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Sep 7, 2017

Industry insights,

Backing up Office 365

Cloud based applications are often thought of as a great way to backup and archive data, however, while this statement can be true for many Cloud based solutions, data loss is becoming more of a concern for users of Microsoft’s Office 365. Microsoft’s backup policy cannot guarantee a complete restoration of any lost data. On Office 365, Microsoft typically cover operational elements that include; Network, Hardware, Virtualisation, Operating System and Application, which leaves Users, Data and Administration for the responsibility of the individual – which equates to any data retention and backups. As such the current solution only protects end users from data loss in a limited way and has never been intended as a data backup solution.

RockIT recommendations

Because without knowing the exact configuration of each IT environment it is not easy to give a blanket recommendation that meets every business need. The removal of licences can often be the start or trigger point for significant data loss impacting on an individual user. Consider all options before removing a licence, as the removal starts the clock ticking from when all data will be removed that relates to that licence. Issues like this can happen when a user goes on long-term leave, in these scenarios it’s often more cost effective to increase the number of licences. 

One option, but by no means a long-term fix, is to periodically backup specific data or emails locally; either using the network or local computer storage, or an encrypted external hard drive. The reason why this isn’t a great option for long-term is that it relies solely on human intervention, and could fall down if someone wasn’t in for a few days. 

A great solution would be to have a small server, either on-site or hosted, and setup as a Veeam for Office 365. This is often the solution of choice for smaller businesses with limited resource.

Businesses that are looking for a complete end-to-end solution for their backups, could consider the benefits of implementing a dedicated business wide, business continuity/Office 365 backup solution. It’s likely this solution will require input and/or design from your designated IT Support Company or IT department.  

If you are operating Office 365 and consider it as a robust backup solution for all your email data, it would be well worth a little investigation to make sure you are as protected as you first thought.