Salesforce is collocated in top-tier data centers around the world with real-time replication at each data center, as well as replication between production and disaster recovery centers. So with this level of data recovery protection, is it really necessary to backup your Salesforce data?
In short, the answer is yes, your data is backed up and recoverable by Salesforce in the event of a data loss within one of their data centers, but these backups are not accessible by you, the end user. Salesforce provides limited end-user data recovery and to avoid data loss recommends, “it's important to back up and be able to restore your own salesforce.com data.”
Causes of Salesforce Data Loss
While it’s extremely unlikely that Salesforce will suffer a complete service outage or loose your data, there are plenty of other real life scenarios that can result in massive data loss and/or corruption including:
- Malicious Deletion: A disgruntled employee deletes thousands of records and then deletes the recycle bin, permanently removing those records from the database.
- Automatic Tasks: Faulty custom triggers designed to perform automated mass updates across the Salesforce database, or cascading deletes triggered by expired items in the recycle bin or storage limit thresholds.
- Synchronization Errors: Synchronization with 3rd party applications such as Outlook for Salesforce can result in corrupted or lost data.
Backing up your Salesforce data is a critical component of any business continuity plan, but it also serves an important purpose to recover critical business data needed for litigation, compliance and audits.
Salesforce Data Recovery
Salesforce data recovery is based on the Recycle bin where deleted records can be recovered for up to15 days before they are permanently deleted. Once the Recycle Bin storage limits are reached, the oldest records are automatically removed in order to free-up storage. When a custom object is deleted it’s immediately removed from the database and cannot be recovered.
The Enterprise and Unlimited Editions offer an admin export function, but it can only be run once a week and requires a manual download to archive data locally.
Salesforce also offers a data recovery service for a flat rate of $10,000USD that can recover data that has been deleted within 3 months. The process can take up to 4-week and does not include metadata. It’s up to you to restore the data back to the Salesforce database.
Protecting Your Salesforce Data
Our backup service provides automated daily backups allowing you to backup your entire Salesforce Production and/or Sandbox environments, including all organisation data, such as standard objects, custom objects, documents, attachments, chatter feeds and metadata. This includes unlimited storage and unlimited retention of daily backups for complete point-in-time, recovery whenever needed.
Backups can be exported with a simple click and you will be notified as soon as the zip extract is available for downloading. The export is in CSV format and compatible with the Salesforce Import Wizard and Data Loader. Granular search and restore for item level recovery directly to the Salesforce database will be available in Q1 2016.