can mean three to five days of lost productivity. When data is deleted or corrupted, people risk losing more than time. The result can be a lost customer, employee confidence or even lost revenue.
2.) Doesn't Google offer data protection for Google Apps?
The biggest risk people face using Google Apps is lost data from accidental deletions, botched syncs, malicious acts, file corruption or other data mayhem. This can have a devastating impact on business. While Google has full disaster recovery capabilities so that they can recover from their own disasters, they strictly disavow responsibility for the user losing data on their own.
3.) What does Spanning offer clients, in addition to Spanning Backup?
Spanning offers Spanning Stats for Google Drive, which enables users to view and track what is happening in business' Google Drive. With this tool, companies can create customized and detailed reports of key usage stats including the percentage, volume and size of documents, quota consumption, and the top 10 newest and oldest files. There is also an option to share reports privately or publicly with the ability to disable sharing at any time.
Another Spanning tool is Spanning Undelete for Google Calendar, which allows users to recover deleted events made on a calendar with details fully intact. The tool is uniquely designed to fetch a list of all recently deleted events and lets users choose which ones to undelete.
4.) What is Spanning's most popular product?
Spanning's most popular and flagship product is Spanning Backup for Google Apps. Spanning Backup provides backup capabilities that protect data in ways that Google doesn't. Spanning Backup ensures that businesses are always protected with daily, automated backup for Google Drive and Docs, Gmail, Sites, Calendars and Contacts. Spanning Backup also recovers complete file hierarchy, multiple files and folders in a single operation.
Spanning Backup provides advancing administrative tools that provide real data insight and deliver effective data security and privacy, which is SSAE 16 compliant. Lastly, each user is able to backup as much as they want with no limits on how much can be stored.
5.) Are there any mobile tools available from Spanning?
Released in April, Audit Log for Google Apps, allows businesses to monitor their Google Apps domain activity on the go. Admins are able to investigate changes in the past, while allowing them to easily supervise these changes in real-time with push notifications. Admins can track a broad set of domain changes on their mobile devices including new and deleted users, changes to user settings, changes to document permissions, and other administrative actions taken on the entire Google Apps suite.
6.) What sort of companies is the cloud best suited for- for instance small businesses or large organizations and educational institutions?
The cloud is ideal for companies of all shapes and sizes. Businesses using the cloud are able to save money on IT and on space by not needing bulky servers.
The cloud, and particularly Google Apps, is also ideal for educational institutions as Google provides free use of Google Apps to educational institutions.
7.) Is backup for education different than backup for businesses?
Both educational institutions and businesses need backup for their critical data in the cloud. The backup doesn't vary at all, as no matter what is being backed up - whether it's annual reports, school projects or students grades for the semester - to the document owner, they are all equally important.
8.) What does Spanning have planned for the future?
In late July, Spanning released its newest features in Spanning's Summer '13 Release, which are designed to support Spanning's rapidly growing base of large-scale domain users. The release includes new features to further empower large organizations to protect, manage and repair the data of vast and dynamic user bases in the cloud. Features include 'email retention policy enforcement', which reduces the management costs and security risks of retaining old emails. This feature enables administrators to specify exactly how long backed-up email will be retained to comply with data retention policies. Users can also label key terms to be excluded from the deletion process, ensuring the most important emails are available indefinitely.
'Auto-add licenses' is another new feature in the Summer '13 Release that eliminates the headache of manually adding and assigning licenses for new users by providing automatic assignment of available licenses to users added to a Google Apps domain. Additional features include named administrators, large domain support and Spanning Backup knowledge base.
9.) What are the benefits of the cloud versus desktop?
The cloud provides flexibility, security and an economic model that has freed companies from numerous tethers. Users can work from anywhere and on any device with flexible access to all of their information. The pay as you go aspect for Google Apps/Spanning in comparison to other business continuity tools, are extremely cost-effective with a low barrier of entry and ease of scale. As users can continually be added, it's a much easier model for IT.
When a data protection strategy is implemented, the cloud is very safe, secure and flexible.