Office365 Backup

Hey everyone - is anyone backing up their Office 365 data? Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint libraries?

I haven’t found solid information surrounding what Microsoft is backup up. I’ve seen recycle bins for OneDrive / SharePoint and versioning but nothing real definitive.

We’re considering a 3rd party to backup this data but I’m reluctant to pay for something we’ll probably never need but at the same time don’t want to get in a situation where I need it.

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My experience across churches and businesses alike is that very few are willing to pay (usually the same amount as for a retail mailbox per month) to back up Office 365 data. Microsoft rarely if ever loses data from their server side of things as far as I can tell (they do copy data between geographically redundant datacenters, and they retain deleted items for X days (configurable) but they don’t “back it up” as in, let’s go back to the version of the mailbox from two months ago). We can sell backups through a couple of different providers, with unlimited data storage and retention included (keep in mind, backing up old mail/versions will take more space over time than the live mailbox) and even free storage of old mailboxes that have been removed from Office 365, for about $4 to $5 per month per active mailbox and about the same per SharePoint account. But even customers who have deleted data from their mailboxes (almost always through user error, though they do sometimes claim they didn’t do it), when offered backup, always turn it down.

It’s REALLY hard for people to justify paying anything reasonable for backup when the mailbox itself is so cheap (or for nonprofits, free) and mostly works very well.

Not that it’s not a good idea, but your “I’m reluctant to pay” is not uncommon :slight_smile:

Then again, getting people to pay for good backups is always difficult–but the ongoing cost and how comparable it is to the primary service which is already very low seem to conspire to make it harder than even other backup solutions to sell.

David’s correct that O365 data loss is not a common occurrence; but it does happen! Check out the article I wrote about our experience, also posted at

I believe that if you have the current veeam license you may be eligible for a free year of backup licenses for Office 365.
At the end of a year you might find the cost prohibitive.
From an Exchange standpoint you can change the settings “per mailbox” for mail that has been deleted from the deleted items from 14 days to 30 days. Since mailbox sizes are so large many orgs have taken the stance to educate their users to NOT empty deleted items.

Sadly there is no easy button here.

We looked into backups through Barracuda. The 25-license quote was cost prohibitive and I’d have WAY more than 25 to back up. If I wanted to do key accounts, I could do something through Data Deposit Box but at this point I wouldn’t even know what criteria to use to decide which accounts get backed up and which do not. Although all of our mailboxes are in the cloud, most of our documents are still local. I only have a few departments wholly in the cloud.

Thanks guys, the solution we’re looking into provides backups for Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive. It actually seems like a decent deal but not sure I want to jump in for 3 years. With as fast as things change and get upgraded & features added in Office 365 I may fight for a year-by-year plan.

3 years is an incredibly long time in technological dog years :slight_smile: I would fight for a year to year plan as well.

I agree that it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft will lose our O365 data, but that’s not why we back it up. I want the ability to restore an email or calendar item or whatever for at least a subset of staff where communications are critical to their job. If the pastor comes to me and needs an email he deleted 3mo ago, I want to be able to get it back.

We used the CodeTwo product 2yr with good success. Its solid, and surprisingly economical. Switched to the free year of Veeam O365 backup recently to try it out, and I’m a huge Veeam fan. Not so thrilled about the price, though.

I agree - historical data is different than just keeping things up and running. From an email perspective there is a new choice to consider. With 100GB mailboxes it’s worth considering not deleting items from the deleted items folder. This is counter-intuitive and would require educating users on the reasons why NOT to empty the folder.
-Food for thought