Arcserve solutions for Office 365 (part 1 of 2)

Office 365 has been adopted by many companies today, it is a great solution and no longer there is a need to manage an Exchange email & SharePoint solution on-premise, which was, let’s be honest here, not the easiest to manage and to keep it healthy and performing well. There was quite a need for heavy servers and storage to keep it running.

With Office 365 these are taken from on-premise into the Microsoft cloud. And here is where some challenges arise.

Why?

Let me ask you a question? Did you see in the Office 365 subscription plan anything around backup?

The answer is simple…. No there is no option.

Don’t get me wrong, Microsoft does backup their Office 365 environments, but this is for availability, not for end-users to restore mail boxes, emails and SharePoint items.

The only other protection a company has, are the Office 365 recycle bins. There are 2 of these, 1st  recycle bin and 2nd recycle bin. In the first bin, items are removed after 30 days and in the second bin after 90 bins. Also, the second bin is not that easy to recover data, as I understand it, requires PowerShell to restore the items.

And then there is the issue if your account is compromised, and someone is removing items from the bins. This leaves your company without any protection for Office 365.

This brings us to compliancy and regulations of your location (for instance GDPR) and your company vertical (some verticals require to store their data for xx amount of years).

As a company you are still responsible for your data, even when it is stored in the cloud!

I have seen someone comparing the cloud as storage RAID system, you don’t trust just the storage RAID you make sure you have a backup. The same counts for data stored in the cloud…..

So how can Arcserve help you?

Arcserve provides two solutions for Office 365;

  • Backup / Recovery
  • Archiving

In this first part of the blog series I will focus on the backup / recovery. In the second post I will discuss the archiving solution.

Arcserve UDP provides backup for Office 365 email online and SharePoint today. It’s very easy to configure and uses the same console and deduplication datastores as rest of the environment. This means you will benefit with the data reduction as only unique blocks are stored.

To start protecting Office 365 we simply add a new plan for either email online or SharePoint.

Note: if you don’t see the SharePoint option in your current plan options, make sure you installed the patch to enable SharePoint (this will be included by default with Update 4 which is planned for late September 2018) you can download the patch here

Let’s configure a plan in UDP for Email Online protection.

First go to the resources tab and add a new plan;

Give your plan a name and select the task type “Office 365 Exchange Online”

Select the proxy server (can be the RPS server itself, or for larger environments I recommend to use proxy VM for this)

Next, add the Exchange online source

Give a node name (this is what you will see in your resource node list) and add the credentials. Best practise to create an Office 365 account specifically for the backup and grant Discovery Management and ApplicationImpersination role to this account.

In my example, I only have access to my own email address. But as a company admin you will see all users in the following screenshot.

Check the box protect all the Office Office 365 sources or choose manually which email address you would like to protect. Once selected click the >> to add them to the protected mailboxes list and save.

Once it is added you can select to exclude any folders or backup everything and add in-place archiving and recoverable items into the backup.

The next steps are the usual in any plan with UDP,

Select the destination datastore (if you have more than one)

Add a backup schedule

And lastly, set the advanced options

The cool thing using UDP is that we can add an additional task;

Do an assured recovery test, to check for any corruption, or copy to tape or replicate data for even longer retention.

One thing to bear in mind, is that the first backup is a full backup and this can take time the first time, a few days is quite normal with every solution that protects Office365 for the first full backup.. there after it is infinite incremental backup and this will go a lot faster and should complete in a few hours easily.

Now this configured you can start the backup

And once done you will be able to check the job log for the backup.

The configuration for a SharePoint job is very similar

We start with a new plan and create a SharePoint online task (If you don’t see this option, make sure you have UDP 6.5 update 2 or 3 installed and installed the patch to enable SharePoint online)

Add a new SharePoint Online source

 

Create a unique node name (again this will be shown in the resources nodes view). Then add the Site collection URL and a user id and password. In order to backup the sites, the backup user does need owner ship of the sites so that it can access this for backup and recovery.

Select what you would like to protect and save the config

Once done the source is added and you can configure the destination, schedule and advanced options just like the email online plan created earlier.

To recover emails and SharePoint items we go into resource view and select the node and click the restore option.

Select the recovery point you wish to use for the restore

Next select the items you would like to recover

For exchange online select the destination, either original or alternate mailbox location

For SharePoint you have a few more options;

  • Restore original site with a new name (will be restored into restore document session)
  • Restore original location
  • Export to disk

And you can select what version you would like to restore

Check the summary and press finish to restore the item

And that is it, very easy to backup and recover your items.

Now there is one more thing on the recovery, which I think is really cool. You can actually browse the recovery point and browse through the data.

To do so, go to your RPS server datastore folder and select the node and right click this node and change the view to UDP view

Double click the recovery point you wish to browse through

And browse through the items here, you can copy the items if you want to

Lastly, I would like to cover today is how is this all licensed.

As you might expect from Arcserve we like to keep things simple 😊

If you have an appliance or a capacity license today, you are already licensed for this and can start protecting your office 365.

If you are on a socket license, then Arcserve can provide you with a user pack license to start protecting the Office 365.

Quite often I see, that an appliance could be a very cost-effective way to protect Office 365, especially when you have 1000s of mailboxes. An appliance is unlimited in terms of number of users and SharePoint instances.

If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to comment or leave me message or alternatively contact your local partner / Arcserve representative for more information.

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