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Dominic Horne
Contributor

Can someone please point me to the official O365 backup policy(link/document). I'm interested to know the backup policy for SharePoint sites and OneDrive on Office 365.

37 Replies
This is not something that is published publicly.
If you have a look on the Office 365 Trust Center they talk about service continuity and preventing data loss, but their responsibility is only to ensure that the service is operation and data is accessible - not responsible for the backup of individual customer sites/libraries/files.

I see a lot of references on the internet to the folllwing statement:

"Microsoft takes backups of site collections every 12 hours and keeps these backups for 14 days"

Is there any truth in this ?

 

Reference: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365/Back-up-tools-for-Office-365/td-p/3084

Hi Dominic,

 

Like Loryan said you can see the trust center.

 

I advice to have at least E3 licences and use Preservation Policy - https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Overview-of-preservation-policies-9c3b1d52-40ce-4ba3-a520-9...

We're just going to have to believe them. :)

Don't use preservation policies as they a SharePoint-only option (still existing, still active, but the wrong choice). The long-term solution for retention of information inside Office 365 is in the new data governance framework where you can create retention policies that apply across more than just SharePoint and classification labels that dictate precisely what happens to information when a retention period expires. See https://www.petri.com/office-365-data-governance for more.

Yes, I agree with Tony.

 

Has you can read the Tony article it explains the best way to acomplish your goal and move to a integrated solution.

 

Here how to implement https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Data-governance-in-the-Office-365-Security-Compliance-Cente...

What relevance does a PST-based backup tool have to a discussion about backing up documents from SharePoint and OneDrive?  Why would anyone use an insecure, prone to failure file format to backup information in such a way that it instantly breaks any notion of compliance?  Unless of course this is a thinly-veiled attempt to sell the product... Which it is... and it doesn't work. PST-based backup products are bad. End of story.

You can use Kernel Office 365 Backups & Restore software to backups Office 365 data and export them in PST formats. For more, visit: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/office/Backup-Office-365-Mailbox-4d244ff6

Once more to make the same comment...

Why would anyone consider it a a good idea to backup Office 365 data to PSTs? It is a horrible, brain-dead suggestion. All you do is dump data out into an insecure format that is well known for its ability to corrupt information. Does that seem like the right kind of backup strategy?

I got this link explaining about Office 365 Backup & Recovery Policy. You may also have a look

--https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/securitycompliance/retention-policies

 

Hope this will help you!!!

Highlighted

Would anyone really take a document purporting to the the ultimate guide to Office 365 backup seriously when the text is so horribly written? https://www.systoolsgroup.com/updates/backup-recovery-policy-office-365/

 

"Now days, Microsoft Office 365 is the most popular business productivity suite. Around 23 million users are using Office 365 application across the globe. With the help of Office 365 suite, users can work online, share many files or spreadsheets, work from their home or mobile devices. It is the perfect Cloud solution for any business."

 

The official number for monthly active Office 365 users is 135 million, not "around 23 million." This document is no more than a thinly-disguised attempt to make people believe that they need Office 365 backups. In most case, they don't.

 

I'm curious why you think companies don't need backup for Office 365?  Built-in tools handle things like accidentally delete emails and files, but don't handle things like:
- accidentally or maliciously purging recycled/deleted items.

- well meaning admin deleting or purging things they weren't supposed to 

- malicious person gaining unauthorized access to an admin account

- massive ransomware attack that encrypts files stored in Office365

 

The built in tools are not built to handle these situations.

It might be a true statement to say that most companies will not experience these things, but that's also true of traditional IT and disasters.  Yet will still have a DR plan, even though the vast majority of companies will never fire their DR plan in anger.

So why do you believe companies don't need to backup Office 365?

Microsoft do take backups of sharepoint repositories and if I remember it correctly has backups 14 days back! Regarding encrypted files there is now onedrive restore which functions as a snapshot like service 30 days back! This will soon be available for team sites as well!
There can be a lot of discussions about this subject! There’s cloud to cloud backups which I support more than cloud to on-premises backup solution but overall office 365 contains a lot of security features to protect against abnormal usage and preventing access to people who shouldn’t have access! Keeping your admins to minimum and always use MFA
Is more than recommended! There are features of putting important document on hold! Putting data on-premises both defeats the purpose of the cloud and also puts data at more risk for breach

Agreed on the on-premises comments.  (Disclaimer: I work for a cloud-to-cloud backup company.  But, FWIW, I've specialized in backups for 25 years and always been a fan of cloud-based backup.)

 

My concern about the built-in Sharepoint backup is that restore is all or nothing, AND it's only the last 14 days. I'm also not sure what the SLA is there (RTOs RPOs).  It seems very similar to the built-in Salesforce backup that Salesforce will tell you is an absolute last resort.  From a backup perspective restoring your entire environment because a part of it is damaged has never been a good idea.

 

The Onedrive restore features handles the last 30 days. If the thing you're trying to fix is over 30 days old, you're out of luck. 

Yeah! You have to put things into perspective and think about it really! In some situations I guess that’s a good option doing a cloud to cloud backup! But most scenarios I don’t really think so! You have the 2 step recycle bin for for files, versioning for content within files and restore for the library in case of disaster or a night out coming home and doing some work! Last resort the MS backup!
Very important document could be set on hold Or set as record
Together with good security measures this will do well enough for most people

Adam

"for most people" is the key phrase there. Most people don't get ransomware.  (But it happens every day.) Most people don't have a hacker gain access to a privileged account. (But it happens every day.) So most people won't end up really needing something outside what MS give them.

 

 

BUT if your company DOES have one of these things happen to them, you're out of luck if you don't have a third-party backup of your O365 data.

 

 

That's why I think it's irresponsible to say that you don't third party backup of any computing service.

I get your point, but I’m not saying no one needs this as I told you there are use cases! Some of your scenarios I believe I covered! We can go very far into our discussions on what a hacker has the possibilities of doing and there are always one step further securing the data! I’m not saying there is something wrong with doing a cloud - cloud backup but I still believe in saying this is overkill for many 365 customers!

 

IMO it's only overkill if you don't care about your company's data stored in Office365.  If a company is prepared to take the risk of losing everything stored there, then sure.  They don't need 3rd party backup. Short of that, I can't think of a single use case where it's overkill.


That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

I don't know about Office 365 Backup policy, but I know one solution which helps to get backup of Office 365 mailbox into PST. Read this blog to Know More: https://www.shoviv.com/blog/export-office365-mailbox-to-pst/

In what universe does it make sense to extract email data from a cloud service and save them to a PST?

 

Apart from needing to do this to provide the results of an eDiscovery search to investigators, I can't see any reason to encourage people to save email to a workstation. All this does is create a horrible security issue like the one experienced by Sony when hackers cracked their network and retrieved sensitive email stored inside PSTs.

 

PSTs and backup should not be used in the same sentence. They just don't belong together.

Does Your Office 365 Tenant Need Backups?

Do you need to backup Office 365 data? The question isn't simple because technology changes all the time and it's hard to backup some applications like Teams and Planner because APIs don't exist. The important thing is for companies to review what data they use, the features available to them, and then figure out if any gaps exist.

 

https://www.petri.com/determining-need-office-365-backups

@Dominic Horne Yes, I would like to see this type of document as well.  All I can find are generic notes on 93 day retention period.  Its now common knowledge that a 3rd party backup is necessary for products such as Office 365 Backup.

93 days is the time files will be recoverable after deletion! For retention see:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/securitycompliance/retention-policies

@Tony Redmond 

The answer is simple; if you want an unlimited retention period, with a point-in-time restore, it cant be done without 3rd party backup, such as www.CloudAlly.com which backs up on Amazon AWS. 

If you wish to restore in case of an outage on MS Azure (happened recently), or without putting information at risk and not complying with your regional legislation by activating eDiscovery, there is only one solution. 3rd party cloud to cloud backup.

 

@Micha1735 I am amused at how the proponents of backup software always make sweeping statements without taking into account the functionality built into Office 365. If you want unlimited retention, you can apply Office 365 retention policies to SharePoint. This has a consequence for storage https://www.petri.com/how-retention-impacts-office-365-storage but no more than if you engage a third-party backup solution. And if you keep everything online inside Office 365, you have the full suite of data governance functionality available to manage the data. Third party backups have some value, but companies should always understand what's available (and they are paying for) inside Office 365 and how the available functionality can meet business goals before considering deploying a third-party solution that only complicates the overall retention/data governance picture.

Retention and backup don’t always mean the same.
Retain most of your content based on retention policies and backup your most important data because the cloud is not accessible sometimes and because you want have to access to your data irrespective of cloud provider policies and features, both now and in the future.

@Dominic Horne I completely agree that retention and backup are different. However, I make the following observations:

 

  1. Having data online rather than in a third-party repository makes the data much more accessible to the organization.
  2. Being able to backup to a cloud repository is no guarantee that you can restore it quickly (or ever) when needed. For example, let's assume that Office 365 has an outage (which do happen). To where do you restore the SharePoint documents? An on-premises server? This question is especially pertinent when dealing with Office 365 data that has no on-premises equivalent, like Teams, Planner, and Yammer.

Again, I make the point that a third-party backup can be useful but you should fully understand the range of functionality available in Office 365 before you commit to anything that complicates your operational landscape.

I agree it’s important to understand all functionality available with O365 and then evaluate backup scope and options.

@Dominic Horne  Yep. Which has been my entire point all along. Naturally enough, backup vendors aren't keen to recommend that people understand what they pay for (a difficult task sometimes given the rate of development inside Office 365) nor do they like people to understand the difficulty of restoring data from a cloud backup repository. Everything works swimmingly in a demo; things are different when systems fail and data is needed fast.

@Dominic Horne 

Cloudally’s user-friendly, automated and secure office 365 backup solution ensures the safety of your company’s valuable Microsoft data, guaranteeing compliance with retention policies, preventing intentional and unintentional data loss while greatly improving recovery time objectives.

Office 365 Exchange brings the power of Microsoft Office to the cloud, but it also brings with it an unwanted element of risk. Organizations often believe that data backup is covered as part of their cloud service, however, Office 365 Exchange lacks the daily backup and archiving process necessary for you to restore data after it’s been manually or automatically removed from the recycle bin. When you add to the equation the potential for unexpected malicious activity or data corruption caused by 3rd party app synchronization, it becomes clear that your Office 365 Exchange data could be inadvertently lost without any chance for recovery!

Although your data is hosted by Microsoft, maintaining control and protection of your business data in case of security threats or accidental deletion is ultimately your company’s responsibility.

CloudAlly’s automated daily Office 365 backup service for Microsoft Office Exchange, with its business email backup software ensures that you can both quickly recover data from any point in time as well as export your archives for local storage.  Try out our Office 365 Backup as an effective business cloud backup solution.

@Michael82  It's wonderful to have a vendor representative hyping their product in a thinly disguised answer to someone's request for help. If CloudAlly was any good, it would even be worthwhile. I've never seen a reputable MVP or other subject matter expert recommend this service. All I hear are claims of its brilliance.... which doesn't say much.

You should try o365 backup software that makes your task easier. @Dominic Horne 

@ManojDwivedi  Yet another thinly-disguised attempt by a backup vendor to lure people into believing that their software will do wonderful things? In this case, the backup product copies mail to PST files, which is just about the most brain-dead and stupid approach to backup of a cloud email solution known since the dawn of Office 365.

100% agree with Tony. The PST method is simply the worst possible approach.

There are multiple solution in the market but I will recommend you can also try ZOOK Office 365 Backup Software enables user to migrate Office 365 to 26+ saving formats.This Office 365 Backup tool easily takes backup of Office 365 account along with entire data items.

 

Explore More: https://www.zooksoftware.com/office-365/backup/

zook-software

@rosefresh Yet another crappy "let's export all the data in a cloud mailbox to a PST and see what happens" tool...

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