Back in May 2017, we wrote about Veeam Backup for Office 365 as you organization’s contingency plan for Exchange Online. Last month, Veeam released version 2 of its Backup for Office 365 product with new features and scope for Office 365 contingency planning.
Version 2 expands on the functionality of previous versions of Veeam Backup for Office 365. Rightly so, because Veeam Backup for Office 365 is hugely popular: Over 35,000 organizations already use Veeam to backup their over 41,000 Office 365 mailboxes.
What’s New in Version 2
Data Protection for SharePoint
While Exchange Online might be the first service many organizations onboard as they enter Office 365, there are a couple of definite use cases for organizations to use SharePoint Online. Note that the Teams product, uses SharePoint Online by default for file storage.
Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 not supports backing up and restoring SharePoint Online, next to SharePoint Server on-premises. Just like in version 1, admins can use the respective Veeam Explorer to granularly restore individual items (documents, calendars, libraries and lists) to their original location, to SharePoint Online or to SharePoint on-premises. This allows for full SharePoint hybrid connectivity.
DatA Protection for OneDrive for Business
In the cloud model, file shares and folder redirection don’t make that much sense. Sure, Microsoft offers Work Folders as a solution for organizations that need to rely on the file server-based information security measures for individuals’ files, by synchronizing the contents of a folder using https instead of using SMB, but many organizations adopt a combination of Microsoft’s Azure AD Join, Enterprise State Roaming and OneDrive for Business when they introduce Windows 10.
Besides the logic inside Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 to properly discover and backup data inside OneDrive for Business, a new Veeam Explorer is introduced with Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2: the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft OneDrive for Business.
Admins can perform in-place restores, including restoring to another OneDrive user or another folder in OneDrive and export files as an original or zip file.
Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 now offers themes. While Veeam Green is, obviously, the default theme, Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 offers a choice between Sea Green, Marine Blue and Ocean Graphite as color palettes too. This gets Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 in line with the Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 user experience, that offers the same functionality for admins that might want to distinguish production servers from test or acceptance servers that way.
Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 provides admins with a new mechanism that checks for a newer version of the application every 24 hours by sending requests to the Veeam auto-update server.
Things to Note
While Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 offers many new features, there are a couple of things I feel you need to aware of:
Azure AD data
Veeam Backup for Office 365 focuses on data. While Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 will backup and allow you to restore data in Office 365, it does not offer a solution for backing up and restoring information on user accounts, groups, etc. There is no Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Azure Active Directory. While these objects and many of their attributes are likely synchronized from an on-premises Active Directory Domain Services environment, some are not. Noteworthy information you might lose, despite leveraging Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 are B2B user information, licensing information, multi-factor authentication information and group memberships. While data can be reattached to recreated accounts using Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2, admins might need to recreate, readjust or restore accounts, groups and/or group memberships first.
You can protect Microsoft Teams when the underlying storage of the Teams data is within SharePoint Online, Exchange Online or OneDrive for Business. While data can be protected and restored, the Teams tabs and channels cannot. After restoring the item, it can however be reattached manually.
Due to a change in indexing by Microsoft, some organizations using Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2 might experience daily full backups, instead of incremental backups. Microsoft new indexing system, deployed to several Office 365 tenants, but not all, makes backups take a long time and consume more disk space. The immediate workaround is to open a case with Microsoft Support and ask them to be moved back to the legacy indexing system.
The use of a service account for Veeam Backup for Office 365 is recommended. Minimally, this service account needs to be assigned the SharePoint Administrator for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business backups and restores, For Exchange Online backups and restores, the service account needs the ApplicationImpersonation, Organizations Configuration, View-Only Configuration, View-Only Recipients and MailboxSearch/MailRecipients roles.
You are strongly advised against using the Global Administrator role, because the service account cannot be configured with multi-factor authentication.
Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is licensed per Office 365 user in all tenants.
New installations of Veeam Backup for Office 365 are Community Editions by default. This mode that allows you to process up to 10 user accounts in all organizations including 1 TB of Microsoft SharePoint data. The Community license, which is not limited in time, nor implies any limitations in terms of program functionality. To install your paid, fully-functional product license, enter the license file information.
Installations of Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 1 and Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 1.5 can be upgraded to Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2. After upgrading Veeam Backup for Office 365 itself, all backup repositories, backup proxies and backup jobs need to upgraded manually, because they will be marked as out of date.
When organizations have licenses for version 1, than version 2 can be downloaded and installed.
This is version 188.8.131.527 of Veeam Backup for Office 365.
It was released on July 24, 2018