Admins / Data

How to Reduce App Bloat + Save on Salesforce Storage Costs

By Joseph Gaska

Branded content with GRAX

With the holiday season and end of the year right around the corner, it’s time to consider the trimmings to come. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about Salesforce data storage systems and application budgets.

It’s crucial to start deciding now whether to buy additional storage or finally figure out a data archiving strategy that works for Salesforce Admins, Architects, Developers, and all end users – like the sales team. This guide will help you make that decision.

Understanding Salesforce Data Storage and File Storage  

Salesforce offers both data and file storage for different types of Salesforce Editions. There’s a base minimum storage amount that incrementally grows with the number of users added.

Essentials Edition10GB/org1GB/org
Contact Manager Edition10GB/org20MB/user10GB/org612MB/user
Group Edition10GB/org20MB/user10GB/org612MB/user
Professional Edition10GB/org20MB/user10GB/org612MB/user
Enterprise Edition10GB/org20MB/user10GB/org2GB/user
Performance Edition10GB/org120MB*/user10GB/org2GB/user
Unlimited Edition10GB/org120MB*/user 10GB/org2GB/user

Figures at the time of writing/subject to change/see Salesforce Data and File Storage Allocations | *20 MB for Lightning Platform Starter user licenses

The calculation of file storage and data storage is not immediate, so when you import or add a large number of records or files, the change in storage usage for your organization is not immediately shown. That’s why it’s crucial to keep an eye on storage to ensure your Salesforce application is performing optimally.

READ MORE: Monitor Data and Storage Resources

Trimming Down to Improve Salesforce Performance

Salesforce application overload, characterized by an abundance of data, can be a roadblock to Salesforce efficiency. There’s only so much storage available in Salesforce before you start hitting limits and really bogging down performance. 

A leaner Salesforce instance is synonymous with enhanced performance, leading to increased productivity and user satisfaction. Data architects and admins play a pivotal role in optimizing your app setup. By addressing the volume-of-data issue strategically, you can achieve better Salesforce performance, cost savings, and enhance your team’s end-user experience. But how can you decide on a data management strategy that solves this cohesively for your team’s different needs?

Deciding Between Cost vs. Performance

The Salesforce platform is powerful, however getting a grip on Salesforce pricing intricacies and managing your budget efficiently is an art in itself. Storage costs can be a substantial slice of your Salesforce budget, and understanding the intricacies of data growth and its financial implications is key. Salesforce users can employ one or both of these options:

  • Delete Data: An essential tactic for managing storage costs is trimming the fat. Salesforce Admins are the ones leading the charge on this front, ensuring outdated records and superfluous files are purged.
  • Buy Additional Application Storage: Data-savvy admins know precisely when to pull the trigger on that extra storage investment, ensuring data remains available in Salesforce.

However, there is also a third option. You could master data archiving instead. Data archiving allows you to hang onto your historical data without clogging up your primary Salesforce storage. Many data archiving solutions open the door to transitioning less-used data to more budget-friendly storage options, such as cloud storage.

Salesforce$250.00 *$5.00The platform comes with 10GB of file storage per organization, an additional 20MB (for Professional and Enterprise plans) or 120MB (for Performance & Unlimited), and 100MB file storage per user. Source
Amazon Web Services (AWS)$0.023$0.023Pricing for S3 Standard for the first 50 terabytes (TB) in US East (Ohio). Source
Azure by Microsoft$0.021$0.021Pricing for Hot for first 50 terabytes (TB) in East US. Source
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)$0.020$0.020Pricing for Standard Storage in South Carolina (us-east1). Source

Cloud Storage Pricing table based on November 2023 rates | *Additional storage space can be purchased in blocks of 50 or 500MB at $125/month for 500MB of additional data storage (Source)

Regardless of which option you choose, it’s all about striking that sweet balance between harnessing the power of Salesforce data, supporting data retention policies, and keeping those costs in check while optimizing the performance of your Salesforce CRM platform.

Why Salesforce Archiving is the Best Choice

Whether you have Salesforce Big Objects, custom objects, standard objects, or large files and attachments, not all of it can sit within your Salesforce storage forever. Data archiving will give you the most flexibility while ensuring that your data remains a source of strength and truth, rather than becoming a burdensome weight. Let’s explore some of the reasons why data archiving can help:

  • Data Management: Over time, your Salesforce org can become cluttered with historical data that’s no longer actively used by your end users. Keeping this data in your primary Salesforce instance can lead to slower performance, increased storage costs, and data redundancy.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Many businesses operate in highly compliant industries with strict regulatory requirements for data retention and privacy. Storing data beyond the allowed period of time can result in hefty fines and legal implications, so it is of utmost importance for you not to store your data beyond that point. 
  • Efficient Reporting: Your sales, marketing, and executive teams rely on accurate, up-to-date data for reporting and analysis. An efficient archive strategy ensures that your primary Salesforce instance remains streamlined, allowing for faster and more accurate reporting. Data teams can also tap into the archived data to provide a full customer 360° view.
  • Cost Savings: Salesforce charges are based on data storage. By archiving old, non-essential data, you can significantly reduce your Salesforce storage costs.

Create An Archive Strategy That Actually Works

We recommend the following four steps to help you craft your Salesforce archive strategy: 

1. Define Your Objectives

Before you start looking at solutions, it’s incredibly important to take a step back and define the objectives for your archive strategy. During this step, make sure to consult with your team so that you have an accurate understanding of factors, such as:

  • Data Retention Periods: Determine how long you need to retain specific types of data to comply with industry regulations and meet your organization’s needs.
  • Data Access Requirements: Identify which teams or individuals require access to archived data and under what circumstances.
  • Performance and Storage Goals: Set performance and storage targets that your archive strategy should help you achieve.

2. Categorize Your Salesforce Data

Now that you have established your objectives, you’ll need to categorize your Salesforce data based on relevance and usage. Categories to consider include:

  • Active Data: Current leads, opportunities, accounts, and contacts that your sales and marketing teams actively engage with.
  • Historical Data: Older records that are no longer actively used but may be needed for reference, analysis, or compliance purposes.
  • Redundant Data: Duplicate or unnecessary records that can be safely archived.

3. Choose and Implement an Archiving Solution

There are many archiving solutions available on the Salesforce AppExchange. When searching for the solution that works best for your organization, we recommend that you consider third-party archiving services that seamlessly integrate with Salesforce and offer advanced archiving capabilities, such as:

  • Data Retention Policies: Create and enforce data retention policies to automatically archive or delete records based on predefined criteria. For instance, the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act requires varying data retention periods of at least three years for different record types. 
  • Retaining Data Access: Some third-party solutions provide you the tools for viewing archived Salesforce data live next to hot data in the UI. 
  • Ability to Restore: Sometimes a record that was archived needs to be restored. Ensure that administrators and end users can easily bring a record back into Salesforce when needed. 
  • Seamless Deployment: As you search for solutions, you’ll find that many archival solutions are often paired with disaster recovery or data backup and recovery solutions. This is an excellent option for consolidating your IT landscape while maintaining one vendor for data management and data protection. 

4. Monitor, Maintain, and Educate

Automating archive jobs is certainly helpful, but it’s important to view this as an ongoing effort. To ensure its continued success, make sure you document the process and educate your team about this archiving strategy and how it works. 

You’ll also want to regularly monitor the performance of your archive strategy and make adjustments as needed. This might include updating retention policies, optimizing storage costs with higher frequency archive jobs, and/or changing policies to ensure compliance.

How GRAX Can Help

With GRAX, you can have your cake and eat it too. GRAX’s data archiving solution gives you the ability to fully archive out your Salesforce data and still retain easy access to it in the Salesforce interface. This empowers your organization to boost your Salesforce application performance, reduce Salesforce storage costs, and give Salesforce end users a way to view and manage archive data all within a familiar UI.

Try a risk-free trial and see how your organization can benefit from using GRAX’s holistic data management solution to protect your data and its value through its lifecycle.

The Author

Joseph Gaska

Joe Gaska is the CEO and founder of GRAX. He has been featured on the main stage at Dreamforce and has won numerous awards including the Salesforce Innovation Award.

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