Not All Hosted Backups Are Created Equal – Part I

Not All Hosted Backups Are Created Equal – Part I

As we all know, backups are such an import part of your daily maintenance routine.  One of the many reasons companies chose to implement their ERP solution in the cloud, is not having to worry about their daily backups.  That being said, I am always amazed at how little prospects ask about it or truly understand what is being backed up and for how long.   Even though there are thousands of people who use products like QuickBooks Online, NetSuite and Microsoft CRM online, none of these online providers will actually give you a “point in time” restore.  So you ask, what exactly is a “point in time” restore?

A “point in time” restore is a restoration of your data to a specific historical date in time – seems simple but most providers backup in mass and cannot distinguish your data specifically from everyone else’s, so if you happen to have a major catastrophe in your accounting department and need to restore from a few days ago, this might not be possible unless your provider allows for “point in time” restore.

While these scenarios seem unlikely to you, the three large providers I mentioned above cannot provide you with the backups you would need in either of these cases.  And neither do many other hosting providers!!  So what should a customer know and compare with hosting providers to make sure they are getting what they need in terms of backups?

  • Have your provider specifically give you the terms of your backup retention periods.  Most only provide for 90 days.  Here is what we recommend:
    • Daily, weekly, monthly and annual – Point in time backups and restore capability
    • Seven years of data retention – this is recommended for both private and public companies
  • Be sure to ask for the additional costs of those backups – so this doesn’t come as a shock later
  • Be sure you understand how much storage backup you will receive as part of your fixed monthly costs – another hidden cost that providers don’t share on their quotes
  • Make sure you understand exactly what is being backed up; data, custom code, Excel and Word documents you happen to store, scanned documents that are attached to your data, etc.
  • Ask for their written policy for “test” restores.  And if you are required to be audited, ask that a test restore be performed and documented at least twice a year.

Never make the assumption that because you are in the cloud, that everything is backed up forever.  And always compare backup policies carefully amongst providers!

In Part II we will uncover the hidden costs of backups. So, stayed tuned.

RoseASP has been a Microsoft hosted Dynamics provider of ERP and CRM solutions since 2000.  We give every customer daily, weekly, monthly, and seven years of annual backups as part of their monthly hosting fees at no additional charge. To learn more, visit us at new.roseasp.com.

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