Is File Sync and Share OK for Endpoint Backup?

A surprising number of organizations and users consider their file sync and share (FSS) solution to be a suitable replacement for backup. With an FSS solution if a user accidentally deletes a file the FSS service can provide the user with a method to recover that file. Even if a user accidentally saves over a file, most of these services enable the user to restore a previous version of a file. Even in the worse case scenario if a user loses their laptop, a file sync and share solution will restore the user’s documents. Despite all of these attributes FSS is not a suitable replacement for backup.

Why FSS Falls Short as a Backup Solution

FSS solutions actually do an adequate job of protecting user data. In all of the above scenarios any major FSS solution will help a user get back up and running. One exception is the lost laptop, while it will recover the user’s documents it will only recover the documents that are inside the FSS folder. Most FSS customers don’t store all their data on the FSS share. Also, the user still has to recover or reinstall all of their applications and reset all of their preferences, both of which can be time consuming processes.

Where FSS solutions fall short is in protecting the organization. Most organizations consider data created on the user laptop to belong to the organization, not the users. According to Gartner however, over 50% of data is stored outside of the data center and the large majority of that data is on user laptops. This data is vulnerable to loss as a result of media failure in the laptop or user loss of the laptop.

Most FSS solutions are bought for and managed by the user. While many organizations have expressed intent to buy an enterprise file sync and share solution (EFSS), with the exception of heavily regulated industries, adoption rate of EFSS solutions seams to be incredibly low. Even if the various surveys, some showing 80% of organizations adopting EFSS solutions in the next few years, are true many of these organizations may switch EFSS solutions several times before finding the one that works for them. They will need to backup from one solution and restore to another.

The Organization Can’t Count on EFSS

In short the organization can’t count on EFSS by itself. It needs a reliable endpoint data protection solution in place first so that all of its assets both inside and outside the data center are protected and secure. Endpoint protection, as we discussed in our last blog, also adds remote wipe capabilities so that a lost or stolen laptop does not mean compromised data.

StorageSwiss Take

It’s time to stop moving endpoint data protection down the priority list. Endpoints store a massive amount of unique data that the organization will want to have access to and it may be required by law to keep. There is also the concern over lost productivity if a user’s laptop is lost or stolen. While endpoint protection was a painful process in the past, now thanks to the cloud it is relatively straightforward and much more affordable.

To learn more about endpoint data protection check out our recent on demand webinar “Using the Cloud to Fix Backup’s Blindspot – How to Protect EndPoints

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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