- What Is Google Vault?
- The transition from Postini to Google Vault
- Google Vault pricing
- Uses of Google Apps Vault
- Why would a company need Vault
- Using Google Apps Vault: Google Vault tutorial
- How to restore data from the Vault
- Advantages of using a backup solution
What is Google Vault?
- Google Groups
Note: The data stored in services like Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google Sites will not be archived.
To understand the differences between a backup solution and Google Vault, check out our article Google Vault vs Backup: What Google Does Not Tell You!
The transition from Postini to Google Vault
Google acquired Postini in 2007 and merged it into their services as part of Google Web security.
Google Vault pricing
G Suite Basic: $5 per month/Vault user
G Suite Business: Part of the package
G Suite Enterprise: Part of the package
G Suite for Education: Free
Uses of Google Apps Vault
Archive: Set retention rules for storing data on user accounts and Google systems.
Legal hold: Place indefinite holds on users’ data for legal or other retention obligations.
Search: Search your domain’s data by user account, organizational unit, date, or keyword. Vault supports Boolean and wildcard operator searches.
Note: To know more about Google Vault Search operators, click here.
Export: Export data from any account for additional processing and review.
Audit reports: Use Vault’s audit reports to check the actions Vault users have taken during a specified period of time.
Note: You can access Google Apps Vault only if you have subscribed to either the Business plan or the Enterprise plan of G Suite. If you are a small business using the basic plan of G Suite, you should probably consider using SysCloud.
Why would a company need Vault
1. To retain organizational data as long as necessary before they’re deleted from Google systems
2. To hold an employee’s data forever for litigation purposes or to meet state regulations – even if the employee deletes them permanently
3. To search an organization’s data by user account, organizational unit, date range, or keyword
4. To export data from an account for additional review
5. To audit the usage of Vault by account users
Note: The advanced search in Vault can even search in the text in email attachments.
Using Google Apps Vault: Google Vault tutorial
How to access Google Apps Vault: Google Vault login
If you are a G Suite Admin, you can log in to Google Apps Vault by using this URL.
Google Vault retention
1. To retain the organizational data – stored in Gmail, Hangouts, Drive, and Groups – for as long as necessary, even if a user permanently deletes them
2. To delete sensitive information from a user’s account after a period of time
Note: Organizations need to be very careful while configuring retention rules. Otherwise, it could cause accidental deletions of data that cannot be recovered!
Default Retention Rules: These rules can be used to retain the data of all user accounts in the entire organization for a specific period of time or forever.
Custom Retention Rules: These rules can be used to retain a specific set of data.
Note: Custom rules take precedence over a default retention rule.
Creating a default retention rule
Note: This retention period of 1 year applies only to deleted items. The emails in other labels like inbox and sent items will be retained.
Note: If there is a custom retention rule to delete specific Drive files, they will be deleted as custom retention rules overrule default retention rules.
Creating a custom retention rule
Note: When you create a custom retention rule, it is recommended to preview the files that will be affected by that rule. This will ensure that you don’t accidentally let Vault delete important files
Google Vault matter
1. The list of users with their data on hold,
2. Saved search queries, and
3. Export sets related to that matter.
Creating a matter
Google Vault hold
Note: If a user account is deleted, the data associated with the user is permanently removed from the Google system including Vault, irrespective of hold or retention rule. In order to retain data, companies will have to pay for both Vault and G Suite licenses of users for storing the account data.
Creating a hold
Note: You can also hold specific emails of Bruce based on criteria: sent date, terms, etc.
Searching data on Google Vault
- Email messages,
- Conversations users had in Hangouts, and
- Files in a user’s Drive.
The search can also be refined to include user accounts, sent date, and advanced terms using operators.
Note: There are two formats available – MBOX and PST. MBOX is the standard format for emails, but PST files are easier to view using common email clients like Outlook. You can also export Hangout conversations in one of these formats.
Downloading the exported files
Note: The exported data is available to download only for 15 days, counted from the date of export. Clicking on “download” option will download all of the search results as zip files, which can be extracted and imported into an email client.
To explore other methods of backing up your email, read Gmail Backup – Step-By-Step Guide to Save You from Crippling Data Loss.
Searching Google Drive
Note: The Drive files will be exported in the same format as they’re present in a user’s account
To know about other methods of backing up your drive, check out this article.
Google Vault audit reports
When someone has access to Vault, they have access to your organization’s critical data. So, it’s important to monitor those who have access to Vault. Vault audits let you view the actions of Vault users during a specific time period. The access for Vault users is based on their privileges. Read about Vault privileges here.
To understand the parameters used in this spreadsheet, click here.
Note: An organization may not want all users to have the same level of access to Google Apps Vault. Different access permissions can be defined for different users using Admin rules.
How to restore data from the Vault
Restore using Vault
Vault is not a data recovery tool.
Restoring critical emails: the hard way
A backup and restore solution would be much more intuitive with highly-functional features:
- Restore in a click,
- Multi-item restore,
- Restore with sharing permissions, and so on.
Restore using G Suite Migration tool
Note: If the downloaded emails are in the MBOX format, you will have to convert them to PST format using third-party tools like “Softaken MBOX to PST converter” and then migrate using G Suite Migration tool.
Note: Other data like Calendar, Contact, and Hangout conversations can also be migrated using this tool. However, Google Apps Vault does not let you retain or export data stored in the Calendar and Contact sections!
If the folder structure and sharing permissions are also important for you, click here to learn about SysCloud’s Backup solution.
Complicated recovery process: Organizations would struggle when they have to restore any data. Google Apps Vault doesn’t have a built-in restore feature.
Data loss: Once a user account is deleted, all the data associated with the user is permanently removed. Google Apps Vault does not retain data of deleted accounts.
Waste time and money: Data in Google services like Calendar, Contacts are not retained at all. A data loss incident would cost a lot of time and money. Imagine losing all your meeting invites, access codes, contacts. You can’t afford to miss an important business meeting, can you?
Advantages of using a backup solution
Regular backup: You can back up important data periodically
Store all data: You can even back up data in Google services like Calendar and Contacts
Easy-to-use: You can easily restore data with a single click
Cost-effective: You can back up and archive an individual user’s data – reuse the account license for a new employee, thereby reducing cost
Saves time: You can effortlessly restore data retaining the sharing permissions and folder structure intact
Multi-data restore: You can also restore multiple folders and multiple user data at the same time
If you want to know why backing up your data is important, read this.