Tag Archives: Microsoft

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:

SharePoint 2010 Web UI Timeout Creating Web Application: Quick Fix

Had a really interesting issue with a large SharePoint Farm instance we host… over the last couple of days when we tried to create a new Web Application the task was failing on the SharePoint Farm members. While being initially thrown off by a couple permission related event log entries for SharePoint Admin database access there was no clear indication of the problem or why it starting happening after weeks of no issues.

The symptoms being experienced was that from the Central Admin Web Site ->; Application Management ->; Manage Web Application page, creating a New Web Application would eventually return what looked like a HTTP timeout error. Looking at Central Admin page on both servers, it showed the Web Application as being present and created and the WSS file system was in place on both servers…however the IIS Application Pool and Website where only created on the server that ran the initial New Web Application. What’s better is that there where not event logs or SharePoint logs that logged the issue or cause.

sp_timeout_error

In an attempt to try and see a little more verbose logging during the New Web Application process I ran up the new-SPWebApplication PowerShell command below:

New-SPWebApplication -Name “www.site.com.au443” -Port 443 -HostHeader “www.site.com.au” -URL “https://www.site.com.au” -ApplicationPool “www.site.com.au443” -ApplicationPoolAccount (Get-SPManagedAccount “DOMAIN\spAppPoolAcc”) -DatabaseServer MSSQL-01 -DatabaseName WSS_Content_Site -SecureSocketsLayer:$yes -Verbose

While the output wasn’t as verbose as I had expected, to my surprise the Web Application was created and functional on both servers in farm. After a little time together with Microsoft Support (focusing on permissions as the root cause for most of the time) we modified the Shutdown Time Limit setting under the Advanced Settings of the SharePoint Central Admin Application pool:

sp_timeout

The Original value is set to 90 seconds by default. We raised this to 300 and tested the New Web Application function from the Web UI which this time was able to complete successfully. While it does make logical sense that a HTTP timeout was happening, the SharePoint farm wasn’t overly busy or under high resource load at the time, but still wasn’t able to complete the request in 90 seconds.

One to modify for all future/existing deployments.