As promised when it began beta tests last November, cloud developer Spanning has released an in-app service for backing up and recovering Salesforce deployments.
The service, called Spanning Backup for Salesforce, is available on the AppExchange at a price of $30 per user, per year. (There's a 14-day trial period.) The service can be managed and monitored from within the Salesforce user interface, and it integrates with the Chatter app to keep administrators alerted about backup and recovery events or activity.
The automated backups are offered on a daily basis, and they are intended to extend the snapshot capabilities that Salesforce.com offers to its users. One feature it offers is point-in-time recovery for data, files, and customizations; it also provides detailed reporting about backup results, including configuration changes or issues that may require attention on the part of an administrator.