Category Archives: Office 365

Enhanced Self Service Restore in Backup for Office 365 v2.0

Earlier in the year I gave an overview on the Self Service recovery capability of Veeam Backup for Office 365 which gave Veeam Cloud and Service Providers the ability to offer self service to their tenants for the recovery of Exchange data that’s been backed up on their platforms as a service.

As a bit of a refresher:

Tenant admins communicate with the Service Provider via the Cloud Gateway component which handles flow of data. The Service Provider grants the ability to their tenants so that each tenant can perform self restore operations using Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. By default, tenants are not able to restore anything from the backup without a Service Provider assistance.

The steps above show the self restore scenarios performed by the Tenant:

  • Tenants use Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange to send restore requests via Veeam Cloud Gateway directly to the Service Provider.
  • On the Service Provider side, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 management server detects a proxy server responsible for processing tenant data.
  • Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 management server locates an associated repository that contains a backup file that belongs to the Tenant.
  • Corresponding backup data is then transferred back to the tenant via Veeam Cloud Gateway.
What’s Changed in v2.0:

As mentioned, one of the big limitations in VBO v1.5 was the fact you could only restore the most recently backed up recovery point which limited it’s usefulness for most administrators looking to take advantage of the feature. That’s changed in VBO v2.0 with the ability to now choose a point in time from the Explorers. This is true for both Veeam Explorer for Exchange and Sharepoint (Which also does OneDrive).

Shown below is a Service Provider view of a restore operation for the Sliema organisation. As with the previous versions you have the ability to use latest or go back to a point in time.

As a reminder…the retention is set against the Backup Repository in VBO. Organisations are assigned to Repositories which dictates their own retention. At the tenant end, once the Veeam Explorer has been launched and the Connect to a Service Provider option has been chosen, you now see similar options to either do the latest, or go to a point in time.

If you go to choose a point in time that precedes the date of the first backup you will get the error below. Once a correct point in time has been selected the Self Service can begin. Shown below i’m able to go back to the 3rd of May 2018 restore point and perform actions on mail items. In this case, I was looking for a AWS Bill that I had deleted out of the mailbox and had gone way past my default Exchange retention settings. Back on the Service Provider end, you can see the active restore job session which is being facilitated through Cloud Connect. Conclusion:

To reiterate, the market for Office365 backups is significant and we have built in some pretty cool technology into Backup & Replication that works with Backup for Office365 that allows easy, self service capabilities that can be productized by Service Providers out of the box. Not only can Service Providers offer services to backup client Exchange, SharePoint or OneDrive Organisations but they can also extend that to offer self service which increases overall operational efficiencies at the provider end while also offering enhanced services to clients.

References:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/vbo365/guide/vex_sp_add.html?ver=20#pit

Configuring Service Provider Self Service Recovery with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Quick Post – Veeam Backup for Office 365 v2 Important Patch plus Self Service Warning Fix

Last week we snuck out an important cumulative patch for Veeam Backup for Office 365 v2 bring the build number up to 2.0.0.567. The patch is actually fairly significant and I would recommend anyone running VBO to update as soon as possible. It covers Licensing, SharePoint and OneDrive, Group and Shared Mailbox fixes and enhancements as well as general server fixes.

To download and install the update, head to the VeeamKB here. There are some important notes about the upgrade process depending on your deployment configuration.

  • Execute VBO2.0-KB2765.msp as administrator on the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 server.
  • If there are any remote proxies in your environment please update those as described here 
  • If you use a remote VBO365 console and/or remote VBO365 PowerShell module installation, please contact technical support to assist you in upgrading those components.
Self Service Warning Fix:

Not related to the update, but something that I had happen to me on testing the upgraded VBO instance was that when I went to perform a Self Service through the Veeam Explorer for Exchange or Sharepoint I had the following pop up.

Once hitting ok, I didn’t have the ability to choose a Service Provider connection for the Self Service restore operation. This was the same for both Exchange the Sharepoint Explorer. Working with our support to ensure it wasn’t a regression in the latest patch we found an entry in the Explorer log files that pointed to the issue.

[28.09.2018 13:08:15] <37> Info [CloudCacheSync] Synchronizing provider 119.252.77.83

[28.09.2018 13:08:16] <37> Error Exception while connecting to endpoints [119.252.77.83]
[28.09.2018 13:08:16] <37> Error No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it 119.252.77.83:6180 (System.Net.Sockets.SocketException)

[28.09.2018 13:08:17] <37> Error All cloud gateways are unavailable (Veeam.Backup.Core.CCloudGateSvc+CAllGatesUnavailableException)

[28.09.2018 13:08:17] <37> Error Credentials with id ‘a22f868a-a51a-473f-9f6d-cff9ff250fa3’ were not found (System.Exception)

Basically the issue was caused by the fact that I had an uncontactable Service Provider endpoint configured in the Backup & Replication Server. Once I removed the offending entry in the Service Provider section, I was able to reload the Explorers and have the ability to perform self service recoveries again. It’s probably something that won’t come up under normal tenant circumstances as I connect to multiple Service Providers from my NestedESXi Homelab instance…but something to take note of if the warning appears for you.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/kb2765

Quick Fix – Backup for Office 365 Self Service Recovery Fails with Incompatible Version

A couple of weeks ago we released version 2.0 of Veeam Backup for Office 365 which added support for SharePoint and OneDrive. Earlier this year I wrote about the awesome self service capabilities that are included for Veeam Cloud and Service Providers in the VBO platform, and also the huge opportunity that exists in the provider space to offer backup service for Exchange. Add to that SharePoint and OneDrive and that opportunity only gets bigger.

I’m putting together a couple of posts around the self service of SharePoint and OneDrive in the 2.0 release, but in the meantime this is a very quick fix post for those that might be getting the below error when trying to connect to service provider endpoints running VBO services for Exchange Online.

Incompatible Veeam Backup for Office 365 server version, received 9.6.3.567, expected 9.6.0.1308

To resolve this issue, then tenant needs to download the VBO 2.0 download package and install the new version of the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange that’s included in the release.

This will update the existing Explorer version from that distributed with Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5. The awesome thing about getting the upgrade as part of the VBO 2.0 package is that for the 1.5 release where self service was first introduced, tenants had to wait for Update 3 for Backup & Replication to consume the service.

Once this has been updated you can once again connect to the Cloud Connect infrastructure of the Service Provider that allows the self service recoverability function to take place.

Released: Backup for Office 365 2.0 …Yes! You Need to Backup your SaaS

Last week the much anticipated release of Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2.0 (build 2.0.0.567) went GA. This new version builds on the 1.5 release that was aimed at scalability and service providers. Version 2.0 adds support for SharePoint and OneDrive. Backup for Office 365 has been a huge success for Veeam with a growing realisation that SaaS based services require an availability strategy. The continuity of data on SaaS platforms like Office 365 is not guaranteed and it’s critical that a backup strategy is put into place.

Version 1.5 was released last October and was focused on laying the foundation to ensure the scalability requirements that come with backing up Office365 services were met. We also enhanced the automation capability of the platform through a RESTful API service allowing our Cloud & Service Providers to tap into the APIs to create saleable and efficient service offerings. In version 2.0, there is also a new set of PowerShell commandlets that have been enhanced from version 1.5.

What’s New in 2.0:

Office 365 Exchange was the logical service to support first, but there was huge demand for the ability to extend that to cover SharePoint and OneDrive. With the release of version 2.0 the platform now delivers on protecting Office 365 in its entirety. Apart from the headline new features and enhancements there are also a number of additional ones that have been implemented into Backup for Microsoft Office 365 2.0.

  • Support for Microsoft SharePoint sites, libraries, items, and documents backup and restore.
  • Support for Microsoft OneDrive documents backup and restore.
  • Support for separate components installation during setup.
  • Support for custom list templates in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Support for comparing items with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange.
  • Support for exporting extended logs for proxy and controller components.

We have also redesigned the job wizard that enhances setup, search and maintaining visibility of objects.

Architecture and Components:

There hasn’t been much of a change to the overall architecture of VBO and like all things Veeam, you have the ability to go down an all in one design, or scale out depending on sizing requirements. Everything is handled from the main VBO server and the components are configured/provisioned from here.

Proxies are the work horses of VBO and can be scaled out again depending on the size of the environment being backed up. Again, this could be Office 365 or on-premises Exchange or SharePoint instances.

Repositories must be configured on Windows formatted volumes as we use the JetDB database format to store the data. The repositories can be mapped one to one to tenants, or have a many to one relationship.

The API service is disabled by default, but once enabled can be accessed via a URL to view the API commands in Swagger, or directly via the API endpoint.

Free Community Edition:

In terms of licensing, VBO is licensed per Office 365 user in all organizations. If you install VBO without a license, you will trigger Community Edition mode that allows you to have up to 10 user accounts in all organizations. This includes 1 TB of Microsoft SharePoint data. The Community Edition is not limited in time and doesn’t limit functionality.

Installation Notes:

You can download the the latest version of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 from this location. The download contains three installers that covers the VBO platform and two new versions of the Explorers. Explorer for Microsoft OneDrive for Business is contained within the Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint package and installed automatically.

  • 0.0.567.msi for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • 6.3.567.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
  • 6.3.568.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint

To finish off…It’s important to read the release notes here as there are a number of known issues relating to specific situations and configurations.

Links and Downloads:

Office 365 Backups and the Opportunity that Exists for Service Providers

In recent weeks i’ve become reacquainted with an old friend…There was a time where eighty to ninety percent of my day job was working in and around Exchange Server. If I had started this blog in 2005 it would have been dominated with posts around the Hosting of Exchange Server and probably be named Exchange is Life!. I take pride in my Hosted Exchange Org and User creation scripts that I created before Hosting Control Panels where even a thing.

Over the last five or six years my interest in Exchange diminished due to moving roles and also due to some lingering ill feelings about the way in which Microsoft treated their initial Hosting partners as they started what would become, Office 365 back in the late 2000’s. That said I have remained aware of the Exchange landscape and while there is still a lot of on-premises Exchange instances and still a number of decent Hosted Exchange providers out there, there is no stopping Office 365’s growth.

I even jumped on the bandwagon by moving my personal SliemaLabs domain over to an Office 365 Exchange subscription late last year. That domain initially lived on an Exchange Server I ran from home, and then on a Hosted Exchange platform I built and now it’s completed it’s own journey to Office 365.

Having spent a bit of time recently looking at the 1.5 version of our Backup for Microsoft Office 365 product…more specifically the new self service feature that came in Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3. I’ve had a renewed sense of purpose around the Exchange ecosystem…and that purpose is to ensure that all service providers understand the opportunity that exists around creating offerings for the backing up and availability of Office365 services.

This post follows a post that was released on the Veeam.com blog by Paul Mattes (VP of Global Cloud Group at Veeam) talking about the success of our Backup for Microsoft Office 365 product.

In 2017, more than 25,000 organizations installed our Office 365 backup solution, representing 2.3 million Microsoft Office mailboxes. We saw a staggering 327% quarter-over-quarter growth in Q4 of last year.

And the reasons why all Office 365 users should consider an external backup solution for their data hosted in Microsoft’s SaaS cloud platform.

It’s important to remember that SaaS platform providers, like Microsoft Office 365, take on the responsibility of application uptime and the underlying infrastructure. But it is the customer’s responsibility to manage and protect their vital business data.

This is public cloud in a nutshell…Ultimately the customer has the responsibility to ensure all data is backed up correctly. I won’t go into the technical aspects as to why Office 365 requires additional backups solutions. There a plenty of good online resources, a Gartner report is available here Microsoft’s has an offical page on High Availability and Business Continuity guide. Doing research into the nature of SaaS you understand the need for third party backup solutions.

The Office 365 Opportunity:

From a service provider point of view there is an opportunity to tap into the 85 million user Exchange Online market and offer availability services for organisations using Office 365. This is a multi-billion dollar market that exists today and services based around backup and management of that data are central to tapping into that opportunity. Just breaking down the ANZ market alone, there are approximately 4.25 million Office 365 users of which if only 5% was captured would represent a combined 3.5 to 5 million dollar market.

For those VCSPs who have already deployed Cloud Connect and offering Backup services, the ground work has been laid with regards to having the infrastructure in place to extend that service to offer Veeam Backup for Office 365 aaS.

The billable components of this service are licenses and then storage costs. Managed Service Providers can also build in management fees that offer an end to end solution for their clients. Where it should be seen to be extremely attractive for VCPSs is in the potential for the storage revenue to be significant early and then continue to grow as tenant’s backup and retain more and more mailboxes in addition to new tenants coming on board.

We have given our VCSPs the tools to be able to build a strong service around Office 365 backups with the 1.5 release of Backup for Office 365 focused on scalability and automation. Add to that the self service feature that came in Update 3 for Backup & Replication and there is no excuse to not start thinking about offering this as a service.

Looking beyond Exchange Online, version 2 of Backup for Office 365 will include the ability to backup SharePoint and OneDrive as well…have a think about what that represents in terms of revenue opportunities just on the potential for storage consumption alone.

Again, I want to emphasis that this market is huge and what’s on offer in terms of potential revenue can’t be ignored. I’m excited about the next 12-18 months in being able to see our VCSPs grab this opportunity…don’t let it slip!

References:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/exchange-online-high-availability-and-business-continuity.aspx

The Limitations of Microsoft Office 365 Backup