By Ezra Brook, Editor at BackupReview November 6, 2020

Cloud Backup Expert Tips: Do You Need to Protect Your Google Workspace Data?

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is a cloud-based set of collaboration and productivity apps used by more than 6 million businesses as of Q2 2020. Organizations use Google Workspace for business email, calendaring, document editing and file sharing. As a result, the Google platform accumulates the most critical business data.

The question of whether Google Workspace should be backed up is hotly debated in the IT community. On the one hand the cloud platform includes some built in data protection capabilities. On the other hand, Google Workspace SLA does not protect against user mistakes.

In this post we’ll discuss built-in Google backup tools and third party backup options, based on this Google Workspace solutions review.

Standard Google Workspace Backup

Google Workspace provides only limited native data protection features and many businesses consider using third party Google Workspace backup tools.

The native Google Workspace backup tools enable users to recover their deleted items within approximately 30 days after deletion. After that period the data is deleted from the user account and can be recovered by Google Workspace administrators. The recovery timeframe for administrators is limited as well, typically by 30-60 days from the moment the data was deleted.

Additional Google Backup Options

There are a number of additional Google data protection tools that can help overcome the <60 days retention time period. One of them is Google Vault, which enables Google Workspace administrators to configure retention policies and keep all deleted data in the Google cloud indefinitely. Google Vault, however, does not provide any recovery options and all retained data has to be restored manually (which is nearly impossible when the number of files exceeds hundreds or thousands of items).

Another tool that enables Google Workspace data archiving and backup is Google Takeout. The service enables to execute data export for all your users’ data and save it offline as a collection of zip folders. To use this method, admins need to generate data exports manually on a regular basis. The exported data will also take up significant storage space.

Third-party Backup Tools

Google partners with third-party Google Workspace backup tools to help its customers protect their cloud data. There are more than 20 vendors that offer Google Workspace backup but only a few of them provide complete solutions that support all Google data types and applications.

Cloud-based backups provide fully managed cloud backup services that include backup storage. Many of the vendors focus specifically on cloud applications backup and therefore they offer the best support of Google Workspace. is the youngest Google Workspace backup provider – Afi platform is built from the ground up to backup cloud applications and features a number of unique features (full-text search, preservation of Google document IDs, etc).

There are also a number of traditional software vendors that declare Google Workspace support as part of their on-premise backup suites. These solutions typically focus on infrastructure workloads such as VMware or Windows and their Google Workspace backup are limited (e.g. limited support of Shared Drives metadata backup and Gmail labels).

The traditional on-premise backup software also requires administrators to manage and maintain backup infrastructure. This often results in much lower reliability compared to cloud-native backup services – for example when the storage capacity of the on-premise device is reached, new backups will stop running, or if the hardware fails, the backup data stored on it will be lost.

Backup & Cloud Trends

The fast growth of cloud-based office suites – Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace – shows that most organizations fully embrace the SaaS model. Unlike traditional on-premise software, the SaaS solutions have some built-in backup capabilities. This reduces the demand for 3rd party backup tools, as some businesses find the built-in data protection adequate.

At the same time, the emergency of new cyber security threats – ransomware and email phishing – drives the demand for new data protection tools that provide more reliable service and advanced security capabilities. Many of the additional security features can only be provided by cloud-native backup platforms (2-factor authentication, air-gapped immutable cloud storage, distributed backup service hosting).

About the Author: Ezra Brook is an editor at, a leading informational media company focused on cloud backup, cloud storage, business continuity, disaster recovery, and cloud computing technologies.



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