What Is Google Vault?
Google Vault is a cloud-based information governance, compliant archive, and eDiscovery tool that allows organizations to manage, retain, search, and export their data across various Google services. Historically, Vault is an add-on for G Suite Basic and is included with G Suite Business and Enterprise. It provides a secure and centralized platform to manage all your organization’s data, including email, chat messages, and Google Drive files.
As Google transitions to the new Google Workspace, Google includes Vault in Google all Workspace Enterprise subscriptions and Google Workspace Business Plus. Vault is not available as an add-on for the Google Workspace Business Starter and Standard subscriptions at this time.
Overall, Google Vault provides a powerful and efficient way to manage and protect your organization’s data, giving you greater control over your information and helping you stay compliant with industry regulations.
To decide if you need, or want, Vault, you need to understand the What, How, and Why below.
What Google Vault Does
Vault is a compliant archive/e-discovery service for Google Workspace. The service captures all email, documents, and chats, even if they have been deleted by the user. As such, Vault meets federal and state regulations for legal discovery. Vault features include:
- Inbound, outbound, and internal email messages
- Internal and external chat messages
- Search and gather all relevant materials
- Save searches and results
- Legal Holds:
- Retain relevant data regardless of retention period
- Prevent removal of data until a “Matter” is resolved
- Audit Trails:
- Capture activities
- Document searches and exports
- Export data related to a “Matter” for delivery
- Documentation that validates data integrity
How Vault differs from Backup
While Vault and backup systems both preserve and protect data, they serve very different purposes and functions.
Vault is intended to keep, find, export, and deliver data in a way that complies with Federal and State laws for legal discovery.
Backup systems are designed to preserve and restore information that has been lost or damaged.
In Vault, you can retrieve individual items and small batches of data. Doing so, however, does not restore the data to its prior location. Nor does Vault preserve meta data, such as date last modified and permissions.
Backup solutions and systems cannot guarantee that you have preserved all of your data. Most backups are configured to remove deleted items from backup files after set periods of time. Backup systems also prune data into weekly and monthly snapshots, resulting in a potential loss of versions.
Why You May Need or Want Google Vault
The driving factor for most businesses and organizations is regulatory compliance. A range of laws and industry regulations require businesses to maintain records, including but not limited to:
- Freedom of Information / Public Records
If you are not subject to these regulations, you may want Vault in order to maintain data for:
- Policy enforcement
- Contact and legal negotiations
- Personnel matters
- Quality control
We recommend that your Google Workspace (G Suite) subscription is protected by a backup/recovery solution. You may not need or want Vault. If you do not have a regulatory need, assess the value proposition of the added business protection and cost.
Is Google Vault Free?
You can add Vault from your Google Admin console if you purchased Google Workspace online and your edition supports add-on licenses. You’ll begin with a free 30-day trial. Vault is also included at no extra cost with Google Workspace Business and Enterprise editions.
How do I access Google Vault?
Sign in to your Google Workspace account at https://vault.google.com. If you are unable to sign in to Vault, contact your Google Workspace administrator and request that Vault be enabled for you.
Learn more about Cumulus Global’s data protection and security solutions, contact us with any questions, or schedule a complimentary Cloud Advisor appointment.