Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most popular software tools for organizations of any size. Many managed service providers rely on Microsoft Office 365 (O365) for both their own internal staff and also to provide services to clients. Unfortunately, Office 365’s backup tools and solutions may not be as complete as you assume. And if you don’t take steps to protect your content and data, there’s a risk that you could lose it. For many organizations, this would be nothing short of a catastrophe.

Microsoft Office 365 is actually a suite of connected apps and software programs. As a result, there are many applications to interface with, and you may need to handle a wide range of different software types. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t currently offer a single unified API to access all of the information and data. As a result, you’ll likely have to use several different APIs, including legacy APIs, to access the data you need.

At the end of the day, there are simply too many APIs to copy all the data found within Microsoft Office 365. Ultimately, backup data providers have to choose which types of data to prioritize and collect. So when you’re selecting a backup data provider (or likewise building your own solution) you need to examine what data is collected along with your customers and their needs.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best Office 365 data backup solutions for Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

The best Office 365 backup solutions

Here are some of the best O365 backup solutions for Managed Service Providers and their clients:

Datto Backupify
Software-as-a-service solution offered by Datto, Backupify can automatically back up your Office 365 data which point-in-time snapshots 3 times per day. The Snapshots include each users’ Microsoft Exchange Online, OneDrive, Sharepoint Online, Contacts and Calendar. New user detection and archiving for departing users is automatic which saves both on license costs and time. Datto Backupify is SOC 2 Type II audited, supports HIPAA compliance needs, and uses encryption both at rest and in transit.

Veeam Office 365 Backup
Veeam Office 365 Backup is an excellent and well-regarded O365 solution that offers an easy-to-use interface. Veeam backs up many data sources, including team data (such as chats) and also supports full text search (many solutions don’t). However, Veeam Office 365 Backup is an on-premise solution. It must be loaded onto a Windows machine and then connected to the appropriate storage repositories. Unfortunately, Veaam’s solution often struggles (and slows down) with a large number of users.

Spanning Backup for Office 365
Offered as Software-as-a-Service, Spanning Backup for Office 365 is a well-regarded backup solution. Prices are more expensive than some competitors, starting at $48 per year annually. Spanning Backup for Office 365 offers backup logs, backup scheduling, continuous backup, and various other features. Users report that search features don’t always operate as well as they’d like and you may have to search several times to find the right files. Some users also note that Spanning isn’t as transparent about where and how they store company data.

AvePoint DocAve
AvePont’s DocAve O365 backup solution is a cloud service, making it easy to deploy and requiring less (or no) time on site. DocAve is based on AvePoint’s popular migration tools. Unfortunately, while DocAve offers excellent export options, preview and management controls are rather limited. Costs are quite reasonable, however, and DocAve does back up a wide range of data. While generally reliable, there are other, more reliable Office 365 backup solutions.

Cloudally Office 365 Backup
Cloudally offers an enterprise level Office 365 Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) backup solution that allows for point-in-time recovery for many Office 365 apps, including email, contacts, tasks, SharePoint Online, Groups/Teams, OneDrive, and more. Cloudally offers encryption options as well, which will help keep your data and documents safe. Some users report that occasionally backing up data is slow, however, many also note that the system is easy to use and reliable.

SolarWind Backup
SolarWind offers a cloud-based backup solution that is optimized for fast data transfers and minimizing bandwidth usage. Their backup solution works with documents, workstations, servers, and more. SolarWind stores data on their private cloud, which is spread out over more than 30 data centers world-wide. Users like the easy-to-use web interface but note that more monitoring features could be offered.

Key considerations when choosing an Office 365 backup solution

Earlier in this article, we pointed out that you must consider what types of data the backup solution backs up. Beyond that, however, there are many other important considerations when choosing an Office 365 backup solution. Some things to consider:

  • Fidelity and reliability- How accurate is the backup solution? Does it accurately collect data? What is the backup success rate?
  • Data and Restore exports- You or your clients may need to export backup data (i.e. in zip files). What options are available?
  • Backup management- How easy is mass management? How much granularity is there for automated protection?
  • Search/Preview- Are you able to navigate and search the backup data before you do a full restore?
  • Deployment and maintenance- How long does it take to set the system up? How much effort is needed to manage it?
  • Security/Compliance- Maintaining data security and ensuring that protocols are in line with various compliance requirements is essential.

There are many other considerations as well. Cost is always a major factor, and you’ll want to look at customer service too. Most providers offer online support and messaging but quality may vary. Either way, make sure you examine each solution and determine which O365 backup tool meets your needs.

Final thought

There are many different Office 365 backup solutions available. As your preferred MSP, SSI can provide the right backup tool to mitigate data risk and data loss. Contact us today to learn how!