Your Exchange Online Contingency Plan is here with Veeam Backup for Office 365

As an organization delivering the full stack of the Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) to large international customers in highly-regulated verticals, we often get the question on an ‘exit strategy’ or ‘contingency plan’ for cloud services, like Office 365.

Veeam_logo_2017_green-500Being a Microsoft partner and Veeam partner with a Microsoft cloud focus makes us unique and allows us to answer that question with ease.

Inashco is a company we helped get it right.
Because we get it. Getting Single Sign-On (SSO) access to the Microsoft cloud is one thing, getting stuff like auditing and backups out is another. “To the cloud, and back again” is a phrase we used often in this context.

 

What you’d need

Let me make one thing clear: When the proverbial brown substance hits the ceiling-mounted cooling device, you don’t want to worry about your stuff being out of reach, being controlled by a third party based a couple of thousand miles away or not being able to restore the data they host for you on your terms. Most organizations don’t realize that is the exact situation with cloud productivity solutions like Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.

Typical scenarios when you’d need it

Of course, a lot of scenarios are already covered by the default terms and features of both cloud productivity solutions. However, we’ve already identified a couple of scenarios where organizations lost their productivity:

  • When using Outlook on VDI or in Remote Desktop services in non-cached mode, when the service is unavailable, colleagues won’t be able to access their mail or online documents.
  • When migrating all the way to Office 365 and getting rid of Exchange Server completely on-premises, there’s no reliable way to get back on-premises (without the need of 3rd party products)
  • When you use the default retention periods for deleted items in Exchange Online, items that were deleted over 44 days ago, are permanently gone.
  • When you remove and purge a user object in Azure AD, then its mailbox will be deleted after 30 days of purging. Then, it is permanently gone.

Of course, these are not situations you’d encounter on a monthly basis, but when you do, it’s good to know that Veeam Backup for Office 365 has your back.

 

About Veeam Backup for Office 365

Back in August 2016, Veeam announced its Backup for Office 365 product, aimed at Exchange Online. Update 1 was released this January.

Using Backup for Office 365, organizations can make backups of mailboxes and mailbox items in Office 365 using the Exchange Web Service into Veeam’s proprietary Archiver Mailbox Database (.adb) files in a designated folder on-premises.

In itself, that doesn’t sound too spectacular, but that’s OK. Veeam are not just masters of backups, they are true heroes of restores. You can restore entire mailboxes, mailbox folders and mailbox items, granularly, to any of these three destinations:

  1. the same Exchange Online mailbox and/or store, the mailbox, or mailbox item(s) were deleted from.
  2. another Exchange Online mailbox
  3. a mailbox residing on an on-premises Exchange Server
  4. a Personal Storage Table (*.pst) file

That gives organizations the flexibility to restore mailboxes and mailbox-items, practically everywhere Exchange is or can be. Ideal for migration scenarios!

Tip!
Veeam Backup for Office 365 follows Exchange Server 2003’s model of offering different functionality when you press buttons in the interface with the Shift and/or Alt buttons pressed. I wonder if Backup for Office 365 also has a Squeeky Lobster registry setting…

 

How we utilize Backup for Office 365

We’ve given the people at Inashco peace of mind for their data stored in Office 365.

We’ve also, on a couple of occasions, used the free trial license of Veeam Backup for Office 365 to migrate organizations valuable resources back on-premises after public outcry of privacy-sensitive data being in the cloud. In all of these occasions, the organizations later opted to license the product for the same peace of mind we’ve provided Inashco.

 

Concluding

We feel Veeam Backup for Office 365 rocks!

In our strategies and designs for our international and highly-regulated customers, we’ve added the Veeam product stack, by default. To us, it’s a no-brainer.

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