One of the first disappointments many businesses experience after transitioning to cloud is the realization that they haven’t offloaded all their support needs to the cloud provider. That doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to cloud, but it does mean your responsibilities continue. No matter where it resides, your data is your data, so you are ultimately the one who has to make sure it is controlled, protected, and governed in accordance with your company, industry, and regulatory policies.
A corollary to this realization is that you shouldn’t rely on your cloud provider to back up your data. The data backups they create are intended to allow recovery of the system to its current state. They aren’t designed to support historical use of data, including analytics and e-discovery.
This is true for all cloud deployments, whether you’ve got objects stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or your email stored in Microsoft Office 365. You always need to devise and support your own backup solution to protect your data and allow you to use it outside the cloud if necessary.
Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
In the Microsoft Office 365 scenario, using a third-party backup solution such as Veeam Backup provides the flexibility you need to address backup scenarios including:
• Recovering deleted data. Deleted files are recoverable for a while, but it can take months before you discover a critical file has been deleted from SharePoint or OneDrive. By that time, the data has been permanently deleted, from Microsoft’s point of view. With your own backup of your own data, you can restore the specific items you need.
• Passing compliance audits. You have limited control over retention policies in the Office 365 environment, and accidental deletions ripple to multiple components. Implementing your own backups means you can also implement your own retention policy, satisfy all your compliance requirements, and ensure you always have copies of all your users’ data.
• Increasing data security. Having your own data backups lets you monitor changes in files and detect suspicious activity, even if changes are made by employees and authorized users. It’s also important to recognize that email is both a key component of Office 365 and a major vector for malware. Having your own backups gives you access to uninfected copies of data that you can quickly restore in case of infection.
• Hybrid configurations. There are business considerations that may result in having some of your Microsoft data on premises and some of your Microsoft data in the Office 365 cloud. Using your own backup software allows you to handle data the same wherever it resides, simplifying and reducing one of the key challenges of hybrid deployments.
• Location independence. Your decision is to use the cloud today, but no business decision is ever made forever. Having your own backups of your data makes it easier for you to set up new work locations if (when?) you decide not to rely on the cloud.