How to Create a Salesforce Disaster Recovery Plan

The importance of having a Salesforce disaster recovery plan cannot be understated. Learn how to create a Salesforce disaster recovery plan, along with the tools and information needed to strategically implement your plan.
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If your organization utilizes the Salesforce platform and its suite of enterprise applications, then you must have a comprehensive Salesforce disaster recovery plan in place.

Such a plan can help your organization quickly resume normal operations if it falls victim to a cyberattack or experiences a data loss due to a natural disaster. Cyberattacks are of particular concern, as the FBI received over 791,000 complaints of cybercrime in 2020 alone.

Unfortunately, many organizations do not know how to create a Salesforce disaster recovery plan. With that in mind, our experts have created this comprehensive guide. In it, they outline how to create a Salesforce disaster recovery plan while also providing you with the tools and information you need to implement your strategy.

Is Salesforce Data Backed Up?

Salesforce recently debuted a “Backup and Restore” service for its popular platform. But what is the Backup and Restore service in Salesforce? It is designed to help businesses protect themselves from cybercrime, disaster-related data losses, and any other mishaps that may compromise a company’s Salesforce data.

The Backup and Restore service can automatically create backup copies of vital business data. This user-friendly feature is an excellent way of backing up your irreplaceable files. However, the Backup and Restore solution only addresses a small component of your Salesforce disaster recovery plan.

To unlock the full potential of Salesforce, you will need to incorporate a comprehensive data enablement solution into your framework. You might be asking yourself, how does data enablement enhance Salesforce disaster recovery? Simply put, the technology allows you to do more with your data than create duplicate copies. Data enablement empowers your Salesforce development team to maintain business continuity, streamline data migrations, integrate Salesforce data into your enterprise data fabric, and more.

Salesforce Disaster Recovery Defined

The term “Salesforce disaster recovery” refers to the various processes and protocols designed to ensure business continuity when an organization encounters a disruptive event.

Whereas a general disaster recovery plan addresses an organization’s entire IT infrastructure, a “Salesforce disaster recovery plan” specifically pertains to the CRM and its related applications.

Organizations should develop a Salesforce-specific disaster recovery plan, given the large scope of the platform. Operators will deploy the procedure in the event of human or nature-induced disasters.

There are two primary Salesforce disaster recovery methodologies, Software as a Service (SaaS) and Self-Hosted. The SaaS option is also referred to as DRaaS or Disaster Recovery as a Service. All of your backup data will be stored in a third-party cloud environment when using the SaaS method.


There are several advantages and disadvantages of SaaS (DRaaS) for Salesforce disaster recovery. Many organizations prefer the SaaS approach because the cloud-storage solutions reduce setup and implementation times. When an organization’s backup data storage needs exceed its existing capabilities, the data size can increase without direct intervention.

Some of the disadvantages though, can include an increase in the cost to maintain the service, as well as potential security threats in the event of a data breach or malicious attack.


As the name suggests, a Self-Hosted Salesforce disaster recovery plan is managed in-house. Your organization must use its own cloud-based or on-site servers in order to store and maintain all backup data.

Upgrading Self-Hosted Salesforce disaster recovery capabilities can be a bit more time-consuming. That said, there are several benefits of Self-Hosted Salesforce disaster recovery solution.

The data is easier to verify, test, and manage. Without a Salesforce disaster recovery plan in place, it is simply impossible to verify a SaaS backup of Salesforce data for two reasons. Firstly, online software data is not accessible in these instances; secondly, you are relying on the provider’s verification methods.

In addition, self-hosted solutions provide customers with autonomous control over their data. This approach means they can leverage this wealth of information to improve other processes.

A computer with a clock and circular arrows with data cogs behind them showing the time for disaster recovery

Components of a Comprehensive Salesforce Disaster Recovery Plan

In order to make the process of developing your Salesforce disaster recovery plan more seamless, we have broken it down into four distinct steps, which are as follows:

1. Select an Approach

The first step to developing a Salesforce disaster recovery plan is to choose your preferred data storage approach. You can select either the SaaS or Self-Hosted methods outlined above. When selecting a strategy, it is important to consider factors such as your company’s current size, projected growth, and budget.

If your organization opts for the Self-Hosted solution, ensure you do not purchase hardware based on your current data storage needs. Instead, you should estimate your projected growth over the next five to ten years and purchase your Self-Hosted equipment accordingly.

A good vendor will address these issues for you during the purchasing and installation process. The SaaS Salesforce disaster recovery approach is much more pragmatic if you want to implement your plan quickly. This solution also offers a significant space savings benefit when compared to the Self-Hosted method. However, the Self-Hosted option allows you to engage in data enablement, but more on that below.

2. Evaluate Criteria

After you have decided on a specific approach for your Salesforce disaster recovery plan, there are a few more factors that you must consider.

First, you must decide how “hot” you need your backup to be. Do you need to have your Salesforce data backed up in close proximity to production? If so, you will need a vendor that allows for frequent, incremental backups.

Keep in mind that some vendors limit the number of daily or weekly backups they will allow. Salesforce is a dynamic platform that allows you to rapidly make changes or create custom objects. Therefore, you must implement a disaster recovery solution that can accommodate frequent structure changes. Ideally, you want a solution that can automatically detect and apply structural changes to effectively backup the metadata.

Finally, you must clearly determine what a vendor’s Salesforce disaster recovery services entail. Do you want them to simply provide CSV files while you perform the restore process? Or would you like them to oversee the entire disaster recovery process?

3. Test Your Proof of Concept

Once your Salesforce disaster recovery plan is complete, it is time to conduct Proof of Concept Testing. During this testing phase, your data backups are analyzed to ensure that they can be used to guard against ransomware, natural disasters, etc.

Without these tests, your organization may be left vulnerable to downtime or data losses in the event of an actual disaster.

The Self-Hosted Salesforce disaster recovery approach opens the door for data enablement. When using the SaaS solution, your backup data is used almost exclusively for a backup. However, self-hosted backup data can be utilized for various other purposes. This method offers superior cybersecurity and gives your organization complete control of its Salesforce data. That data can be used to empower Salesforce development teams, preserve business continuity, and streamline data migrations.

4. Salesforce Data/System Backup Testing?

System backup testing is an integral part of your Salesforce disaster recovery plan. You should perform a full-scale backup test at least once annually. If you are operating an exceedingly complex business, then more frequent backup tests may be necessary.

In addition, you should implement automated testing protocols that should be performed after each backup is completed. This approach ensures that the data can be accessed and recovered in the event of a disaster.



What are RTO and RPO in Salesforce Disaster Recovery?

When designing your Salesforce disaster recovery plan, you must clearly define your RPO and RTO. An RPO or Recovery Point Objective is essentially a measure of how much data your company can lose without negatively impacting regular operations. 

For instance, if you backup your data once per day, then your RPO would be 24 hours. If you believe that 24 hours of lost data would cripple your business, then you should increase the frequency of your data backup protocol. The RTO or Recovery Time Objective is your self-imposed deadline for restoring data after it is lost or corrupted. Setting an RTO will help you calculate how rapidly you must recover in order to prevent the business from suffering significant harm.

What is the difference between Salesforce RPO and typical database RPO?

If you own a typical database and it experiences a data loss, you can perform a data rollback. This operation will discard all information changes that have occurred since the last time you began altering information on the database.

For instance, if you started work at 8 a.m. and the incident occurred at 4 p.m, the data rollback would revert the database to the state it was in at 8 a.m.

Data rollbacks cannot be performed on the Salesforce platform because you do not own the underlying SF database. Therefore, you will likely need to set a stringent RPO threshold and schedule more frequent updates.

What is BCP in Salesforce?

Business continuity plans or BCPs are a long-standing concept. These plans are intended to ensure that organizations can continue operations, even when dealing with unusual circumstances.

Your Salesforce disaster recovery plan should be a part of your broader BCP. The BCP should be dynamic enough to facilitate a recovery in the event of a disaster. However, it must be agile enough for rapid deployment.


Salesforce Disaster Recovery Solutions from CapStorm

If you want to get the most out of your Salesforce disaster recovery data, CapStorm can help. We offer Salesforce backup & disaster recovery solutions that provide Salesforce backup and recovery while also providing Salesforce data enablement to gain additional value from your investment in Salesforce. .

If you would like to learn more about Self-Hosted Salesforce disaster recovery, contact us today or schedule a demo.

Rebecca Gray

Rebecca Gray

Rebecca is 5 year Salesforce fanatic and certified Salesforce Admin, Service Cloud Consultant, Sales Cloud Consultant, and App Builder. She volunteers in the Salesforce community, leading the Saint Louis, MO Salesforce Admin Group and is a former Lightning Champion. In her day job, Rebecca supports Customer Success, helping CapStorm customers achieve their goals for Salesforce data management.

About CapStorm

CapStorm is the most technologically advanced Salesforce data management platform on the market. Billions of records per day flow through CapStorm software, and our solutions are used in every industry from credit cards, telecom providers, insurance agencies, global banks and energy providers.

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