How to Backup Salesforce Data
Before learning how to backup Salesforce data, it’s important to understand why you need to create reliable backups in the first place. This context helps frame how essential it is to pay proper attention to these backups—as well as the proper resources.
96% of businesses experience some form of an outage over the course of three years. And this downtime can cost up to $11,600 every minute.
These events are unfortunately common and can be very expensive. In fact, data loss costs companies $3.86 million dollars on average. A company can abide by a series of best practices but no data security plan is 100% effective.
This is because there are several potential sources of data loss that are always changing, such as:
- Accidental Deletion
- Hardware Failure
- Corrupted Software
- Mishandled Metadata
- Bad Code
Learning how to backup Salesforce data is more than simply clicking a button. There are a variety of settings and considerations that need to be addressed. The practices that create the most beneficial Salesforce data backup strategy will evolve overtime. However, we’ve put together a series of issues that will help you get the most from your data backups and reduce the harmful effects should you experience a data loss event.
1. Establish RTO and RPO
Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) will help guide many of your decisions when putting together a plan for how to backup Salesforce data. These considerations will impact the amount of storage you’ll need for your backups as well as how quickly you can return to service after a data loss event.
Figure out your business’ needs relating to storage capacity and avoidance of downtime to set your RTO and RPO.
RTO relates to how quickly you can recover from the moment of disaster to the moment you return to normal operations. A shorter RTO saves you money lost from downtime, but costs more to keep up. RPO is the maximum period of data your company is willing to lose from your system in the event of a disaster. A shorter RPO means a higher frequency of backups.
2. Define the Scope of Your Snapshots
The snapshots that make up your Salesforce data backups can be adjusted to cover your entire system or certain aspects of it. Storing massive amounts of data can become costly. Some companies will choose to backup only essential data or other data sets that require backups through government regulations.
Identify system data—as well as metadata—that need to be included in your backup snapshots so you don’t miss out on important information.
This can be configured in the settings of your backup tool. Taking the time to ensure proper configuration covers your bases and sets up your strategy for success.
3. Ascertain Retention Period
Your Salesforce data and records will likely change over time. Because of this, certain aspects of your system might become irrelevant after a certain period. Storing outdated information doesn’t actually help your backup strategy. Instead, it creates a burden on your storage repositories and costs your company money.
The retention period refers to how long data backups will remain in your storage before being deleted to make room for newer, more relevant information.
This is another important setting to be analyzed and configured when planning out your Salesforce data backup strategy.
4. Set Up Recurring Backups
Your backups are only as useful as they are current. This is part of the balancing act of creating a beneficial strategy with the RTO and RPO. Every company is going to have different needs. However, every company will benefit from automation when it comes to setting up a data backup system.
Schedule and automate data backups according to your RTO and RPO. We recommend these are performed at a minimum of once per week, although many companies will do this many times every day.
Different industries will have different requirements. Analyze how often your sensitive system information is updated to find the best cadence of snapshots for your business.
5. Ensure Restore Functionality
Researching how to backup Salesforce data won’t take you far if you don’t also have a means of recovering the data from your backup storage. The speed and quality of data restoration will have a huge impact o the success of your backup strategy.
Utilize a combined backup and recovery tool designed specifically for Salesforce to return to operations as quickly and reliably as possible.
There are two options that can be configured in the settings for your restore tool. A full restore can be implemented to integrate the entirety of your backup into the live environment. A selective restore will select specific data and metadata components from existing backups to restore back into your system.
6. Archive Unused but Necessary Data
Reducing the amount of data within your system is a great way to improve the performance of your backup and recovery efforts. Data archiving is the process of identifying data that is no longer used, moving it out of the production system, and putting it in long-term storage.
Data archiving enables faster backup and recovery by avoiding the processing of inactive data.
Archiving your data is a process that runs alongside backups. They can occasionally become confused because they both involve storing certain aspects of your Salesforce system. However, they are quite different. A backup is a copy of essential system data that doesn’t affect the original files, while archives serve as data repositories for information that isn’t critical but must be retained.
7. Find a Reliable Backup Tool
The functionality and available settings will all be dictated by the tool you trust to support your Salesforce data backup and recovery strategy. Salesforce offers their own native option for these services, but they are expensive and slow.
Finding a backup and recovery tool specifically designed for Salesforce will offer the best support should a data loss event occur.
The AutoRABIT platform offers an intuitive and powerful data backup and recovery option that integrates seamlessly with other DevSecOps tools. A singular platform for all these powerful tools ensures everything works together seamlessly and provides the maximum benefits.