Probably the most exciting announcement to come from the “The Next Big Thing” launch on the 23rd August 2016 was the ability to now backup your Office 365 mailboxes using Veeam software.

This has been a pretty big question on people’s minds as we have been running through the sales cycle and tender processes with different prospects and customers, now Veeam have an answer to this.

What is Office365

Before running through the newly announced product I want to briefly cover off what Office 365 actually is. We can find the following within Office 365.
In particular, the “Business-Class email” is the main target here for any backup & recovery requirements. Office 365 is hosted on the Microsoft Azure Public Cloud platform. These locations are ever changing but there is a global presence here for redundancy on a global scale.

In my opinion the biggest use case for anyone moving to an Office 365 model for their Enterprise business applications, comes down to the business looking for Enterprise features without maintaining onsite infrastructure, backend redundancy, email, office, and collaboration. But also being able to achieve 99% SLAs with a scalable storage solution.

Hybrid

Many customers may go all in from an Office 365 and you can see at a high level above what would drive that decision and also the benefits, but Office 365 alone doesn’t remove all requirements for having an On-Premises data center, and absolutely there is a hybrid model that caters for this architecture.
This approach could also be leveraged from a migration point of view, being able to take an all On-Premises Exchange solution and migrating to a fully online Office 365 offering.

This then leads me into the Why and How Veeam are doing here to help customers achieve a full availability experience when utilising either On-Premises Exchange environments, or as many have already taken the plunge into using Public Cloud offerings.

The Why and How

In brief Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, (stolen from the announcement collateral)
Maintain access to your email and ensure Availability to your users through the following:
• Securely back up Office 365 email data
• Quickly recover individual mailbox items with best-of-breed granularity
• Efficiently perform eDiscovery of email archives with flexible recovery and export options
The key concept of this product announcement is Office 365, clearly the way a lot of organisations are heading, the ability to work anywhere, at any time without that requirement to manage an On-Premises Exchange infrastructure. Sounds great right, although this doesn’t substitute the requirement of having a local backup of your emails!

This is exactly what Veeam have brought to the table with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. The ability to control your data from a protection point of view but offering granular recovery options.

In the same way that Veeam is able to protect On-Premises Exchange environments, this new product gives the ability to perform that same level of protection and recovery from an Office 365 instance.

As mentioned in the first part of this post, Office 365 can span both the public cloud and a private cloud, this could be a business decision to run in this solution or it could part of a migration process. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 protects this hybrid architecture also bringing a uniformed recovery process.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange allows for that granular recovery option for individual mail items, including files, folders, attachments and even calendar items. As well as the ability to export to a PST file or to another mailbox either within Office 365 or an On-Premises Exchange.
From that migration point of view, this product is integrated with Veeam Backup & Replication not only allowing you to backup this hybrid environment but also allows you to migrate mailbox data between Office 365 and an On-Premises Exchange.
Finally, a huge well done to Veeam on this one, in my opinion this really shapes the way our industry is moving and Availability cannot be forgotten about. It’s great being able to use these different and cool new technologies but you need to be able to protect and keep these workloads available to everyone.

UPDATE – You can find the lastest updates and news regarding the Office 365 tool – https://go.veeam.com/backup-microsoft-office-365

Keep an eye out for further posts regarding the announcements from Veeam this week.

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