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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No problem :-)...curious to know how Essentials has evolved since last call I have with your team in Spain



Reading your material makes me think that Barracuda is no different to many other backup vendors in that your code operates at the workload level (Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive) and does not deal with the integrated applications built on top of the workloads (Groups, Teams, Planner, etc.).


Perhaps I am wrong, so let me ask a direct question. Can Barracuda recover a Team or Plan from a backup and restore it in such a way that all of the links that connect information together within the application work properly after the restore? Note that this includes AAD objects.




Hi Tony,


Yes, it's currently designed to protect at the workload level.


In terms of being different to any other vendor, I'd suggest that our solution is far easier to use and more complete.


For example, with SharePoint, items can be restored directly into SharePoint Online from the backups of Document Libraries, Site Assets, Site Pages, Picture Libraries, and Form Templates in Team Sites, Public Sites, Wiki Sites, and Publishing Sites.




So it is the same as the other backup products available for Office 365? If not, what are the unique differentiators in the Barracuda suite?

Not really. Unlike other popular on-premises backup solutions like Unitrends, Symantec, Dell, and Veeam, Barracuda Backup is the first complete backup solution to offer protection for Office 365. While point solutions like Cloudfinder and CloudAlly offer protection for Office 365 they don’t offer support for on-premises environments and must be used in conjunction with traditional backup software or solutions. Spanning and Backupify, owned by EMC and Datto respectively, are sold as standalone products with no integration between each vendors’ on-premises backup solutions. Barracuda is the only vendor to fully integrate Cloud-to-Cloud backup as part of a complete – physical, virtual, and cloud – backup and disaster recovery solution.
While most of the standalone SaaS backup solutions mentioned above contain restrictions on how frequently you can backup data, where you can restore data to, or how long you can keep your data with fixed retention policies, Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup has no restrictions. Backup schedules and retention policies are completely flexible and customizable to fit your needs. Data can be restored
in a variety of different ways, which includes restoring to different users and different folders. There are no limits to the number of Office 365 instances or number of users you can protect and you also have the option to export data outside of your Office 365 environment by downloading it.
At a more granular level, you can see a summary of our differentiation below: -
Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Comparison.png
Best regards

Good reply, but you're still limited to the basic workloads. That's fine because every backup vendor who seeks to work with Office 365 is limited in the same manner. The exception to date is AvePoint (which you don't mention) because they can at least deal with the Outlook variant of Office 365 Groups.


As to making a big thing of being able to handle on-premises and cloud environments, I am not sure that this is so important. First, you deal with two very different environments and there is no evidence to suggest that it is wise or good to use the same approach in both. Second, a case can be argued that a better approach is to select the best of breed solution for each environment. Third, the case for Office 365 backups is still debatable, especially when no vendor can handle the intracicies of the new world...

We don't use the same approach for on-prem and Office 365 (Because you can't) but what we do provide is a centralized management console (Barracuda Cloud Control) that covers both environments (and much more) and provides the same features and capabilities for both, wherever this is possible.


Our customers find that this saves them a great deal of time and effort, as it greatly simplifies the ongoing management burden, compared with say managing several "Best of breed" point solutions, each with different consoles, features, capabilities, licensing, security models etc. etc.


As I'm sure you know, Office 365 provides a common set of API's that all vendors have to go through, in order to provide data protection, recovery, archiving, security etc. So, this levels out the playing field for all vendors somewhat, as we're all limited by the same set of API's.


Put simply, until Microsoft provides 3rd parties with sufficient access to the platform, API's etc., the solution that you're looking for (And I agree would be better) will not be possible.



Well, AvePoint already have a solution to recover the documents and conversations for Outlook-based Office 365 Groups, so some improvement in the state of most backup products is demonstrably possible.


I think the solution will be to use the Microsoft Graph APIs (which are available) to understand the links between items in these complex applications (Plans, Teams, Groups) so that backup products can extract and restore data in context. Conceptually, this is the same as the recent change made in Exchange where a recovered item can be restored back to its original folder (


What I am looking for from backup vendors - and what I continually challenge them to demonstrate - is some spark of innovation that moves backup technology away from the classic approach of opening a site/mailbox/database and streaming out its complete content to a backup location to a point where intelligent assessments are made of where data exists and how it is connected so that when the data are copied, they can be reassembled in context if necessary. It is regrettable that six years after the launch of Office 365, we still have not made much progress in this space, especially so in light of the fact that so many new connected applications now exist (Stream is the latest example).


I believe that there is substantial first-mover advantage to be gained by the backup vendor that embraces how Office 365 works rather than how on-premises products work. Maybe I will see some change at Ignite in September...



Is there any contrasting juxtaposition of backup & restore features and functionalities between your tool Baracuda and other solutions like Sky-Kick and AvePoint?

What about granular permission und (nintex and SP-Std.) Workflow backup?

Hi Zied, I'm sorry, I don;t have anything on Sky-Kick or AvePoint, as we don't come across those solutions very often at all. All that I have is the comparison information in the table that I posted earlier in this thread
Current status of my research: AvePoint, Barracuda and Metalogix are unable to backup Microsoft Teams. Waiting for API.

Hello Micheal,


For your Office 365 export and archiving needs, I would suggest you to try free trial version of Vyapin Office 365 Management Suite and Office 365 Archiver.


For Backup, Archive, reuse your Office 365 mail items, folders, boxes, user data, tasks and more you can use Vyapin Office 365 Export Tool.


To Archive SharePoint sites and libraries along with the corresponding schema and metadata, You can try Office 365 Archiver.

Looks like a very limited tool to export information at a client level. What evidence exists that this is a tool that can do enterprise level backup?

Yes, you are correct, it is not a complete enterprise level back up, not yet. The tools are evolving and we are currently working on other elements of O365, should get there soon.  However, for users who are looking for specific back up needs in SharePoint online and Exchange online, these tools may be of help.

So what are the "specific backup needs"? Is this like moving copies of messages to a PST?

Can you handle Groups, Teams, and Planner or do you just do basic workloads?

Yes, the exchange online export tool covers mailboxes, public folders, contacts, tasks etc. The Sharepoint online archive tool covers almost all content level backup.

Right, but where do you back stuff up to and how can it be recovered?


Not to put too fine a point on this topic, I continue to search for the "perfect" (or at least, near-perfect) backup tool for Office 365 tenants. Right now, I can find:


  • Tools that deal with the two basic Office 365 workloads - Exchange Online and SharePoint Online
  • Tools that backup to on-premises systems or cloud datacenters
  • Tools that can handle some aspect of the integrated Office 365 apps, but not all

I think that the industry as a whole is still limited by the on-premises roots of the majority of backup tools. These tools work well in an on-premises environment but struggle in the cloud when they have to deal with issues such as:


  • Greater data volumes (like Exchange Online 100 GB mailboxes)
  • New ways of storing data (like Exchange expandable archives)
  • New applications (like Teams, Planner, and Groups)
  • New infrastructure challenges (like moving masses of backup data across the internet)
  • New requirements (like data soverignity and GDPR)
  • New technical challenges (like handling the wider use of encryption technologies inside Office 365 because IRM is much easier to deploy and use in the cloud, or the lack of a suitable backup API for most of the Office 365 data sources)


No backup vendor that I have spoken with in the last few years has good answers to these questions. Some, like AvePoint, have made a start to move from their on-premises roots to support the new applications. Most remain focused on the basic workloads and ignore the new challenges. Hence the reason why I challenge any backup vendor who posts here to proclaim the wonders of their tool. All have nice marketing material, few have good answers to the questions that I pose.


Tony - how did you get on with the vendors at ignite? Have any of the o365 backup solutions moved on..?

Nope. Things remainded pretty well as they were. I talked about the topic in my "Ten critical areas for those moving from Exchange on-premises to Office 365" session, but no vendor rose to the bait to tell me that they had a better solution!

We'll assume that you have hybrid connectivity sorted, your directory synchronization works, and that mailboxes move smoothly from on-premises servers into the cloud. All seems well, but what should you do next after the initial Office 365 adoption phase completes? This session examines ten ...

Hey @Tony Redmond and @Sie Harris,


have you looked into the latest release from the AP Cloud Backup? It finally covers all the points and  questions you mentioned. Feel free to ping me, if there's still a question and you need more info.