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Provide a backup service for Visual Studio Team Services

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https://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/content/idea/365441/provide-a-backup-service-for-visual-studio-team-se.html
As a paid subscriber Microsoft does not provide a back up to Visual Studio Team Services. If a user accidentally deletes a project there is no way to recover.

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    David shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    20 comments

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      • Josua commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Is this feature provided by Azure for DevOps?
        Or is it still a missing feature of VSTS?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        ...correcting previous comment... a release _definition_ was deleted, not _package_.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        One of our admins deleted a previous version of a release package, not realizing that it would take out all release history with it. Self service of restore would be helpful.

      • AdminVSTS Team (Product group, Microsoft Visual Studio) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks for that comment, Mihir. From the other comments on the thread, I think people are really voting on two different topics here:

        1. The ability to recover from disasters, mistakes, and so forth. This is what my previous comment was addressing, since I believed this to be the thrust of this suggestion.

        2. The ability to export data from VSTS and restore it on-premises.

        I would recommend that people voting on that second topic move their votes to this suggestion: https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/330519-visual-studio-team-services/suggestions/12407493-export-data-from-vs-team-services-to-tfs. It already has 158 votes, and is more clearly focused on the VSTS -> TFS export topic. I'll post something soon on that suggestion regarding why we haven't built an export capability yet.

        Thanks again,
        Aaron

      • Mihir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi, It is not just about restoring deleted records. It is more about take a regular backup of the database and bring it down to on-premises from cloud.

        Also, ability to restore the backup from cloud VSTS to on-premises TFS!

        Regards,
        Mihir

      • AdminVSTS Team (Product group, Microsoft Visual Studio) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks for your feedback. We understand the importance of ensuring that your data is safe and secure. Providing the ability to use backups to recover from errors and corruption is an essential element of our data protection practices. The full description of these practices can be found at http://aka.ms/vsts-security.

        We do not currently support self-service restoration of VSTS accounts from backups. However, we do support related scenarios.

        1. Many operations within VSTS are reversible. For instance, Account deletion (https://docs.microsoft.com/vsts/accounts/delete-your-vsts-account#restore-your-vsts-account) and Work item deletion (https://docs.microsoft.com/vsts/work/backlogs/remove-delete-work-items) perform “soft” deletes, which can be recovered without requiring a backup. Also, all changes to source files under version control are logged so that you can revert to a previous version as needed.

        2. For those operations which are not reversible or in the case of corruption, accounts can be manually restored from backups by our support team. Reach out to support at https://www.visualstudio.com/team-services/support/. Note that there is no magic – just like restoring TFS databases from backups in the on-premises world, you will lose any changes made since the time of the backup.

        Longer term, we plan to make more delete operations “soft” and make recovery self-service. The hope is that this reduces the need for self-service restoration from backup to the point where it is no longer needed except in extreme situations.

      • Sameer Bhatnagar commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is surprising this feature is not available. We are able to import to VSTS using SQL bacpac file with no issue and all our change set history retained and behind the seen Microsoft is using SQL Azure so it should not be that hard to expose it for export.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        How can any serious project not require this capability?

        That Microsoft does not (yet) provide it tells us quite a lot.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hoping Microsoft supports restoring a branch of a Project as oppose to restoring the entire Project.

      • Joseph N. Musser II commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is critical because of the ultimatum that switching to VSTS becomes. We need to know there is a way out back to on-prem, even if we never use it.

        Git repository backups are much less important than project setup, work items, builds and anything else needed to continue if, say, we switched back to on-prem.

      • Michael Isaacs commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Project level recovery is now available with Visual Studio Online (currently called Visual Studio Team Services) In the Data Protection Section of the Team Services Security Whitepaper:

        https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/articles/team-services-security-whitepaper

        "Mistakes happen

        To protect against accidental deletion of data either by our customers or by our operation team, we also take point-in-time backups of both the Azure blob and the SQL databases. In addition, we perform a "soft delete" for account deletion operations. This lets us recover entire accounts for up to 90 days after deletion."

      • Ian Yates commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'd appreciate this for several reasons.
        1. Peace of mind :)
        2. If my Microsoft ID gets hacked (I have 2-factor auth enabled, etc, but still...) then, since I have power to delete repos, someone could cause me a *lot* of grief
        3. Extended outage - should VSO be down for more than a few hours and I need to bring my coworker up to speed on some new code I checked in last night (before the backup) I could at least give it to her via a quick diff

        It doesn't need to be a full version-by-version backup. For disaster recovery I'd be happy enough with the ability to keep a local folder in regular sync with the very latest changeset, running that at 1am each night. Even a blog post with the suggested methodology would be fine.

        Note that I'm not using Git, which I appreciate would make this easier. Maarten - I've starred your GitHub repo but can't use it I'm afraid :( Thanks for sharing it though!

      • Bob commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am surprised that VSTS team hasn't already implemented this. Accidental deletes do happen. Our on-premise version of TFS is backed up daily and we have point-in-time backups. There seems to be no option to do this with VSTS! This is a must have with backups to Azure OR a soft-delete to a 30-day recycle bin.

      • Simon Gymer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Really important for us too. When I suggest moving to VSO my manager always says what about backups? With an on-site TFS we store a SQL backup every night of the whole repository, but in VSO that's not possible.

        Accidental deletes is a key reason to need a full backup of the repository and saying "Azure is reliable" isn't good enough when you're talking about putting your most core and crucial software in the cloud.

      • Carl Kinghorn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is basically *the* thing that is preventing my organization from switching to VSO. Hard to get older "higher-ups" to agree to trust the cloud with what is essentially the core of our business.

        Would really like an on premise backup / restore function and probably a path to spin up an on premise TFS instance (licensed w/ MSDN) then restore to that in an extreme emergency.

        Alternately what about an on premise TFS <-> VSO sync?

        **delete/repost to correct a spelling error**

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This would be good, hopefully this won't happen to Microsoft, but check out what happened to CodeSpaces... They are goners, all because of a insecure password.
        www.codespaces.com

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The backup service should have the ability to restore a single folder (and all subfolders/files) or the entire collection. It should also include notification (email) if it fails to backup/sync from VSO.

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