With more than 7 billion documents, calendar events and contacts already on file in Google Apps,  Spanning Backup v. 3.0 promises "Business-Class Cloud to Cloud" backup and is showing its users a pretty new face courtesy of its newest VP of design and UI, ex-Frog Design guru BJ Heinley. 

But beyond the facelift, this is a nuts and bolts company know for security and compliance in the Google Apps Marketplace. Here's what's new in both form and function with this latest release from Spanning.

The latest version offers an improved online user interface experience with a visual status history in its admin dashboard, giving a historical birds-eye-view that includes Google Apps health, one-day detail and even a daily problem summary.  

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Health Monitor, more for Google Apps

Specifically, the new Spanning v.3.0 offers users a Google Apps health monitor that shows problems, errors, even possible causes and recommended solutions with Day-by-Day reports. Email restore is improved in the new version, and the "impersonate"  functionality allows an admin to test the system based on individual users in the system.  

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Cloud to Cloud: Backing up One Cloud Service Via Another 

And while Google does offer "disaster recovery" for its system, personal user data is not covered, as Google hasn't invested the time or support dollars needed to do that. To make the point, the company links to a page on its web site that documents the Google Help Forum, with posts from real people who have lost data.  

One interesting part of Spanning is that the cloud back-up service is completely hosted and run from Amazon Web Services. This offers the company unlimited expansion capabilities, handled by Amazon, making automatic scaling seamless, according to Mike Pav, Vice President of Technology for Spanning. 

Meanwhile, the company can focus on planning for worst-case scenarios, Pav said in a recent GigaOm article. Spanning charges customers $30 per year to back-up Google Apps, including e-mail and documents, against unwittingly deleting valuable files or corruptions that can happen when syncing between various systems.