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VMblog Expert Interview: Symon Perriman of Altaro Software Talks Office 365 Backup and Why Your Company Needs It

interview altaro perriman 

With more and more organizations moving to platforms like Office 365, the need for a comprehensive backup solution has greatly increased.  Companies therefore need a failsafe that ensures their Office 365 data is not only properly backed up but stored securely.

To learn more, VMblog recently spoke with an industry expert on the subject, Symon Perriman, Technical Evangelist with Altaro Software.

VMblog:  Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud productivity suite.  Isn't all data in the cloud automatically backed up by Microsoft?

Symon Perriman:  No, this is a common misperception, Microsoft does not retain an extra copy of every user's data, which is why backup Office 365 is important. If for some reason a user's mailbox is hacked or any content is permanently deleted, that data may be lost.  Users can individually backup a copy of their mailbox to a .pst file, however enterprises should never trust such a critical task to their users.  There are third party tools which can automatically backup Office 365 mailboxes and even restore individual items, such as Altaro Office 365 Backup.

VMblog:  Can Altaro Office 365 Backup protect users if ransomware attacks their laptop?

Perriman:  Yes, Altaro protects against a ransomware attack against any user.  Behind the scenes, the master copy of the data is still available in Office 365, and this version is being backed up.  Even if a user's laptop is attacked and locked up by a ransomware attack, this does not impact the data running in O365, nor the backup protected by Altaro.  The user will likely need to reinstall their laptop's operating system, but then can download or restore unaffected files from O365 or Altaro Office 365 Backup.  This data can include their Outlook mailbox, shared files on SharePoint and personal files on OneDrive for Business.

VMblog:  How does an administrator ensure that all of their users are being backed up?  Is there any type of centralized management console?

Perriman:  Yes, Altaro lets organizations centrally manage all of the O365 accounts for their users.  Through the Altaro web portal you can add all or some of the mailboxes of your organization and get a universal view of backups across the company.  If you are a managed service provider (MSP) you can add and manage users from multiple organizations.

VMblog:  When you backup a O365 mailbox, what type of data is protected?

Perriman:  Altaro Office 365 Backup will protect each user's mailbox, including all emails, attachments, calendars and contacts.  It can also backup shared mailboxes.

VMblog:  And when you backup a SharePoint Site, what type of data is protected?

Perriman:  Altaro Office 365 Backup will identify and protect your SharePoint document libraries.  This includes all types of files which can be stored here. 

VMblog:  When you backup a OneDrive for Business account, what type of data is protected?

Perriman:  Altaro Office 365 Backup will protect all of the files in the OneDrive for Business account, including various file types.

VMblog:  How granular can I restore a mailbox, SharePoint site or OneDrive account?  Can I restore individual files?

Perriman:  Yes, you can search for and restore any individual file without having to restore the entire database.

VMblog:  Where is this data stored?  Do I need my own Azure account?

Perriman:  All of the data is stored into an Azure account managed by Altaro. This storage and transfer cost is built into the cost and includes a generous 50 GB per user.  The data is stored for as long as the company has an active subscription.  

VMblog:  How often does the backup happen?  And is this configurable?

Perriman:  Altaro Office 365 Backup will take an initial copy, the backup any changes 4 times per day, approximately every 6 hours.  This happens automatically, but the setting cannot be adjusted.

VMblog:  Finally, is Altaro Office 365 Backup available to managed service providers (MSPs)?  Is this an "as a service" solution which they can offer to their customers?

Perriman:  Yes, backup as a service (BaaS) can be offered by managed service providers to their tenants.  MSPs can centrally protect and view all of their customer's O365 accounts using Altaro Office 365 Backup for MSPs.


Published Thursday, April 02, 2020 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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