Salesforce may seem simple to the average user, but there’s a lot that goes into a Salesforce deployment — especially when it comes to data protection. Once you start tweaking Salesforce with integrations, customizations and other features necessary for your business, it can become an extremely complex application. In any Salesforce deployment, the data it holds is vitally important to your organization; it therefore requires robust Salesforce data protection, metadata backup, and backup and recovery strategies.
Let’s learn how to properly safeguard your Salesforce data.
This summary is based on the Salesforce Backup for Dummies Veeam Special Edition E-Book.
Who’s Responsible for Your Salesforce Data Protection and Backup?
Salesforce uses data redundancy and other mechanisms to take care of the servers and other infrastructures that host your environment. After all, they are responsible for the uptime of the cloud service you’ve paid for. But your responsibility is for everything you deploy in the Salesforce cloud: your data, customizations, integrations, metadata, reports, files and custom code.
Understanding Human Risks to Your Salesforce Data
Even though your Salesforce data resides in the cloud, that doesn’t mean you should no longer be concerned about failures created by people interacting with it. In fact, many examples of Salesforce data loss and corruption can be traced back to old-fashioned human error. Here are just a few scenarios to consider:
» Salesforce administrator errors: It’s tempting — and with Salesforce’s built-in tools, all too easy — for admins to insert or update data on the fly in a production environment. If something goes wrong with the operation, the resulting errors can quickly propagate throughout the application and ruin its relational integrity.
» Salesforce developer errors: The Apex language gives developers great power. However, developers regularly work with configurations, workflows and formulas that are extremely complex. The slightest mistake can create major havoc across Salesforce objects. For large installations, configuration changes happen daily, and pressure from the business to make changes quickly might lead to skipping standard release protocols.
» Over-privileged users: It’s unfortunately common for users in marketing, sales or finance to have administrator access to Salesforce data, especially in smaller companies. Without the in-depth knowledge of a true Salesforce admin, these over-privileged users can do endless amounts of damage.
» Salesforce user errors: Even users without special permissions can cause more damage than you might think. Not everything can be restored from the recycle bin, or data lost within it could age out before you realize it’s missing.
» Malicious users: Disgruntled or bribed employees can, with just a few clicks, overwrite or otherwise corrupt precious customer data. Imagine the havoc a sales exec could do who’s one week away from leaving for a competitor and is keeping their named accounts.
Setting up an Optimized Salesforce Backup and Recovery Strategy
When deciding which backup solution to use for your Salesforce data, here are some considerations:
»Full Salesforce data protection is a must: At its core, Salesforce is a relational database management system, and even modest Salesforce deployments are a complex web of cascading relationships between objects. Simply backing up a few of the most “important” objects just won’t work.
» A full backup includes metadata: If your backup doesn’t include metadata, all you can restore are disconnected collections of objects, such as accounts, leads and contacts.
» Create an automated Salesforce backup and recovery schedule: Relying on manual backups is only marginally better than not backing up at all, because manual backups either don’t get done or aren’t done frequently enough.
» Backup frequency should correspond to data change frequency: If your Salesforce deployment includes critical objects that change frequently, then your backup frequency for those objects must be correspondingly frequent.
» Isolate your backups: Having backups stored along with your production deployment is just asking for trouble. If that deployment fails or succumbs to an internal or external threat, your backups fail along with it, thus slowing (or even preventing) recovery.
» Make Salesforce data protection portable and accessible: Your backups should be easily moved between the Salesforce platform and either your on-premises network or separate cloud deployment. You should have full transparency into and control over your Salesforce backup and recovery, whether or not that’s a data compliance issue for your business.
Read the whole Salesforce Backup for Dummies E-Book.