So you’ve decided to move on-premises Exchange, SharePoint, and other Microsoft applications into the cloud. This gives you fewer things to manage and worry about, right? But how safe is your data? Sure, Microsoft works to prevent hardware and software failure, but what about accidentally deleted files, emails, and things like that? How can you be positive you’re protecting essential data from user error? And what about offline access to files? To be sure you have extra protection from accidental deletion, malicious attacks, or data corruption, you may want to take matters into your own hands by backing up your Office 365 data. Here’s where to start.

Evaluate Your Needs

There are a handful of solutions that allow you to backup Office 365 data, but before you can select one, you need to determine what you want to accomplish. Are you hoping to recover your data after an infection or ransomware attack? Do you need to access Office 365 data even if hosted services are down? Are you concerned about archiving data for regulatory compliance? Maybe you’re an MSP looking for ways to give clients extra protection and you need a simple way to manage backups for many Office 365 accounts. Make a list of things you’re hoping to do so you’re prepared to carefully review solutions.

Evaluate Tools

As with any new solution, there are some things to consider as you evaluate. A quick Google search will reveal a number of options for Office 365 backup, but as you narrow down your list, here are some things you might consider:

Apply Your Backup Strategy

Last, make sure your approach to Office 365 backups aligns with strategies you’ve established for other kinds of backups. If you have recovery time objectives and recover point objectives, you’ll want to take these into consideration for Office 365 as well. If you were to lose data, how much can you part with? If you’re down for some reason, how quickly do you need to be back up and running? Since you’re relying on a service hosted by a third party, you might be at their mercy if something goes wrong with their hardware. If you absolutely can’t be down, do you have a way to access information even when hosted services are offline? Whatever the case, take some time to think about how new backup methodologies fit with ones you already have in place.


It seems easy enough to toss out your Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint servers, move the data to Office 365, and let Microsoft deal with everything. But as you know, no company – no matter how large – is infallible. Just because your services and data are in a well-respected company’s cloud doesn’t mean it’s safe from everything. Including Office 365 backups in your disaster recovery strategy is a great way to add another layer of data protection.

View Comments

  • you missed so many important factors. just don't bother writing an article like this if you don't provide all the information, its far too dumbed down. you have probably lead astray some poor network/system admin who will choose to back up to disk and sacrifice his companies data retention for cost. you don't know the cost of the average company to lose recoverable data.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for your comments. Yep, there is so much to talk about with this topic. What information would you like to see in more detail? We're always looking to talk about the tech that interests our readers as well as what interests us.


  • This appears to no longer work on their 6.1 and 6.1.1 versions. I tried FAT32 and NTFS partitions as well.

    It appears they switched to some sort of linux boot to do this.

  • The price of a microlized hypervisor is in case of Hyper-V, that it is to large to get fully loaded into the RAM. This could have backdraws if you lost the contact to the boot volume. I found an impressive demonstration about this topic @Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ZF0ez0iH0
    In case of this, it seems VMware has still the better product.

  • Well done to Guy & Casey it's an excellent eBook, well worth reading and well worth keeping a copy close to hand!

    • Hi John,

      I'm glad you asked! I believe your company is in New Zealand, is that correct? You'll probably want to contact our sales team in Australia at sales[at]storagecraft.com.au or call +61 2 8061 4444. If you are interested in signing up in the United States or Canada, you can either submit an inquiry here: http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow-protect-msp.php or contact our sales team directly at 801.545.4700 or via email at sales[at]storagecraft.com.

  • This is good news that Shadowprotect will be supporting Linux OS. What if we use the current iso to take backup of linux OS, can it work for backup and restore? Let me know.

    • Hello Vinod,

      Yes, we believe this is great news that StorageCraft will be releasing a CrossPlatform version of ShadowProtect which supports both the Windows and Linux platforms. We're very excited about this news.

      The current release of the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment - CrossPlatform is a positive step towards supporting the Linux OS. Currently this CrossPlatform Recovery Environment is intended only for backing up and recovering Windows OS systems (including Windows 8 and Server 2012). Another release will have the complete tools for backing up and recovering both Linux and Windows systems. I can tell you that this later release will be out before the end of the year. Until then, thank you for your kind comments and we we're looking forward to providing you with more information about this exciting update in the near future. Check back with us again soon.

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