Q

Debating the importance of Box.com backup

Learn whether Box.com backup is a good idea in this Expert Answer from independent backup expert Brien Posey.

Should you back up Box.com contents? Why or why not?

The answer to this question is that it depends on how you are using Box.com. Box.com routinely backs up customer's data and goes to great lengths to offer comprehensive data protection. It is possible however, that Box.com backup might be insufficient.

The Box.com website does not seem to provide information about how long backups are retained, the frequency with which backups are created or how quickly data can be restored. As such, organizations that need to know how their data is being protected and how quickly that data can be restored, are likely going to be better off performing their own backups.

Depending on how data is being written to Box.com, attempting to direct Box.com backup could be the wrong approach. Many organizations use Box Sync as a mechanism for synchronizing local file data to Box.com. In these types of situations, Box effectively becomes a data replica. While Box could theoretically be backed up in this type of situation, it is better to back up data locally.

There are two main reasons why you should perform local backups of synced folders. First, you are going to get far better backup performance if you back up the local copy rather than a remote synchronized copy of the data.

The second reason is far more important. When you synchronize a folder, there are certain types of data that Box Sync ignores. For example, hidden files are not synced, nor are folders with eight characters, uppercase or hexadecimal file names. More importantly, some types of files are not synchronized, such as PST files -- which contain messaging data.

This was first published in March 2014

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