Spanning by EMC Extends Cloud-to-Cloud Backup to Office 365

EMC recently acquired Spanning Cloud Apps as part of an overall goal to protect all data, whether it lives on-premises, in the cloud, or somewhere in between. Since 2010, Spanning has provided cloud backup for SaaS applications like Google Apps and Salesforce, and now Spanning will be offering data protection for Microsoft’s rapidly growing cloud platform, Office 365. The product is available through an exclusive beta program and we expect it to be generally available in the first half of 2015.

Office 365 makes it easy to work anywhere on any device and to facilitate real-time collaboration. This has made Office 365 an attractive prospect for companies looking to harness the benefits of the cloud without starting from scratch. According to EMC’s recent Global Data Protection Index report, 30% of all primary data is now located in cloud applications like Office 365.

However, many IT departments that move to the public cloud incorrectly assume the data protection box is checked off because cloud providers contend they offer solid disaster recovery with data replication and high availability. In fact, a recent IDG report showed that 95% of those surveyed believe their provider can and will easily restore lost data. If data loss occurs on the cloud provider’s end, they will make sure their customer gets another copy. But what about data loss that occurs on the customer’s end? For example:

  •  Users accidentally delete files
  • A sync error between a local drive and the cloud corrupts a file
  • A network breach wipes out data
  • A disgruntled employee maliciously deletes important files
  • An account is de-provisioned but later is discovered to contain important data that is now unrecoverable
  • Online collaboration has resulted in errors and the customer needs a previous version of a document
  • The customer needs to retrieve a file that was deleted more than 30 days ago

In all of these cases, data may be erased by the cloud provider, who has no way of knowing whether the deletion request was legitimate or not.

You can find examples of this policy in each cloud provider’s documentation; take this example from one cloud service provider. The support website states:

“Escalation scenarios that the…support team will not accept include but are not limited to the following: ….Your IT service management process errors, system configuration errors, or human error.

Most cloud providers can’t or won’t protect your data against 100% of data loss scenarios. But this leaves cloud users with a data protection gap. Consider that Office 365 users are working more collaboratively across a wider array of devices. Each person that accesses a file and each access endpoint provides one more opportunity for data loss. And according to EMC’s 2014 Global Data Protection Index report, data loss has risen 400% since 2012. And finally, 58% of people surveyed in a recent IDG report have experienced data loss in SaaS applications.

Data loss in the cloud is a very real, and potentially very expensive threat; EMC’s Global Data Protection Index report finds that, globally, data loss and downtime cost companies $1.7 trillion. It’s imperative to back up your cloud data; if your business is to remain productive, a second copy of your data is always needed. If you have critical data stored in Office 365, Spanning invites you to join our beta program.

About the Author: Jeff Erramouspe