"Spanning was created with a singular purpose: to help companies protect and manage their information so they can be fearless in the cloud."
Partner firm Spanning offers great backup and recovery tools for both Google Apps and Salesforce.com. The service also provides some great additional features. Here we'll focus on leveraging Spanning with Google Apps. Spanning has many big time customers including Netflix and Nest (learning thermostats and other smart devices) among others.
The Spanning service provides automatic backup across the entire Google Apps suite: Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Drive and Sites to a private and secure sector of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Like Dropbox, another service that runs on AWS, Spanning also provides UNLIMITED storage!
Spanning also provides some great additional tricks for Google Apps admins! Besides full backup and restoration, here are our top 3 favorite other Spanning features.
1. Cross-user restore
Admins have the ability to restore data from one Google Apps user account into another. Combined with Email search and filter this can be used to easily find and select emails to be restored from one user to another by date, label, sender and subject line. This is great if you have a new employee taking over a role or switch account managers for an important client. This ability is also available across Drive, Contacts, Calendars, and Sites!
2. Selective backups
Choose the specific labels, document folders, calendars, and contact groups you want to include in your backups. This can also be used to selectively move data between your Google Apps users.
3. Metadata backup
Metadata is a fancy word to describe data about data, for example the owner of a Google Drive file is one piece of metadata about that Drive file, as is when it was created, who it is shared with, which folder it's saved in, etc. Spanning allows Admins to Backup and restore data to its full and original state – including document directory structure, nested folders, site structure, sharing and permissions settings, and more.
Obviously Google Apps has tremendous redundancy built into the service so technical issues are not going to be a problem. Google Apps data loss can still occur via human mistakes so a solution like Spanning plays an important role. The additional control it offers over your domain data makes it one of our favorite services.
As always, just let us know if you have any questions or decide to check out Spanning for yourself.