Yesterday, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 (VBO) version 4.0 ( went GA. This new version again builds on the 3.0 release that enhanced overall performance for Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive as well as further enhancements around backup policy, reporting and APIs. Version 4.0 is heavily focused on the addition of Object Storage support for the storing VBO data which has been a top request for a long time by our customers and partners.

Version 3.0 was released just seven months ago and it’s a credit to the R&D team for pushing out a major update in such a small space of time. I talked a little bit about the Object Storage support here when we released the public beta but it’s an understatement to say that being able to leverage Public or Private cloud Object Storage to store the sheer volume of data produced by Office 365 Organizations is key to the future success of this product in terms of what it offers customers longer term.

What’s New in 4.0:

While understanding how best to deal with the backing up of SaaS based services where a lot of what happens is outside of the control of the backup vendor, there are challenges around the backing up and restoring of Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive. With the release of version 4.0 one of the biggest pain points in terms of data growth has been solved with the leveraging of Object Storage. We have also added efficiencies around the backing up of SharePoint sites in better dealing with Office 365 throttling mechanisms by leveraging multiple backup accounts helps to distribute the load on Office 365 servers and significantly reducing the risk of backups throttling.

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 4.0.

  •  Exclude retention for contacts and calendars allows you to protect all contacts and calendar items for as long as an associated mailbox is protected and skip these items from the retention cleanup.
  • Additional automation through non-mail enabled Office 365 security groups support allows for easier backup jobs management. Azure Active Directory security groups populated to Office 365 (or created in Office 365 directly) can now be used as a source for backup jobs.
  • Enhanced Mailbox Protection report now includes protection statistics for Office 365 Group, Public, Shared and Resource (Equipment/Room) mailboxes.
  • Added a Cloud Credential Manager and Password Manager for maintaining a list of account records to connect to object storage.
  • Console will now automatically disconnect from the backup server after 30 minutes of inactivity to reduce the load on the server.

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 4.0.

Architecture and Components:

Obviously the biggest change to the architecture is when you want to leverage Object Storage for a repository. This keeps only metadata and a cache with all backup data located in Object Storage. Because multiple Repositories can be created and mapped to one or more users, there is flexibility in being able to have a choice of local storage or one or more Object Storage platforms. When using object storage, data can be protected with optional encryption at-rest.

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.

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.

  • for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
  • 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: