Why Office 365 is NOT Your Data Backup Solution

Why Office 365 is NOT Your Data Backup Solution

No Backups - Why Office 365 is NOT Your Data Backup Solution

Do you have a backup plan for your Office 365?

Are you sure?

Office 365 has become an increasingly popular option for business, school and personal email usage. This rise over the past few years has been due to the massive features and benefits that this Software-as-a-Service provides. All except one thing—a backup solution.

While Microsoft provides useful elements in Office 365 and considerably reduces the risk of downtime, it does not have an integrated backup solution. This means that, apart from basic safety measures, there is no way to protect or recover historical data. Microsoft offers geo redundancy, but no data backup.

What is the Difference between Backup and Geo Redundancy?

Backup refers to the duplication of data and the process of making historical copies.  These copies are stored in multiple places so that if something happens to one, a historical copy of that data will be available in another location that the user can turn to. In the online world, data backup means you have historical versions of duplicated data, stored in multiple data centers across the globe.  For example, if you delete, unintentionally move, corrupt an email or data in your OneDrive, Geo Redundancy will synchronize this action in real-time so all sites now have the same deleted, lost, corrupt data record.  The only way to recover your data is to go to a historical backup copy and recover from a last known good version.

Geo redundancy is the protection against site or hardware failure and refers to the storage of the same data in different locations. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a form of backup. It is a preventive measure ensuring availability of real-time data in the case of a failure at the primary region data center and holds no historical records.  For example, if a data center had a power outage, data backup will not get your Office 365 emails to you, the only way is to have another Geo Redundant data center online ready to access your Office 365 email system.

Top 7 Questions to Ask Your Data Backup Solution Provider

Here’s a list of questions you should ask a data backup solution provider.  This is not an exhaustive list, but ones you should get answers to if you are considering engaging their services.

Question # 1 Cloud storage or more On-Premise hardware storage?

Ask the data backup solution provider what type of data security they will provide you. Will it include a backup in the cloud or would it mean buying more On-Premises hardware storage?

Question # 2 Is cloud storage included in the price quoted or do I have to pay extra?

This is a detail mostly added in the fine print, and it is best to get it out in the open before you incur excessive costs.  Some providers charge on data usage, others include a fixed amount in the cost, while some have unlimited data storage built into the price.  Find out which one suits your business needs before you get a bill shock due to large data storage and retention periods.

Question # 3 How hard is it to setup and is the setup included in the price?

Ask them if they setup the whole backup processes end to end or if you are required to perform any work.  Is this setup included in the price or is there an On-Boarding fee? If there is, how much?

Question # 4 What happens to ex-employee data, do you keep paying after they have left?

When an employee leaves a company, normal practice is to delete their account and remove their license.  However, Microsoft will only keep the data for 90 days, so their backed-up data is crucial.  Are the backups that have been taken going to continue to cost you?  Can you archive their data to save costs?  If so, how do you recover data when needed if the account no longer exists?

Question # 5 Is there a limit to the retention period? How long is the data kept for (infinity)?

Data takes space. Some data backup solution providers may scrap the data that crosses a certain time period in being in the cloud. This could be harmful if you want ALL your historical data intact. Make sure you state your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and they can accommodate it.

Question # 6 How difficult is it to get the data restored?

The ONLY reason we do backups is to have the ability to restore data when lost.  Is the restoration process complex or simple? Can this be self-service or do you require the provider to get your data back? What is there Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and can they get your data back in the time that you need it?

Question # 7 Is this a managed solution or do I have to manage?

Inquire about your role in the potential relationship with the service provider. Do you have to manage anything? If so, what are the details?

Your data and your clients’ data are irreplaceable resources. This is why it is vital that you keep your data safe in the cloud. If you have any queries about data backup solutions, or if you want to hire a reliable data backup solution provider, contact Virtual IT Managed Services and let us show you how backups should be done.

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