Microsoft 365 Backups – Do you need them? (Part One)

Microsoft 365 Backups – Do you need them? (Part One) Backing up Microsoft 365 can be a fairly controversial question – with some people suggesting you decidedly, absolutely need to backup – and others saying there is no motivation. surely – there are some valid reasons to backup data in Office 365, but in general, most organizations don ’ t need to do this. When you inquiry whether you need to backup Microsoft 365 though, you ’ ll normally find lots of content telling you that you do need to. But more frequently than not the subject is sponsored, paid for, or authored by a company selling a Microsoft 365 accompaniment or continuity solution. Some are written with the express purpose of convincing the reviewer that backups for Microsoft 365 are essential. Most backup seller ’ mho marketing material aims to convince the reader in several ways :

  • Microsoft 365 default retention periods for storage of deleted data are not long enough.
  • A rogue administrator or hacker can delete data in Microsoft 365.
  • Your data could become encrypted by ransomware on your desktops.
  • Microsoft 365 doesn’t provide the ability to quickly (or at all) restore data.

These statements have a foundation in fact, but if you consider them in a little more detail, they don ’ t stand up well.

In the beginning character of this article, we ’ ll examine the above statements and what recovery and auspices is available in the service. In part two, we ’ ll think about the across-the-board protection and consider what other Microsoft 365 customers do. In both parts, I ’ ll primarily link to Microsoft steering in particular, because ultimately they provide the service, and if you make a decision to use Microsoft capabilities for protection then you should use Microsoft documentation as the character to support your reasons. I ’ ll besides focus chiefly on Exchange and SharePoint/OneDrive – primarily because these are the core services that backup vendors truly support backup and full moon regenerate for .

Retention policies are not Microsoft 365 backups by themselves, but they are one part of the picture.

If the default option memory periods in Microsoft 365 don ’ t meet your needs, and you have desirable license in Microsoft 365, like Office 365 E3, you will take advantage of in-built immutability within the overhaul to keep data for the duration the commercial enterprise needs. This is described by Microsoft in one of many of documents on the discipline. Crucially, you have the ability to ensure data can not be deleted for a long as needed. If you need to keep data such as an e-mail or file for ten years, and ensure that a exploiter ( or rogue admin ) can not remove it permanently, you can. You can besides ensure that admins can not change these policies using Preservation Lock, which locks retention policies so that once switched on – no-one can turn them off, and content protected can not be removed from the policy. Retention policies aren ’ thyroxine backups. They ensure that the data international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate removed from the serve. rather ensuring that the retained data can not be removed is dealt with by other aspects of the service. For case, Exchange Online is designed using the same principles as you ’ d manipulation if you Exchange Native Protection alternatively of backups for on-premises Exchange. however, whilst using Exchange Native Protection requires a suppurate operating model for server management on-premises, it doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate necessitate that in Exchange Online, as Microsoft is responsible for these aspects. Backup vendors will much counter this based on little sympathy of Exchange, and equate a Database Availability Group in the latest version of Exchange to SAN rejoinder technology, where the magnetic disk blocks are simply copied between sites, allowing coherent corruption to propagate. This is false – and although corruption can occur, mod Exchange is designed specially, using technologies including page patch, and lagged copies.

It ’ second much the like for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. These services benefit from the same memory controls, and highly available infrastructure ; however unlike Exchange, have backups performed by Microsoft, that they control. Microsoft actively markets OneDrive as a personal computer backup solution .

Recovery inside the service is possible but requires skill

The weakness in Microsoft 365 is how building complex it is to understand how to recover data. That doesn ’ t mean recovery is necessarily easier with a accompaniment product, but it does mean that a backup product broadly has a single interface to restore data. Microsoft ’ s core tool for recovery of data is aimed at empowering users first to recover data from accidental deletion, with longer-term or admin-driven restores being a more complex work. Exchange Online in especial has been seen as ill-famed for being building complex when restoring deleted items. It international relations and security network ’ thymine complex but there are a variety show of options available. If a drug user wants to restore an item back to the master folder is best achieved by directing a drug user to Outlook on the world wide web. As an admin, recovering deleted data can be accomplished by several processes document by Microsoft, such as using Search-Mailbox to recover data or eDiscovery, including purged data held by policy ; or by using the new Exchange Admin Center interface or PowerShell cmdlets to recover items. adenine well as Microsoft ’ second backing for the service itself – which you can request file restores via documentation, OneDrive and SharePoint both include the ability to restore files and libraries from a former interpretation, roll-back a library to a previous point in fourth dimension a deleted file, and when retentiveness policies are configured can use the preservation hold library to keep data for adenine long as required. Where a backup seller has an advantage is ease. Whilst in the overplus of links above a diverseness of different methods are available to restore – and will have required a reasonable measure of shape to correctly put in place – it ’ second quite apprehensible that for the periodic file or electronic mail repair it would be nice ( and save time ) to have a single portal vein to perform convalescence tasks .

Microsoft 365 backup products have key gaps that limit the security and productivity of your organization

It ’ s not the blame of stand-in products that they can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate rear up data or fully restore data in Microsoft 365 wholly. Microsoft ’ s APIs are richest in the services like Exchange and SharePoint that have an on-premises history and need to support migrating data into or out of the service. They are watery in areas such as services built for the cloud, like Yammer and Teams. Ask a accompaniment seller about their capabilities to restore Teams conversations or chats fully, as if they had never been deleted. Ask them how they ’ ll restore a erase Power BI dashboard, Power App, video in Stream, or message on Yammer.

If you plan on classify and protecting data using Sensitivity Labels, AIP or MIP functionality it will be all-important to understand how they backup and restore that data, particularly in the type of worst-case scenarios a seller might have suggested their merchandise was suitable for, like a sum loss of service. If those services form a part of your future strategy, then you ’ ll motivation to configure Microsoft 365 to protect data within those services appropriately. Or, if you rely entirely on a stand-in solution you may have to hold back your organizations ’ digital transformation .

In the final part of this series

The next share of this series covers what prevention, rather than cure, looks like. then, ultimately, we ’ ll revue what other Microsoft 365 customers do when it comes to backup .

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