Office 365 backup – Do you need it?

Protecting Office 365

A common misconception when moving resources such as Exchange e-mail or SharePoint to Office 365 is that the Microsoft will take care of the data backups for you. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Yes, Microsoft will have you covered if they have an issue with their service which results in data loss however it is ultimately your responsibility to protect the data held in each application.

Consider this, Microsoft does offer features such as being able to restore email from deleted items in Exchange online, but this is only for the last 30 days’ worth of data. If the e-mail is permanently deleted, then there is no way to recover the e-mail.

What options are there? There are two solutions to this problem that I have used, both of which address these challenges when it comes to protecting data in Office 365.

First up is Office 365 backup by SkyKick. SkyKick offers a full SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for protecting key data types in Office 365 which includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 Groups. The service runs natively in the cloud with no requirement to install any software on premises. This allows for an easy to configure solution that will have your Office 365 environment protected in minutes. All backup data is encrypted and held within Microsoft Azure blob storage.

Next up is Veeam for Office 365. This tool offers the same backup features as Skykick in terms of what it can protect but it is delivered as an on-premises install. Some of you may prefer that all your data is not held in the public cloud. Veeam for Office 365 will protect the Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Office 365 Groups. The backup data is held on a backup repository stored on premises. For customers that have already invested in Veeam backup and replication, the infrastructure is often already in place to be able to bolt on Veeam for Office 365.

Both solutions offer the ability to hold backup data for longer than the default 30 days Microsoft offers. Individual item recovery is painless and ultimately, these solutions protect against data loss. Don’t forget that just because the data is stored in Office 365, it is not immune to accidental or malicious data deletion.

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