Google has extended what it describes as highly advanced and sophisticated data backup and recovery to all components of its Apps communication and collaboration suite.
The level of protection, both in terms of the amount of data preserved and of service restoration time, is typically only affordable to very large companies and cloud computing vendors, according to Google.
At the core is real-time, synchronous replication in multiple servers and data centres of every morsel of data entered into or modified in any of the Apps components, like Gmail, the Docs office suite, Sites and Calendar.
“Anytime you change any data in Apps, whether writing a sentence in a document or changing a cell in a spreadsheet, in the background we go and write that data to multiple servers within one data centre and also in other data centres,” says Google Apps senior product manager Rajen Sheth.
Over several years, Google has been adding Apps components to this “best in class” disaster-recovery umbrella, to the point where the entire suite is now covered. Also included are stand-alone Apps components versions, such as regular Gmail, Docs and Sites accounts.
“Now we have it across all of our applications,” Sheth says.
Google doesn’t charge for this disaster-recovery protection, whose goal in the event of a system failure in a Google server or facility is to lose no data and provide “instant” failover for minimal or no downtime, above what is possible with even a very expensive storage area network (SAN), Sheth says.
Google has often caught heat whenever its hosted applications suffer downtime, particularly Gmail, although those instances have decreased over time. While Google expresses regret whenever one of its online services goes down, it also usually points out that its uptime exceeds those of the typical IT department.