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Does CloudAlly Replace Google Vault?

Does CloudAlly Replace Google Vault?

You use Google Vault alongside your G Suite email, hangout chats, groups, and Drive. So, your data is protected from accidental or malicious loss, right? No.

Google Vault is not a backup solution; it’s an eDiscovery and archiving solution with hold, search, and export features in case of litigation. And it isn’t fool proof.

Just recently, Google Vault was caught up in a security leak by where a large trove of private documents was released to the public. Plus, there are significant limitations to what Google Vault can do in terms of archiving data, protecting against data loss, and recovering information.

So, what can Google Vault do?

What Is Google Vault?

Google Vault is a web-based application that can be added to G Suite Enterprise, Business, and Education editions for $5/user per month. You can use Vault to:

  • Archive: Determine how long you want to retain data before it is removed from a user account and deleted from the Google system.
  • Hold: Place holds on users to reserve their data indefinitely for legal or other obligatory reasons.
  • Search: Search data by user account, organizational unit, date, or keyword.
  • Export: Export data for additional review.
  • Audit: Create audit reports to see the actions of your Vault users.

Google Vault offers email retention, search, and export when requested by a Google Apps administrator. To use its features, you have to be an administrator.

The issue is that Google Vault requires a lot of work on the part of your IT Google administrator. They have to specify exactly which emails they want to preserve and for how long. Google Vault will only preserve items that match the indicated criteria and only for the time required. This means that your IT department will need to know, at the very beginning, what should be kept for legal or compliance purposes.

Once items are saved, you can easily perform a Google Vault search or export to find the data you need. Just take a look at this short three-minute video about how to search and export in the Vault.

Google Vault isn’t a backup and recovery solution. It’s an eDiscovery and archiving system that should only be used when specific information is required for litigation, not as a data protection service.

SaaS Cloud Backup

An SaaS cloud backup and restore solution such as CloudAlly is a natural progression from Google Vault. It fully and automatically creates backups of your Gmail, Drive, Classic Sites, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Chats every day without your IT administrator being required to do anything. Unlike Vault, CloudAlly saves everything for as long as you need it. You have unlimited storage retention, so that at any point in time you can search and export the data you need. In addition, you can also restore data to a person’s account, which is something Google Vault cannot do.

But do you really need CloudAlly when the G Suite already saves your data?  Yes.

One of Google’s best features is its ability to auto-save Google Docs and other data without requiring you to click “File>Save.” The problem is that this auto-save feature doesn’t protect against user-deletion. Once a user empties a trashcan, the data is deleted from the Google Site. And while some data is recoverable, there’s a time limit of 25 to 30 days.

As for email, as discussed earlier, Google Vault only saves emails that match the retention rule that your IT administrator sets up. If an email doesn’t fit the specified criteria, it’s lost.

Using Both Google Vault and CloudAlly

Using CloudAlly alongside Google Vault means that you have a simple way to recover your data without any extra effort on your part as well as a way to archive and discover information required for litigation.

CloudAlly preserves all your data from email to contacts for recovery and search. No matter if a person deletes or even overwrites data, CloudAlly offers you a simple way to recover data and protect against loss.

Google Vault’s export and search preserves your email and Drive for legal compliance purposes. It helps you discover data that you may need, but it doesn’t protect you from data loss.

In short, you need both CloudAlly and Google Vault to be completely protected.  Check out our G Suite backup solution.

Q&A Series: How to Recover Google Calendar Events

Q&A Series: How to Recover Google Calendar Events?

Google Calendar allows you to see what your events are from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. With cross platform syncing, you always know what your next appointment is at just a glance. However, with the benefit of viewing events from anywhere comes the risk of losing data from anywhere. Accidental deletion is a serious problem. Of course, Google anticipates that and allows you to restore Google calendar events with ease.

In the past, Google only allowed account administrators to reinstate lost meetings or other scheduled notifications. Since 2015, they have begun allowing users to manage their restoration. The reason being, it allows employees control over their calendars and reduces the amount of assistance escalation businesses see.

Restore Google Calendar Events with Google G Suite

Google suite allows for calendar restoration two ways. Administrators can go into the accounts and reset lost events from their dashboard. Account managers also can see what events have been deleted, restored to the calendar or permanently removed from the trash.

Users with edit capabilities can restore events themselves. To do this, click on the drop-down arrow next to the username and select trash. Once in the recycle bin, select the event, or series of events, and select restore.

Google does alert users the first time they delete an event from their calendar. This warning contains instructions on how to restore the files from the recycle bin.

While it is convenient for Google to put this power in the end user’s control instead of leaving it in the hands of G Suite account administrators, it is limited.

Users cannot restore:
  • Events permanently removed from the recycle bin, either on accident or purposefully removed with malicious intent
  • Events in the recycle bin longer than 30 days
  • Events lost due to sync issues

A continued shortfall of the new system is once the primary calendar holder permanently deletes the item, secondary calendar users cannot restore the event. Also, calendar events cannot be restored to other employees’ schedules, meaning information in leaving employee’s calendars are cannot transferable to their replacements.

Google is attempting to make it easier for G Suite customers to restore their missing calendar events. Sadly, due to the limitations provided by their system, it is not advantageous just to rely on Google’s safeguards to protect your valuable work schedule. The use of a third-party backup service is the best way to ensure scheduled meetings and reminders are never lost.

Additional Backup Security Necessary

CloudAlly offers backup support that exceeds Google’s current offerings. While you can go into the recycle bin and reinstate missing meetings or events, the limitations make it impossible to feel fully protected.

CloudAlly’s backup service allows your company to backup everyone’s G Suite calendar automatically. Each day, at a time specified by the administrator, this online service pulls data from your G Suite account and stores it in the cloud. There is no limit to how much you store nor is there a time limit for you to retrieve your information. All calendar events stay in the account until your administrator decides to delete them.

Create a G Suite Backup

Setting up a new backup is simple. Log into your CloudAlly account and select Add a New Backup from the Backup screen. From the list of services, choose G Suite.

Once selected, click on the Integrate with Google button to sync your G Suite account with CloudAlly. If you receive an error message, it may be because:

  • You are not already logged into your G Suite account.
  • Do not have CloudAlly as a trusted Marketplace App.

>>  If you are not logged into the company administrator’s G Suite account, do so before trying to connect. Be sure to log out of any other Gmail accounts as well. G Suite will not allow CloudAlly to connect initially if other Gmail accounts are active in your browser.

Gmail Account Access

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> While in the G Suite account, be sure to add CloudAlly to the connected apps and sites. To do so, select the Google Apps icon at the top, right side of the screen. Scroll to the bottom and click “More from Apps Marketplace.”

Google Apps Market place

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> In the MarketPlace window search for CloudAlly. Select the CloudAlly app from the list and select install.

 

Select cloudally backup on g suite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> Once installed, you can now add a New Backup to G Suite from CloudAlly. Once connected, select the G Suite account on the Backups page to edit. Administrators can choose individual accounts to backup or click Activate All to initiate the backup process.

Restore Google Calendar with a Few Mouse Clicks

>> To restore files, select Restore and Download under the services on the left-hand side of the screen. On the Restore screen, choose G Suite backup. Once in the G Suite Backup screen, select the user who needs the calendar event restored.

There are two ways to find the calendar event either “Via Snapshot” or “Via Search.” A Snapshot restoration or download, allows you to restore all calendar events from a particular restore point. The snapshot option is ideal if you want to restore several appointments lost due to malicious intent or syncing issue. It is also the best choice to transfer meeting reminders to new employees taking over for an old employee.

 

Backup G Suite from snapshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> Once you select the time from to search for a Snapshot, choose the calendar you wish to restore. By clicking the Restore button, you can input a different account to reinstate the events. However, you can download either a .ICAL or .PST formats to upload on another user’s system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> In addition to restoring an entire calendar of events, you can choose to restore individual appointments. To do this, click the Via Search option on the Restore and Download page. Click the radio button next to the calendar option and enter part of the appointment name in the search box.

 

Restore Google Calendar Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>> On the results screen, choose the events you need to restore. If there are several appointments with the same title, look at the start and end dates and times for clarification on which meeting you need.

As with the Snapshot search, you can choose to download or restore the individual event by selecting the desired button at the bottom of the page.

Once you have selected either restore or download, the requested service appears on the Restore and Download screen under Restore and Download Status. You also receive an email indicating when the restoration is complete or the download is available.

CloudAlly provides the additional protection your company needs against lost calendar events. Try it free for 15-days, no credit card required. If you like it, pay only $3.00 per month per user account.

 

How to recover your G Suite?

Lost and found part 2: How to recover your Gmail/Google Apps drive, contacts and calendar.

This is our 2nd article on how to recover lost online data on Gmail/Google Apps. On the 1st part of “Lost and found” we discussed recovering lost Gmail/Google app emails. In this second and last part we will explain how to recover lost online data in your Drive, lost contacts and deleted calendar events.

Let’s get to it!

As before – first ask your self: When did you delete it? If it hasn’t been that long (no more than 30 days) follow the next instructions.

How To Recover Gmail Contacts

Google has a built-in system that saves older versions of contacts for some time to help recover any contact data that is lost accidentally. Here is how you can use this feature to recover your Google contacts.

Step 1: Click on “Gmail” in the top left corner of the window, then select “Contacts” in the drop down menu that appears.

Step 2: On the Google Contacts page, click on the “More” button on the top left part of the screen, and select “Restore Contacts” from the dropdown menu.

 

Your recently deleted contact data should be restored under a new group with the current date as the title. However, Google deletes Contacts’ data as well after 30 days, so make sure you recover contacts sooner, rather than later.

How To Recover a Deleted Calendar Event

If you accidentally delete an event, you may not be able to recover all your details, but can retrieve some information through an XML feed.

Step 1: Click on the Undo option right on top that appears as soon as you delete an event. It stays there for a few moments so you need to be quick about it, otherwise, you’ll have to recreate the calendar event.

Step 2: If you missed undo link, look for any invitations you might have sent for that event in your Gmail’s Sent folder.

If you can’t find any invitations, you’ll have to recover the data the hard way. If you’re not well versed with Google Apps or aren’t an apps administrator, it would be better to simply recreate the event.

How To Find Calendar’s Public XML Feed

Step 1: Change your domain’s calendar sharing settings in the Google Admin console to Share all information, and outsiders cannot modify calendars.

Step 2: In the list on the left, click on the drop down option of your calendar, and select calendar settings.

Step 3: Scroll down until you see Private Address column with two sections, XML, and ICAL. Click on XML.

Step 4: You should see a popup with a URL on it. Click it.

Step 5: Once clicked, add the string “?showdeleted=true&showhidden=true” to the end of URL in your browser’s address bar. You should see an XML feed with all the event details in your calendar, including the ones you just deleted.

You can see limited information about your events such as a brief description and the event title, but the invited guests’ information isn’t recoverable though.

How To Recover Deleted Files from Google Drive

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive and click on the  Trash option on the left.

Step 2:  Once there, select the file you want to recover and click the “Restore” button.

Step 3: In case you can’t find the files there, go to the Google Admin console and navigate to the users section.

Step 4: Find the user in the list, and then go to their account page. Once there, click on the three vertical dots on the top left corner, then select “Restore Data” in the drop down menu.

Step 5: Select the date range for when you deleted the files, and check the box for Google Drive files, then click Restore. That should do it.

If you are a Google apps user, ask your admin to recover your data. Google Apps admins can recover data from the prior 25 days.

If you took all the actions above and still can’t find that lost Google App data (Drive, Contacts, Calendar)  you were looking for, then you must have deleted it over a month ago, and them you can’t recover it, since Google automatically erases it after 30 days.

If you are using CloudAlly, then you can easily recover your deleted data, even though it was permanently erased by Google:

 Recover your deleted email with CloudAlly

a. Log in to your account in CloudAlly dashboard

b. Go to the Google account you would like to restore and click on it

c. Search for the data type (email/drive/calendar/contacts)  and date you want to recover

d. Click on restore/export

c. Get your recovered data to your account or desktop

It’s really simple and easy to restore lost online with CloudAlly automated backups for Google Apps. Next time, if you are using CloudAlly, you can skip all those steps, log in to CloudAlly and recover your lost data. As simple as a click.

Read more on “How to backup Google Apps” Here.