If there’s one thing that never goes out of style, it’s data backup. Our team of trusted industry friends and experts have written extensively about Office 365 backup issues, tips, and best practices over the last year.

Now that we’re entering a new decade, we decided to highlight our most popular posts in one place for everyone to access. Happy reading!

5. Native Office 365 Backup Coverage Myths: Debunked! by John Hodges & Stephanie Donahue

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Who’s Responsible for Protecting What?

There are typically two primary reasons why an organization is dealing with a data loss event: they’re commonly either user-driven or admin-driven errors. We previously wrote a post highlighting who is responsible for what when it comes to an organization’s backup policy. It’s important to highlight the risk of those data-loss events and prepare to mitigate the costs associated with an outage.

What Does Your Organization’s Policy Cover?

When it comes to what a typical organization’s policy covers, we tend to see basic coverage that usually isn’t enough for all of that organization’s needs. The common policy covers basic user rollbacks for document versions, temporary admin soft-delete protection, and “worst case” rollbacks that Microsoft can help support.

We don’t want to start fearmongering to get organizations to use our product, but there are real-case errors that can happen that organizations need to consider. These can include…

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4. AvePoint vs. Veeam: 8 Ways We Simplify Backup by John Hodges

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Veeam recently published an article titled “8 Lessons from an Office 365 Backup Customer.” In it, they listed eight ways users can get the most out of their backup solution. This article was based on customer feedback from using their software, so you know that it carries a truth that can cut right through marketing and highlight the true experiences of using their products.

We thought this article highlighted some important points to consider when evaluating Office 365 backup solutions. It’s important to read this if you’re on the fence between adding a new source to your enterprise backup solution vs. going with a cloud-to-cloud backup solution like AvePoint.

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3. Prevent Another Snowden: How to Keep Your Data Secure in Office 365 by Esad Ismailov

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In 2013, the now infamous rogue system administrator Edward Snowden used his access to download and distribute thousands of highly classified documents to many media storage locations throughout the world. In other words, he made a backup of the files and stored them somewhere else.

Many organizations consistently struggle with operational security and understanding how much access is too much for a given individual. Unfortunately, this can result in privilege abuse similar to what we saw with the Snowden situation.

With the constant needs of collaboration and information sharing being a critical part of running a business, many organizations have realized that they need to adopt different platforms like SharePoint, Box, Dropbox, and other cloud technologies. The challenge, however, is that the majority of these systems store unstructured data. With control being handed down to employees/users, enterprises have little-to-no visibility concerning what content is where and who has access to it.

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2. Plan Ahead: Considerations for a Successful SharePoint Backup and Migration by Stephen Wilson

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The most vital key to a successful backup is having a plan. Two of the key questions you need to ask are:

  1. How often do you need to do backups?
  2. How long can SharePoint be down while you restore data?

Run through these with your users and bosses. If you can lose 24 hours of data without much concern then a nightly backup is typically fine. You should also keep in mind that generally, the more precise your backups (daily, hourly, almost real-time) the more complex and expensive the process can get.

Just doing backups is not enough, however…

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1. RTO vs. RPO: How to Build a Strong OFfice 365 Data Backup Plan by Antoine Snow

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1. Set Your Goals for Office 365 Data Protection

Anytime you discuss Office 365 data protection, you need to approach the problem with two primary goals in mind: Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). This allows you to approach the problem with a clear understanding of your responsibilities to the organization. Once those are established, you can look at the native solution provided in SharePoint Online as well as the gaps within it that you need to fill.

What is a Recovery Point Objective (RPO)?

Understanding how your RPO–the maximum targeted timeframe in which data can be restored from a backup–will affect backup plans is the first place to start. It includes the plan for the frequency of backups as well as your ability to recover individual components. Having this information available gives you a clear way to plan for backups. It defines your commitment to the organization and protects you from unreasonable requests. Some good questions to ask when first defining your organization’s RPO (or, more likely, building new backup plans for your organization) are…

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