Why Do I Need Backup if I Have Google Vault?

Here at Amplified IT, we dedicate ourselves to the  Google ecosystem and specifically with K-12 schools throughout North America. One of the most common questions we get is: “Do I really need a third party backup solution if I have Google Vault setup for my domain?” The answer, is a resounding “yes” but why is backup needed? We’ve outlined the differences between backup solutions and Google Vault to help you understand why it’s a good idea to have backup in place.  

If you need a better understanding of Google Vault, start here.   

Comparing Google Vault and third party backup solutions

  • Backup solutions

  • Google Vault

  • Main function

  • Create a second copy of everything in the Google Workspace domain to a second Cloud space that is totally independent of Google. This can be access by admins or by users themselves (if required) to restore deleted or modified files, sites, emails and more.

  • eDiscovery, mainly used for legal actions, FOI requests, and long term archival.

  • Creates a secondary copy of data

  • Yes, that is completely independent of Google.

  • No – Vault is linked to the live users data.  Deleted items are hidden from the users view and flagged for Vault archiving.

  • Do the users have to remain in Google Workspace?

  • No, user data can be retained without the corresponding Google Workspace account still existing.

  • Yes, if a user’s Google Workspace account is deleted from the Admin console the corresponding Vault data will be expunged 20 days later, regardless of the Vault retention period.

  • Who can access the solution?

  • Admins as well as end users – teachers, students (depending on settings put in place by the organization).

  • Only super administrators can access Vault and those with delegated administrator rights, which are not typically granted to students or teachers.

  • What is the restoration process?

  • Click to restore to a specific time and named version.

  • There is no restoration via Vault.  Discovered data can be exported or printed including print to PDF.

  • What can end users restore?

  • Docs, Gmail, Chat, Calendar, contacts, old sites, multiple versions (based on settings).

  • End users would not typically have access to Vault. Users with delegated privileges can export, preview and print.

  • Export process

  • Quickly export and/or restore back to original user or another user.

  • Export search results based on created “matter,” however:

    • Can take up to 24 hours and could deliver partial results
    • Exported results are available for 15 days and then they are automatically deleted and the export will have to be rerun
    • Cannot restore data back to its original location:
      • Gmail – must export as an MBOX or PST file, then use a third-party tool like Thunderbird or PST viewers to view the exported material
      • Drive – Files and Docs can be previewed, exported as PDF, Docx etc. or printed

Here at Amplified IT, we make it a priority to constantly vet 3rd party service providers. For backup solutions, we have established partnerships with Backupify and Syscloud as we feel their products provide reliable and cost-effective backup solutions for school districts. If you are interested in learning more about third-party backup solutions, connect with our partners team, who will be able to provide you a deep dive into the tools, set you up with a trial, and answer any questions. 

Find this article useful? Share it!

  • Catherine Weers
    Partnership Manager

  • About the Author:

    Catherine Weers joined the Amplified IT team in 2017 after 13 years working in Public Schools as an educator and Technology Coordinator. She has a rich history in education technology. Today, she is the Partnership Manager where she is in charge of ensuring schools get the right tools to fit their individual needs in security, Chromebook management, web filtering, backup solutions and much more.