Tip Sheet

4 Ways to Back Up Microsoft 365

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Overview

Cloud data is YOUR responsibility. So it is your job to ensure your Microsoft 365 data is protected and you can recover it if something happens—whether that be accidental deletion, a full scale cyber attack, or something else unexpected. Plus, there are many reasons organizations keep their data for an extended period, ranging from internal needs to legal and compliance requirements. Let’s look at four common ways to back up your Microsoft 365 data:

Microsoft 365’s Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Teams and Groups come with basic native data retention options and policies. But data retention is not backup and for many organizations these options limit flexibility and may prevent you from meeting your business-level recovery SLAs. For example, by default deleted mailboxes aren’t saved beyond 30 days. What if your industry or business practices require you to keep data for longer? You may have to look elsewhere.

As the saying goes, never keep all your eggs in one basket. So some organizations decide they want to back up cloud data like Microsoft 365 back on-premises instead of in the Microsoft cloud. This can make sense, but only if you are using a modern backup solution that doesn’t add complexity with cloud gateways, proxy servers, or other siloed software and hardware products.

Similar to option #2 above, you want to create physical separation for your backups, but are moving ahead with a cloud-first strategy and away from reliance on on-premises data centers. You want to consider backing up your Microsoft 365 data to a different cloud provider or a completely different cloud region. The challenge here is that each cloud provider has their own backup tools for getting the data off the Microsoft cloud to another cloud - which likely adds operational complexity.

For many organizations, this may be the simplest and most effective way to protect your Microsoft 365 data. With backup as a service you get the on-demand access and ease of use like you do with Microsoft 365, and since data is retained in a separate cloud service outside of Microsoft you can use it to create data separation and remove vendor lock-in. But you need to be sure to look for a service that provides comprehensive enterprise features like custom retention policies, automated backups, and full and granular restores.

The Growth of Microsoft 365

  • Microsoft 365 has nearly 300 million commercial monthly active users
  • Microsoft 365 generated 38 billion collaboration minutes in a single day
  • Microsoft Teams reached 145 million daily active users

Solution – Cohesity DataProtect – (Software or SaaS)

What if you could pick from options 2, 3, and 4 all with a single solution? That would give you choice, flexibility for the future, and operational consistency from a single platform and UI—without adding additional complexity. Self-managed Cohesity DataProtect software can address options 2 and 3. You can deploy it on-premises to manage Microsoft 365 backups as well as on-premises workloads like VMware and other enterprise applications. You can also deploy an instance in the cloud—not only Microsoft Azure, but also Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and others—so your eggs are never in one basket. And best of all, Cohesity DataProtect can be consumed as a service—so you get a simple backup solution that’s on-demand, easy to use, and protects Microsoft 365 and other data sources as well. Everything on the same platform managed through the same UI. How’s that for simplicity and flexibility?