Thursday, April 25, 2024
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The Role of Backup and Restore in Business Continuity

Data security continues to be of the utmost importance for any type of modern organization. However, data backup and restoration often doesn’t the get the attention it deserves, and the result is the unnecessary loss of valuable data every year.

In this week’s episode of #O365 Hours, I sat down with Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP Robert Hedblom to discuss why data backup and restoration is so important, what Microsoft provides natively, and how third-party solutions can help extend those capabilities. Watch our discussion below or read the full transcript at your convenience!

Guests: Robert Hedblom, Principal with sumNERV in Sweden (visit their website here)

Topics Covered:

  • Why do we need backup? And why should companies focus more on data restoring and overall business continuity in their planning?
  • With Microsoft providing some baseline backup capabilities in Azure, is a 3rd party cloud backup even really necessary? What is the history of backup and restore with Microsoft 365?
  • AvePoint just announced an expansion of our cloud backup to include Azure. How important is this to partners? To your customers?

With Microsoft providing some baseline backup capabilities in Azure, is a 3rd party cloud backup even really necessary? What is the history of backup and restore with Microsoft 365?

RH: So, here’s the thing. While there are some powerful backup capabilities within Microsoft 365, you need to add further backup and restore capabilities to that. Does the Azure infrastructure facilitate fast recovery time objectives? There are some services within Azure like VMs and storage that hit the mark, but there are also a lot of capabilities missing. That’s where it’s good to utilize third parties. They’re dedicated to developing and creating great values when it comes to restore capabilities, so as quickly as Microsoft unlocks those APIs or capabilities for third-party hooks they’re right there.

My best suggestion is to sit down and map out different restore scenarios. Do restore tests that build on disaster recovery concepts, create restore plans according to your company’s needs, and so on. If it turns out that the native capabilities provided by Microsoft aren’t enough, consider a third-party solution. Everything from small businesses to large enterprises need help with this, especially in terms of data restoration. We’ve had cases where a small business consistently backed up its data for years only to discover that its data had been corrupted a long time ago. Both backup and restore measures are necessary.

CB: What I hear most often is that organizations simply have much more granular backup and restore needs now. They have different workloads between Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, maybe file shares that have been migrated over, and so on. Needs may also be different across industries and geographical locations in terms of standards and guidelines that have to be followed.

RH: Absolutely. All businesses are different and have different needs. Let’s take Teams or SharePoint groups, for instance. The majority of the different backup vendors out there can do a restore when it comes to the entire Team, but do you really want that? If you’re looking for something more granular like a backup of a certain Team or file within a Team, you have to find a third-party that can offer that.

The most common mistake when it comes to companies going out there and selecting a backup vendor is that they just look at the backup functionality, not the restore functionality. You have to keep an eye on both if you want to get the most out of your contract.

AvePoint just announced an expansion of our cloud backup to include Azure. How important is this to partners and customers?

RH: As a partner, I can go out to my clients and say, “Hey guys, you know what, here’s the software that we can use. Here’s the restore capability that you can provide to your end clients that actually has great RTO.” That’s the big difference when it comes to Microsoft’s native functionality; it’s really, really slow. It works, but it takes a long time. So if you want a quick turnaround on restores, you should work with a vendor that provides acceptable RTOs. I especially appreciate the Azure active directory backup and restore capabilities, since that’s filling a gap in the market.

CB: The other side to all of this is that backup often isn’t at the forefront of the security discussion, but it really is a major concern. Prior to joining AvePoint two of my clients had security breaches and suffered das losses. One of them had a complete backup and restore plan in place, and they lost very little compared to the other one who had to pay a ransom to get their data back.

RH: Yeah, we see that a lot also. There’ve been some attacks where people got in and deleted everything including retention policies, litigation holds, etc. And the company didn’t have a backup plan in place because they ironically assumed that if anything happened it could be fixed with a policy or litigation hold. So in the end, everything was lost. It’s like not having insurance.

The new “2022 Gartner® Definition of BaaS and List of Representative Vendors” report is out, and it’s a must-read in an era of increasingly frequent ransomware attacks and data loss opportunities. Download the full report here to stay in the know.

Want to keep up with our O365 Hours series? Subscribe here!

Christian Buckley
Christian Buckley
An Office Apps & Services MVP and Microsoft Regional Director, Christian Buckley is an internationally recognized author and speaker and runs the community-focused CollabTalk blog, podcast, and tweetjam series.

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