Microsoft 365 Backup: Best Practices and Recommended Tools


Microsoft 365 best pratices

Microsoft 365 is a widely used office productivity tool. Globally, there are 200 million active users of the Office 365 suite of products, popularly also known as Microsoft 365 services for managing business data and office productivity. 

Cloud-based Microsoft 365 infrastructure is robust, and it ensures business continuity, high availability, data redundancy, and reliability of service.

However, one critical area where Microsoft 365 as a service provider takes limited responsibility is the comprehensive backup system even in the case of its superior enterprise version.

Microsoft 365 stands accountable for ensuring data availability and data protection, but any data snapped away or deleted from Microsoft 365 at the user level, Microsoft 365 does not have any support for recovery of such data.

The second reason could be offered to the fine print in the SLAs (Service Level Agreements) wherein Microsoft 365 highlights the responsibility of Microsoft for the data availability and infrastructure protection only.

In case of a disaster recovery situation within its data centers or a data breach, the recoverability of the user data is not their responsibility. It is advocated by Microsoft 365 to back up your data regularly.

The native recovery features of Microsoft 365 are limited in functionality, and it is paramount that users consider alternate options for managing the data backup from Microsoft 365.

Exabytes, as a service provider, offers Acronis based cloud backup for Microsoft 365 data backup as a easy solution.

Some other intrinsic reasons why the Microsoft 365 needs data protection 

  • Human error-related accidental deletion of data or malicious attacks resulting in data corruption
  • Securing the data from any sort of ransomware attacks and phishing
  • Issues of eDiscovery tool application
  • Disruptions if any to Microsoft 365 services
  • Protection from external security threats
  • Complexities of data migration

The above set of reasons explicitly reflects the need for having robust cloud data backup or alternatives for securing the data regularly from Microsoft 365.

Herein we shall explore some of the best practices and tools for managing the cloud data backup from Microsoft 365.

Classification of the Data for Protection 


Microsoft 365 offers a cloud storage solution for the data up to a limited storage space depending on the subscribed version for services.

In general, for SMBs, the business data in the systems can be easily classified as highly important, important, generic, or sensitive data, etc.

For instance, if there are scores of CRM data with sensitive information, everyday backup of the information can be resourceful, whereas the generic marketing collaterals or other internal conversation-related emails or documents can have a backup every week.

There are two important dynamics for planning data protection in any backup solution. One is the timeframe, and the second is the mode of backup.

Is the data to be backed up on a cloud backup wherein on a real-time basis, the data from a cloud data backup is stored in another cloud location?

Or is it that the information from Microsoft 365 is backup on a limited server capacity managed securely in the office environment, as per the scheduled backup plan?

If there is hardly much traffic or transactions, with the sensibility of the data limited, using the external hard drives to secure data is a potential solution.

Also, focusing on the amount of storage essential for each set of information backups can help in choosing the right mode of backup and service providers as necessary for cloud backup.

Type of Information Requiring Backups

Every piece of information about the business managed over the Microsoft 365 might have some purpose, undefined reasons, or generic notes during internal meetings or conversations.

However, small, or big, the information might have some value for the business in the future. Thus, some of the critical types of information to consider for cloud backup or conventional hardware backup are

  • Emails
  • Microsoft 365 SharePoint backup
  • OneDrive stored files
  • Teams’ recordings and conversations as necessary
  • Calendar schedules etc. as necessary

Among the best practices for the backup, while the above is related to what needs cloud backup from Microsoft 365, the following are how the backup be practiced.

Data Backup Strategy Best Practices

data backup strategies

1. Adapt 3-2-1 Backup Standards

The commonly used backup theme in the cloud backup or conventional backup model is the 3-2-1 set-up.

This precisely represents having the data backup in their different sections or locations. The first copy of the data shall remain in Microsoft 365 which could be your production server.

The second layer of regular data backup can be on the backup servers considered or the other cloud backup solutions offered by the third-party service providers.

The third layer of regular data cloud backup can be considered in the offline environment like external data storage systems or offline systems, wherein the systems are not connected to any external network environment.

Read more about 3-2-1 Backup Rule here.

2. Retention Policy Configuration 

Features of Microsoft 365 like custom defining the timeframe for data storage temporarily before getting deleted permanently can act as a short-term shield from cloud backup for human errors if any.

But one must be watchful of the storage space limits as the extended storage time of trash data could occupy more space.

3. Enable Versioning 

The versioning feature of Microsoft 365 provides comprehensive support for managing and preserving the earlier versions of SharePoint documents and OneDrive files.

Technically one can use the feature for defining the versions to be maintained, but one must ensure storage space requirements over Microsoft 365 for the same.

4. Periodical Backup to the 3-2-1 system

Executing the planned 3-2-1 system of data backup based on the requirement and focusing on the needs of cloud backup using the appropriate and adequate cloud backup service offerings on a periodical basis is important.

So, while usage of Microsoft 365 solution for office productivity is a sound business decision, it also needs to be paired with a cloud backup which integrates cyber security and cyber attack protection too.

Using a cloud backup services from Acronis cloud backup for Microsoft for automated backup and recovery can be a resourceful solution.

Reach out to Exabytes Malaysia customer support to know more about the options of cloud backup for your Microsoft 365 from Acronis, and to avail the current offers for secured data management over cloud backup.

Visit Acronis Official Website for more services and products. Here.

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Related articles:

Why You Need a Cloud Backup Solution for Google Workspace

Reasons Why You Need Backup for SaaS Application

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