Back-up tools for Office 365

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Iron Contributor

Started this question a while back on Yammer. What tools do you use to back-up mail and files stored in Office 365?


The fact that your files are back-upped inside and outside the datacenters of Microsoft only protects you against hardware and software failures on Microsofts side. It will not protect you against accidentally deleted files and mails, which is discovered after 30+ days or after the site trashbins have been emptied.


At least that's what I think. Anyone has an answer? My customers are typically small companies, under 10 users. Sometimes even just 1 to 3.


I use de SkyKick Back-up tools in my own O365 tenant. Which was an offer in the Microsoft Partner Mail recently.

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I have never heard of "AP Cloud Backup."


As to "finally covers," you'll forgive me if I retain some disbelief until I see a backup service that can deal with the complexities of Groups, Teams, and Planner as well as the basic workloads (Exchange, SharePoint, and OneDrive) and can handle the volume of data generated by a moderately large and busy tenant. 

:D Fully understand your concerns.


I mean exactly AvePoint Cloud Backup, which covers Exchange, SharePoint, Groups (+Group under a Team), Exchange Public Folder, Project Online, Dynamics 365 (starting December).


Conversation in Teams, or some metadata in Planner cannot be kept, since Microsoft says, "we cannot imagine, why it would be useful to backup Planner information" and therefore we do not provide an API (yet). Hence, whenever the API will be available, partners will be able to also cover these last things. :)


Since the backup solution is 100% Azure hosted, it perfectly scale out and therefore already successfully backup tenants with several TB in size. I still understand, why you still raise your eyebrow, but just give it a try. :)

I had a conversation about AvePoint Backup with some of their executives last week. AvePoint is the first backup vendor to support Office 365 Groups (except those that use Yammer to hold their conversations), so they get some kudos for that.


Chats in Teams are preserved in Exchange mailboxes - but the problem is that it is impossible to rebuild a conversation from the individual items that constitute a chat without great effort. The metadata about stuff like channels is available through the Graph. All in all, an imperfect situation.


Saying that a solution will scale out perfectly just because it is hosted on Azure conveniently ignores the salient point that backup data must first transit from the customer tenant to Azure. I'm not convinced that this is as scalable as you assert, especially when Office 365 provides no APIs designed to backup data, which means that all backup vendors are forced to use APIs created for other purposes.


So, I am familiar with AvePoint... but while it is better than most, it's still not what I am looking for.

Hi @TonyRedmond, since the SaaS solution resides in the same datacenter like the customer's tenant, there are huge bandwidths. Similar to Microsoft's High Speed Migration API, but just the other way around.


For the Team Chats and all around it, again, since there's no API at all, vendors are limited in certain ways.


And sorry to say that, and don't get this personal, but awaiting a "Backup-API" is quite naive in my opinion. What would happen, if developers only use APIs in this way, how the OEM would like to have them used? We would have only 5% of solutions in the market today. Interpreting APIs in different ways made partners like Nintex or Bamboo possible and make solutions like Flow, PowerApps or Bots in Teams useful. Without that, life would be sad :( ;)


Happy to further chat with you offline. I don't want to convince, just would like to understand and discuss other ideas and opinions. :)

Yes, I realize that the Azure datacenters and the Office 365 datacenters are colocated. However, that doesn't guarantee that a backup product can stream information as quickly as you might imagine. Apart from the network paths, there are other limitations, like throttling and API constraints. I would like to see independent proof of throughput.


I'm not waiting for a backup API and do not expect Microsoft to deliver one. After all, their message is that you do not need backups. The point is that all backup vendors depend on whatever APIs exist to stream data out of Office 365 and, if necessary, recover that data in a usable manner. I accept that this is very possible for the basic workloads, but as Office 365 becomes more integrated and more applications are built on top of the fabric (like Teams and Planner), the old-fashioned and on-premises centric notion that backups are necessary becomes less and less valid. IMHO, of course.

When it comes to backup Office 365 Backup solutions there you can easily get more than 100 3rd party tool to backup. Among them, each has there own pros and cons. The one I liked was SysTools Office 365 backup & restore tool that helped me to create the backup of office 365 to PST and EML format. This tool is the cheapest tool in the list and one can easily test this utility by downloading the free demo version. 

Hi @Stephen Mag, your solution is Exchange ONLY! And only export. For Import you need to buy another tool. :D


@TonyRedmond: One last note here. Throttling is already addressed with App Pools and as I said, scalability through Azure. I'm not convincing you, just sharing some facts. :) Have a great X-mas time.

One question about Azure... it can be expensive when you start to use many resources. What costs are involved in backing up say 1,000 mailboxes with an average size of 20 GB and 200 sites holding 5 TB of documents?

Hi @Stephen Mag,


Your contribution is appreciated! :) 


I think the main issue in this topic is that all the tools we find are only partial able to back-up data. Of course, for many companies files and email are still the most important types of data. But as we move more and more to the other tools, we need a back-up tool we can install now and that covers everything across Office 365, not just files and email. We don't want to change back-up tools every year :)

Hi, @Robert Mulsow 

Working with SysTools, I personally tried this Office 365 Backup and Restore tool and found that user can easily take backup and Import it into office 365. As you can see in the image both options are given:3

 Free demo version is available so you could try this tool once before coming to any solution. 



Hi @Michiel van den Broek

Yes, I agree with you but investing $19 on SysTools Office 365 Backup & Restore for the unlimited period of time is not a bad idea as it can be useful in various scenarios. Also, it covers most of the things like backup office 365 files, mailboxes, contacts, calendars, manage multiple users accounts, export to PST and EML format, import multiple pst file to office 365. 


Stephen, don't you work for SysTools? At least... that's what your profile indicates.




And if so, why would I not be surprised that you would advocate spending money on a tool that is utterly useless as an Office 365 backup program (in all but some limited circumstances). 


But then again, isn't it also true that SysTools spends a great deal of time and energy pushing its tools to anyone who will listen using social networks and other forums? 


Just wondering...

Hi, @TonyRedmond 

This thread was started with a query:

"Started this question a while back on Yammer. What tools do you use to backup mail and files stored in Office 365?"

I m not giving any false statement here. I shared my point of view as I tested this tool personally. Here, in this thread, I just explained its features that what it can do.


Tony Redmond wrote: 

But then again, isn't it also true that SysTools spends a great deal of time and energy pushing its tools to anyone who will listen using social networks and other forums? 


Just wondering...

No one is pushing anyone to buy their tools. It's up to them that what they want they are getting. 


Thanks & Regards 


Right, anyone can make a recommendation - but when you work for a vendor and you make an explicit recommendation that someone should purchase your product, it is good manners to advertise that fact. If you don't, then the recommendation is automatically suspect because you're simply hyping software in the hope of a sale. 

I would recommend UpSafe Office 365 Cloud Backup


It's one of the best backup solution for Office 365 backup, and certainly the most COST-EFFECTIVE one. 


It can backup and re-store emails, contacts, calendar, OneDrive and Sharepoint. Encryption, GDPR-compliance, granular or full recovery are all included.

I have never heard of Upsafe and know of no customer who uses this technology to backup Office 365 data.


Saying something is GDPR-compliance is misleading. Backups don't make anything GDPR compliant.


Reading the documentation makes me think that Upsafe does Exchange and SharePoint, but it can't handle other Office 365 applications like Teams, Planner, and Yammer (add Stream, etc. as you want). So it's yet another in the long list of backup applications that take the same old on-premises attitude to backup and try to apply it to cloud data. In this case, it looks like Upsafe uses Amazon Web Services to store the backup data on S3, which is fine as long as it meets your data sovereignty needs. However, it's impossible to say as the FAQ or other information on the web site doesn't have enough technical depth to know how the product works.


I see that @Juan Carlos González Martín is cited on the web site in a 2015 endorsement, so I'd be interested in hearing from him as to whether this application is worthwhile. However, I also think that a 2015 comment is absolutely worthless today given the amount of change that has happened inside Office 365 in that time.


Also, I have a natural caution about any company whose web site is cluttered with language errors. As in "We are a bunch of nerds from all over the word who gathered around this project."


I'm happy to be proven wrong... maybe Upsafe is capable of dealing with the full gambit of Office 365 data.



Ey Tony,
Sincerely, I had totally forgotten I had written a review for this product and I don't even remember the original reason why I wrote...if you go to my post (I know it's in Spanish) I simply evaluate the product from the point of view of the use the tool makes of Office 365 this time the product was in Beta and I didn't mention any recommendation to use general I have followed your comments about Office 365 backup topic and I totally agree with them....when a customer asks me about Office 365 backup I have to tell them the true reality about what Office 365 backup means and also de implicit limitations any called Office 365 backup tool has

No worries JCM,


This is one of the reasons why I do not write reviews of products. You end up in the situation where you (and your reputation) are used by the vendor to justify their product for years afterwards, even when technology has changed so much that the conditions you wrote about have long since disappeared in the waters of history. I imagine that you looked at Upsafe with SharePoint in mind... and as things like Groups, Teams, and Planner didn't exist, you reviewed the product on that basis. Office 365 changes so quickly that a review starts to smell soon after it is written... and unfortunate fact of cloud life.



Most companies want to get rid of PSTs because these files are insecure and post a real risk in terms of information leakage, as Sony discovered some years ago.


I personally think that anyone who wants to backup Office 365 data to PSTs is suffering from a mild form of self-delusion. Sorry if I insult anyone... But you need help.

@TonyRedmond wrote:

Most companies want to get rid of PSTs because these files are insecure and post a real risk in terms of information leakage, as Sony discovered some years ago.


I personally think that anyone who wants to backup Office 365 data to PSTs is suffering from a mild form of self-delusion. Sorry if I insult anyone... But you need help.

It means that one should stop you using MS Outlook also. If you think so that PST is a bad format then you should recommend Microsoft stop giving new updates. 

Still, the large number of organizations have their data stored in PST file format.