During this COVID-19 pandemic, many things are rapidly changing and creating a lot of uncertainties for businesses. This can be quite a stressful time, as many workplaces are quickly transitioning to remote work. One consideration you may have is how to keep your Business Central data secure when you’re not physically in the office.
With Business Central Cloud, you are protected no matter where you work. Unlike most on-premise ERPs, Business Central does not require the management of database backups. In fact, Business Central users and partners do not have access to the backend to manipulate the data or backups in any way. Instead, Microsoft hosts your database and has automatic backup sets that are retained for 30 days.
In the case of emergency, you or your partner will need to submit a Microsoft support case and ask for a Point in Time restore. Microsoft can restore your Production environment to a specific Date and Time down to the five-minute time frame requested. That being said, it is important to notify Microsoft support or your partner right away in case you spot an issue. Since these backups are retained for only 30 days, it is best practice to address the issue as soon as possible.
Another way to maintain a “backup” of sorts is to copy your Production environment into a Sandbox environment inside the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) portal. You can have multiple Sandbox environments to use for testing inside Business Central. These Sandbox environments will be copies of your Production environments and, therefore, maintain multiple BC companies. To refresh your Sandbox environment, you need only to delete the Sandbox instance and create a new Sandbox environment with a copy of Production from that day.
If you are still concerned about maintaining database backups, Microsoft does allow you to export your Business Central databases and store them in Azure Storage. The Business Central online environments will be exported in .bacpac format files. This export could take anywhere from a few minutes up to several hours depending on the size of the database. This also requires signing up for an Azure Storage account, but you must first have a subscription to Microsoft Azure and access to the Azure Portal. You can find more information on this process here. Please keep in mind that you cannot restore your Business Central tenants with these backups.
With the knowledge that Microsoft and your partner can help you restore your Business Central environments, we hope that you can focus your energy on what is most important, which is maintaining the health and safety of your employees and their families. Please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. We know this is an unusual time to be operating, and we are here to help!