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How To Back up Your Salesforce Data: A Step-By-Step Guide

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In our last article we explored the critical impact that lacking a Salesforce backup solution can have on a business, how data can be lost and the fundamentals of formulating data backup strategies. Regardless of how you intend to back up your data, there are several key steps to take to make sure that you do it comprehensively, securely and compliantly.

Step 1: Assess Your Backup Requirements

Start with mapping your data and metadata, align your backup policies to-be compliant with data protection regulations and create a sandbox to test your data backup and recovery solution in a secure environment.

Map Your Backup Data Components

Rushing the back up your data may lead to implementation gaps with adverse potential future consequences. To begin with, start by pinpointing what needs backing up. This includes customer information, sales data, transaction histories, custom objects, metadata, and visual elements like dashboards and layouts. Document these into a checklist that you can go through and test later on.

Consider Compliance and Retention Policies

Different industries and businesses depending on their context are subject to different data protection and retention laws. In the UK, GDPR remains the primary legislation in this regard. Consider how your backups relate to your data protection requirements, and consider how long your backups should be retained for. Some regulations may define specific periods.

Consider Third-Party Integrations

If your implementation of Salesforce integrates with third party applications, make sure that ahead of implementing your backup solution, the data from those applications updates in real time or close to real time as possible. Secondly when you’re mapping out your Salesforce data, ensure that your backup strategy and solution also includes the third-party data that is being pulled from your Salesforce platform too (i.e it includes custom fields related to the third-party integration).

Step 2: Choose A Backup Solution

There are a few key types of backup solutions for Salesforce that you can access, the right one for your business can vary depending on how they best meet your needs.

Salesforce Backup Solutions

In general, Salesforce backups can be done using Salesforce’s own tools, or via using third party providers.

Salesforce Native Options: Salesforce offers its own tools as well as a paid backup and restore service, which has the drawback of lacking more comprehensive configuration and restoration features for your data and metadata. Depending on aspects such as how frequent your Salesforce deployments are, how many other SaaS platforms you operate and data sovereignty considerations, Salesforce’s native options may or may not be an ideal solution for your business. If you do not use Salesforce’s paid backup and restore service, its other options such as the data loader or sandbox may prove less than ideal.

Third-Party Backup as a Service (BaaS) Providers: BaaS providers like EO Backup work with data backup platform providers such as Veeam to offer a convenient, easy, as well as a highly configurable and secure front-end backup service for businesses. Alongside secure hosting solutions for your backup data that can ensure compliance with data sovereignty legislation.

Third-Party Backup Software: You can also use backup platforms directly for your business, which offers the wealth of potential features described above for the BaaS providers, but with the difference being that your business will need to setup, configure, host and support its backup needs internally.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Salesforce Backup Solution

Whether it’s Salesforce’s native solutions or a third-party backup providers, consider these factors when choosing a solution that’s right for your business:

  1. Data Coverage: Make sure the solution covers all of your required Salesforce data, including metadata, attachments, and custom fields.
  2. Backup Frequency and Retention: Make sure the platforms offer the desired frequency of backups you would like as well as retention periods that you need.
  3. Restoration Capabilities: Does the solution offer the granularity of recovery that you need? Can you restore individual records to places of your choosing, or can you only restore large blocks of data?
  4. Compliance and Security Friendliness: Consider if the solution can meet your specific compliance requirements and has robust security features, these can include access controls, encryption, MFA functionality and other options such as backups to on-premises servers for example.
  5. Cost and Scalability: A solution that is cost-effective, flexible, responsive and able to grow easily with your needs naturally gets a big tick.
  6. User Interface and Ease of Use: Ease of use with powerful functionality is always better! A great user interface reduces the complexity, risk of errors, as well as the time it takes to manage your backup solutions.
  7. Monitoring and Notification Capabilities: Does the platform offer real time monitoring capabilities and detailed session records? How comprehensive and handy are notifications about backup job results and alerting to potential issues?
  8. Searchability and Preview Features: How advanced are the searching functionality and filtering capabilities? Is it easy to preview and compare backup versions and live versions of your data?

We Make Full Salesforce Backups Easy: Get Started Today

Book a demo with EO Backup today to see our easy to use and highly configurable Salesforce backup service in action. See how to get started in minutes with our pay as you go platform that lets you seamlessly backup and recover your salesforce data and metadata with ease.

Step 3: Backup Setup and Execution

Different providers will have different features for setting up your backups and executing them. In particular, you will want to pay attention to scheduled and on-demand backups.

Scheduled Backups will be ideal for making sure your regular data backups run. Some platforms offer more flexibility than others for configuring regular scheduled backups.

On-Demand Backups will be important for situations where you might be making occassional significant changes to your Salesforce data in production.

After configuring your backups and executing them, you will want to validate that they work as intended, restoring all of your desired data to test instances.

Validating Backup Integrity

There are a few key ways to validate backups work as intended at scale and at a micro-level

  • Checksum Verification: Many platforms including Salesforce’s own paid backup tool have in-built checksum verification, which will automatically check for discrepancies between the data that is in production and what has been backed up.
  • Log Monitoring: A more thorough level of validation, most platforms will offer detailed logs of backup processes that can be used to flag up any issues and errors in the process.

Step 4: Backup Your Metadata

Backing up your metadata is crucial and depending on the platform you are using, it might need to be done separately from your Salesforce data. In the case of Veeam based platforms, data and metadata can be backed up together.

Step 5: Test Your Data Recovery Tools

With backups being created for your business, it’s worth testing data recovery processes and tools to ensure that they work as intended before a live situation puts them to the test.

In principle there are two generally used restoration techniques that most businesses use. These can also be combined:

Point-in-Time Recovery – restoring data to a specific moment in the past

As the name suggests point in time recovery is where a backup instance is restored from the past. This can be recovered as a whole, or at more granular levels. You may configure various backup jobs differently within your Salesforce environment, but ensure they are well organised and documented to avoid mistakes and recovery gaps.

Granular Recovery – restoring items or smaller datasets within a backup

Sometimes you’ll only want to recover a specific object or segment of data from a given backup rather than the whole thing. In this case, you would use granular recovery.

Similar to testing backups, test both point-in-time and granular recovery to make sure that your data restorations work as intended across a range of different scenarios.

Validating recoveries: To test recovery, you can restore the data to a non-production environment and then conduct data sampling of either whole backups or subsets of them. Some platforms will make this comparison process easier than others.

Step 6: Ensure Your Data and Backups Remain Secure

Consider the security of your data, network and backup solution. Are you using MFA and proper access controls on your backup platform? Is your data being securely and compliantly stored? Do you need to have backups in multiple secure locations?

Most data breaches and incidents are linked to user error and poor cyber security practices. Take care to keep your Salesforce client, backup platform and infrastructure such as your devices and network secure. Ultimately, your backup solution fits into a wider cyber security strategy for your business with all parts contributing to the protection, continuity and compliance of your business.

The Benefits of Salesforce Backups

Salesforce is an invaluable and versatile tool for businesses today, so ensuring this key part of your business is backed up and recoverable will prove invaluable. This not only ensures the continuity of your business, but also provides peace of mind for regulatory compliance.

With a solution that offers a powerful suite of highly customisable features, you can get the most convenience and functionality that you need in one intuitive interface, enabling your backup and recovery processes to be much more of a breeze for your business.

EO Backup: Backup Your Salesforce Data and Metadata in Clicks with our Veeam-Powered Platform

We offer a comprehensive, highly configurable and easy to use Salesforce backup service powered by Veeam, the world’s #1 provider of cloud backup and recovery platforms. Going from signup to a running backup in under 10 minutes is easy to do. You can get started here.

We’re one of a trusted handful of Veeam-certified cloud partners in the UK, providing backups for SMEs and corporate clients for over 22 years. Our backup service is hosted within the UK in AWS UK datacentres, ensuring maximum convenience and security for your business while keeping your backup data compliant with data sovereignty requirements.


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