Released: Backup for Office 365 3.0 …Yes! You Still Need to Backup your SaaS

A couple of weeks ago of Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 3.0 (build 3.0.0.422) went GA. This new version builds on the 2.0 release that offered support for SharePoint and OneDrive as well as enhanced self service capabilities for Service Providers. Version 3.0 is more about performance and scalability as well as adding some highly requested features from our customers and partners.

Version 2.0 was released last July and was focused on expansed the feature set to include OneDrive and SharePoint. We also continued to enhanced the automation capability of the platform through a RESTful API service allowing our Cloud & Service Providers to tap into the APIs to create scaleable and efficient service offerings. In version 3.0, there is also an extended set of PowerShell commandlets that have been enhanced from version 2.0.

What’s New in 3.0:

Understanding how best to deal with backing up SaaS based services where a lot of what happens is outside of the control of the backup vendor, there where some challenges around performance with the backing up and restoring of SharePoint and OneDrive in version 2.0. With the release of version 3.0 we have managed to increase the performance of SharePoint and OneDrive incremental backups up to 30 times what was previously seen in 2.0. We have also added support for multi-factor authentication which was a big ask from our customers and partners.

Other key enhancements for me was some optimisations around the repository databases that improves space efficiencies, auto-scaling of repository databases that enable easier storage management for larger environments by overcoming the ESE file size limit of 64 TB. When the limit is reached, a new database will be created automatically in the repository which stops manual intervention.

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 3.0.

  • Backup flexibility for SharePoint Online. Personal sites within organisations can now be excluded or included from/to a backup in a bulk.
  • Flexible protection of services within your Office 365 organization, including exclusive service accounts for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
  • Built-in Office 365 storage and licensing reports.
  • Snapshot-based retention  which extends the available retention types.
  • Extended search options in the backup job wizard that make it is possible to search for objects by name, email alias and office location.
  • On-demand backup jobs to create backup jobs without a schedule and run them upon request.
  • The ability to rename existing organizations to keep a cleaner view on multiple tenant organizations presented in the console

For another look at what’s new, Niels Engelen goes through his top new features in detail here and for service providers out there, it’s worth looking at his Self Service Portal which has also been updated to support 3.0.

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.

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.

  • 3.0.0.422.msi for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • 9.6.5.422.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
  • 9.6.5.422.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.

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.

Links and Downloads: