The current state of IT these days is a multi-cloud world, which means that most businesses have decided that keeping some (if not all) of their data in the cloud will improve their business responsiveness, flexibility and/or bottom-line. Cloud frees businesses from having to acquire and maintain data centers and infrastructure. It also opens the door to many benefits that are often impractical for a company to do on its own, like having data distributed or mobile around the globe, running applications on very highly available infrastructure, or having a platform that allows for more innovation.
Cloud is Different, But the Same
Microsoft Office 365 is a great example of an area where many companies are making their first official foray into hosting data in the cloud. This strategy makes a lot of sense, because email infrastructure management can consume a significant portion of an IT department’s time and doing it well requires experienced infrastructure experts and lots of infrastructure components — both of which can be expensive. The data center resiliency and the global nature of Office 365 provides a level of redundancy that most companies could never accomplish on their own. Gaining the ability to expand a business’s reach and reducing the distractions of managing low-level IT infrastructure can have profound effects, but it doesn’t eliminate the need to protect and manage the data.
Despite the infrastructure availability Microsoft has implemented for Office 365, it does not offer a robust, built-in backup solution and its geographic diversity for failover doesn’t provide historical copies of data. When it comes to an on-premises email system, no matter how redundant the infrastructure is, a good email administrator would ensure a good backup system is in place. This approach is still very much needed when considering a cloud-based email implementation. Consider all the potential risks that might affect data and that service redundancy won’t protect. End user mistakes tend to be the most common reason for restoring from a backup. There is no lack of threat from ransomware, viruses and other malware from external sources. Some businesses need to be very concerned with corporate and / or state-sponsored espionage and attacks. While we spend a lot of effort to protect data from external threats, malicious internal users can cause a lot of havoc. Legal actions can often require the restoration of data from years in the past. If any of these cause fear to a business owner – and they all should – then backups of the data hosted in Office 365 should be in place and working on day one of a migration.
Cloud-to-Cloud Backup for Ultimate Availability and Flexibility
There are a number of solutions for backing up Microsoft Office 365 data, but companies should first look at their existing backup solutions. For example, the most common backup solution for virtual infrastructures is Veeam, which offers an Office 365 backup component. A company considering Office 365 already sees the advantages of storing data in the cloud, so storing the Microsoft Office 365 backups in a Backup as a Service (BaaS) cloud that supports a product like Veeam should be seriously considered to provide an extra level of data availability.
iland offers a Veeam-based Microsoft Office 365 backup service, designed to minimize customer efforts to protect their Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business data. It is built on top of iland’s global cloud storage infrastructure, which offers a 100 percent service level agreement and a security-first approach that should satisfy any regulatory requirements. Since companies look to Office 365 to simplify their IT, iland engineers will take care of the setup, walk customers through onboarding and provide continual support whenever customers require assistance. In addition, these customers do not need to worry about the amount of iland bandwidth or storage utilization, because it’s all included as unmetered resources.
Of course, a backup only exists to recover data from another point in time. iland’s solution was designed to make recovery very simple and flexible. The deletion of data or an Office 365 outage doesn’t affect a business’s ability to access backups. IT administrators maintain full discovery and control of the restoration process utilizing an on-premises installation of Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. Restoration can be done at any granularity from full mailboxes to individual emails or files and can be completed directly to Office 365, as a downloaded file, or sent as an email attachment directly to a user.
Improving the availability and protection of critical data can be challenging these days with all the risks and options available to an IT department, but the maturity of cloud computing and storage can ease the burden on a business. Purpose-built cloud offerings can provide better availability, security and global accessibility than most businesses can provide in-house. But it doesn’t necessarily offer the same level of data protection. A cloud-to-cloud backup solution for critical business data enhances many of the advantages of moving IT operations into the cloud.
For more information on the benefits of leveraging backup for Office 365, take a look at our latest white paper.