No doubt that one of the biggest requests for our Backup for Microsoft 365 product since it was released has been the desire for user driven self service restores. While the request had been strongly from our Cloud and Service Provider partners, our Enterprise customers have also been requesting this feature and would also benefit greatly from it making its way into the product. Before the v6 announcement, a number of our Service Providers tapped into the backend automation endpoints we offer via PowerShell and APIs to create their own self service portals for their tenants. For those that needed a helping hand, we also had an excellent community release from Niels Engelen which was used as-is or used as a base to further develop from.
From a purely service provider point of view, I’ve always been of the opinion that any service providers worth their salt where able to create their own self-service portals. This allows the top service providers to shine in the market and provide a service that is built around innovation. Typically the top 10% of service providers will have the capabilities to create and then offer their own self service portal however the other 90% will not have that capability. It’s true that the other 90% have been the ones that have been asking the the self-service capabilities. While previously I believed that this would create a more level playing field for everybody in the market I also believed that it would create less differentiation in the market because everyone would be using the same capability. I now acknowledge that offering a functional SSP is important to continue the uptake of the product in the SP world.
With the release of Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 being pushed into the new year I thought it was a good time to give a quick preview of this self-service portal. This self service portal is based on the beta that’s currently out as a private beta so if you haven’t got the beta please reach out to your local systems engineer for access.
With that let’s take a look at the self-service portal v6.
The Self Service Portal:
To get the self-service portal working you’ll need to enable modern authentication for the organisation(s) being backed up. There’s quite a bit of backend configuration that needs to be done on Azure before everything can fall into place. This post won’t go through that process but I wanted to give you guys a quick look at what it looks like at the front end and also a quick preview of what the Azure application looks like. Note that what we are seeing below is the configuration for the Restore Portal Application that can be created manually, or through the General Options -> Restore Portal Tab.
By default, The Restore Portal is not enabled and you are also required to configure the RestAPI and Tenant and Restore Operator Authentication. The configured Azure Application contains a number of different settings, and most importantly is where you can come to configure additional ReDirectURIs which end up being your endpoint.
Once, that is ready to go, we can set Restore Operator roles from the VB365 console that allow specific users or groups access to restore on behalf of specified users and/or groups under your organizations.
Below is a look at the login process for a Restore Operator. You can see that the VB365 SSP redirects to Azure to handle the authentication, and then, when complete, redirects back to the original URL. If the Restore Operator has their own mailbox they are able to see that and perform restore tasks.
Finally, the video below shows off the Restore Operator changing the scope to a new user account and performs an authoritative restore of some mail items to a new folder. At the same time, that particular user could have logged in themselves directly and performed the same operations giving full Self Service capability to end users and tenants.
So that is a very quick preview look at the self-service portal in Veeam backup for Microsoft 365 v6. The ability for end users to recover their own emails is obviously the first benefit of having the self-service portal second to this administrators can come in or operators can come in and do restores for organisation level users. Not only is the portal available via the UI but also there is a number of additional API endpoints that can be leveraged by our service providers or enterprises alike to leverage the features and functionality of the V6 portal and build them into their own portal offerings. It’s an exciting time for the vein backup for Microsoft 365 product and we’re looking forward to this release
To get hold of the beta, contact your local Veeam SE.