Cloud backup services seem like a dime a dozen these days. Most of them promise to save users files. However, CloudAlly and Backupify offer a different type of storage.The duo store information from customers’ Google App, Salesforce, Amazon S3, and Office 365 accounts as well as social media services.
These providers even backup chat files, to an extent, so that you can revisit them as necessary. This is a particularly helpful tool for those who may discuss business in instant message programs and then need to review the dialogue to see what was agreed upon later.
The Need for Cloud-to-Cloud Backup
Information is most commonly lost when someone accidentally deletes data with no backup in place. It can be a headache for those who may need that information for work. This loss is also a headache for IT because they have to field the questions of how to restore this lost data, if at all possible.
By having a cloud-to-cloud backup in place, loss due to hardware failure or user error becomes a little more bearable. So to help make the process easier, we decided to test out two of the most popular cloud-to-cloud backup providers.
There were plenty of providers available for this task, but we wanted to test the top dogs. We put CloudAlly and Backupify head to head to help determine which one is the best to keep your data safe. Let us get to the battle.
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup is a Good Idea
Cloud Ally was founded in 2010 and offers unlimited retention of daily archives for the life of an account. The only time data is deleted is when the account is canceled. CloudAlly’s service are affordable. While you will have to pay for each account, and the monthly fees are based on users, the price is affordable. User data can be transferred between users if desired.
Backupify is very similar to CloudAlly. Founded in 2008, they offer retention of Google apps (including email), Salesforce, Box, Smartsheet and other cloud based files. Like its competition, data is retained until the account is deleted. This information is then purged from their servers to comply with the highest standards of privacy and security.
Again, the service’s subscription fee is based on accounts and users. Google App accounts start at little as $3 per month per user. Salesforce accounts start at $199 per month per user. However, they do sort much more information from the Salesforce group. Both companies allow users to pick and choose which features are retained.
Round 1 — Ease of Use
Once the CloudAlly account is created, it is easy to add exactly which services need to be backed up. All the services that can be retained are listed on the main page of the user’s account. By clicking on New Backup, the customer can start saving information.
Login information such as username and password may be required to begin. Mail Exchange requires server addition to login. SimpleDB requires Region, Access Key and Secret Key data. Unlike Backupify, however, everything is routed through a dashboard. New backups can be created for multiple service types from this area.
Backupify is also simple to use. Customers have to sign up for the different services separately. However, each of them makes it easy to quickly back up your information.
Once integrated with either , Salesforce, or Social Media accounts, depending on what you need, backup is non-invasive and requires little to no interaction to ensure that files have been saved. It can be a little frustrating to set up the accounts to begin with, especially if you are trying to set up your Google App account at the same time.
Round 2 — Reliability
When it comes to cloud-to-cloud backup — reliability is a must. Consumers must be able to access the account and find their files easily. It’s all about how the service manages the data that has been entrusted to them by the user. Since your backup is only as good as your restore, the reliability of these services is based on both how well they backup and how well they restore.
When we tested CloudAlly we noticed, and loved, that all our accounts were in one area. It does take a day or so for the backup process to begin. However, once the initial backup occurs, it is quicker saving documents daily with no problem.
This service also gives users access to different versions of documents saved from Google Apps.
When restoring from CloudAlly, all files are downloaded with a “CloudAlly Restore” tag so not to accidentally overwrite file of the same name. Recovery can also be saved to a local machine by exporting the data and downloading a .Zip file. In addition, customers can also export data as .PST for those who need this format.
The service also guarantees a 99 percent up time on their servers. Which means users should be able to access it anytime from anywhere as long as the log in credentials are accessible.
Occasional downtime for maintenance is expected, but it is a rare occurrence to find happening when you log on.
Like CloudAlly you can backup multiple types of accounts. The server does complete the inital backup within 24 hours of initiation and can continuously backup daily as required. Full restores are easy and can be downloaded either locally or back to the account.
The one problem we did see, and others have commented on, is there is no versioning for files.
The service doesn’t overwrite files when restoring them, however there is no tag to show that it is a Backupify file. Instead you have a number in parenthesis out beside the file name. This can be confusing if you don’t immediately rename or reconcile the file.
Backupify also guarantees a 99 percent up time on their servers. While there may be times when maintenance is occurring, which is very important to the health of their system, it is going to be a rare state when you won’t be able to access your account.
Help support technicians are also available to assist with any questions.
Round 3 — Speed
With all cloud-to-cloud backups, speed is important. These types of backups often need to take place on a daily basis, so it’s important that the transfer takes place quickly. We tested with Google Apps, specifically Gmail services.
The Gmail account wasn’t completely full when we tested CloudAlly but it did still take the better part of the day to do the initial backup.
Once the initial backup is completed, it easily keeps up with the day to day changes in the account. Nothing is ever deleted, meaning only new versions and additional files are added.
When it comes to speed Backupify has it. This service worked faster than CloudAlly in storing the initial backup.
In less than a day our files were ready for use, if necessary. Like its competitor, Backupify handles daily imaging and makes them available for immediate use should you need it.
Round 4 — Features
Sometimes it all comes down to the features. However, it can be difficult to determine a clear winner just based on them. There are people who prefer a certain amount of features while others would find those options meaningless.
CloudAlly offers many of the standard features that one would expect from a cloud-to-cloud backup service. The company provides retention of data from Google Apps, Salesforce, Office 365, SimpleDB, Yahoo Mail, SharePoint, and even chat files from instant messengers. In addition, it is ISO 27001 certified.
Other features included are:
- Daily backup
- Unlimited retention of daily archives
- Easy exporting and restoration of critical data
- All backups are controlled from single management console.
- Reduction in on-site storage requirements
- Automated process which saves time by eliminating manual administration
Typically backup occurs at roughly 2:00 central standard time. However, users can set a custom time for the backup to occur.
Like CloudAlly, Backupify has several standard features. This service backs up information from Google Apps, Salesforce, and mail service programs. However, Backupify offers a unique feature by retaining information from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
This can help ensure all your information is never lost no matter what may happen. The company is ISO 27000 certified. Other features offered by Backupify include:
- Automatic daily backup
- Audit log of all account activity
- Backup of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, chat, and contacts 3 times a day
- Track deleted items
Backupify also allows you to protect files stored and shared in your Box account by offering a secure backup, something CloudAlly does not. This is a nice feature for those who use the cloud platform to collaborate on documents together. There is little fear of the file being accidentally deleted and therefore become irretrievable.
(only barely, the addition of the social media and Box backups helped to put it over the top.)
Round 5 — Security
No amount of speed, reliability, ease-of-use, or features can trump security. If your files are not secure then everything else might as well be for nought. Businesses thrive on their privacy when it comes to data. This is often the tipping point for most companies when choosing a cloud-to-cloud backup service.
CloudAlly looks for better ways to make your data safe. For starters the, company has been certified ISO 27001 which is an internationally recognized accreditation service for information security management. It shows the company’s ongoing commitment to secure cloud backup services.
Servers are redundantly backed up in order to guarantee that all files will be available when needed.
This cloud-to-cloud backup provider uses AES-256 encryption algorithms while stored and during transmission. The SaaS application also uses SSL enabled servers which are hardened to include the latest patches. Each application has a unique encryption key. In the event that one application is hacked, other applications cannot be decrypted as well.
Once an account is closed, all information is purged from their system for additional privacy. Any files located in the CloudAlly server that need to retained by the user should be downloaded as a .zip or .pst file prior to cancellation of the service.
CloudAlly does not store individual username and password credentials. Instead, a token is used that allows the company to access only information that it needs to in order to work. General access is not allowed.
Backupify is also concerned about your privacy. This company uses AES-256 bit encryption to encode information both in transit and at rest. Amazon’s S3 servers are used for this procedure and each one is SSL enabled.
Like its main competitor, Backupify is certified with an ISO 27000 certification. The company also adheres to NIST Security Publications. This corporation grants access to stored data internally through the principle of least privilege using a “need to know” basis.
Backupify has additional security protocols in place to help make sure that your information is protected. The company uses SOC2 Type II audit against the AICOA Service Organization Control Trust Services Principles, Criteria, and Illustrations for security. The Audit concluded controls were designed to provide a reasonable assurance that control objectives are achieved.
To guarantee privacy, Backupify deletes any and all information from their servers at the time of an account cancellation. Files will not able to be recovered after that time. The company suggests users download all backups locally to ensure that no information is lost once the account is closed.
Backupify is also a member of Safe Harbor Skyhigh Network’s CloudTrust, and Cloud Security Alliance.
In the end, with three wins, even though one was by a hair, Backupify is the cloud-to-cloud backup winner. They simply offer more security, better speed, and a few additional features that CloudAlly can’t compete with. Users won’t be disappointed with the service they get with this company.