Let’s say you’re an IT director for a company that recently migrated to Microsoft 365 and your organization is now taking advantage of some great Microsoft 365 features. You’re off to a good start until one of your company’s executives calls to tell you they accidentally, but permanently, deleted a file that was stored in OneDrive. You’re not too worried, figuring there must be a local copy stored somewhere – but the search turns up empty. Now what?

The most logical next step might be to see if the user has OneDrive installed locally on their machine, allowing for synchronization between their machine and Microsoft 365. However, you see that has not yet been set up since the organization is still new to Microsoft 365 and the user was most likely unaware they could do that.

So, with no on-premises copy of the document available, you turn to the 24×7 Microsoft 365 Microsoft support that is a part of your subscription. While working with Microsoft, you discover that the document was deleted more than 30 days ago. Unfortunately, that means that even though you changed the default for Recoverable Items > Deletions within your Microsoft 365 tenant from 14 days to the maximum of 30 days, Microsoft has no way to retrieve it since the document was deleted more than 30 days ago. This document is gone. Period.

This scenario happens more often than people realize – showing estimates close to 32% of organizations experiencing a data loss similar to this, with 75% of those losses due to people deleting content, most often accidentally.

What does this mean? EVERY organization should consider an Microsoft 365 backup strategy for data stored in the cloud. Here are some tips for finding the best Microsoft 365 backup solution to meet your needs as well as some possible solutions and how they compare to what Microsoft offers natively.

Evaluate your needs

Start by taking an honest assessment of your organizational needs because a good fit depends upon your organization’s requirements. With so many good solutions available, it will be overwhelming if you don’t do this evaluation first. Here are a few questions – by no means exhaustive – to ask as you go through the evaluation process:

Are you looking for a turnkey solution or something more robust?

We often find that turnkey solutions might not provide the flexibility and functionality organizations need. However, for organizations with minimal IT staff or with a need to simply get their data backed up, a turnkey solution can be the right fit.

Do you have compliance regulations that you need to meet?

Many organizations have compliance requirements, such as HIPAA, that they need to accommodate. Be sure the solutions that you are considering enable you to meet and maintain those requirements.

Do you need some data stored on premises?

Some organizations require that if your primary services, such as email, are running in the cloud that data must also be stored locally. There are solutions that automatically pull data down onto a local repository.

Do you need any additional services?

Consolidating multiple services can be a huge advantage for IT staff by offering ease of implementation and ongoing management. If your organization could benefit from archiving, data loss prevention, encryption, or SPAM protection along with a backup solution, then consider offerings that can be managed from a single pane of glass.

Are you planning to have someone else manage the solution?

If you are currently working with a managed service provider (MSP), include them in these discussions to ensure that they can support whatever solution you are considering. Don’t invest in a backup solution that you want to have managed without first consulting your partner. Your MSP should be a resource for advice and guidance on potential solutions that meet your requirements and can also be managed by them.

Compare Microsoft 365 backup solutions

Now that you know the priorities for your organization, you can start your search for the best Microsoft 365 backup solution. To help you get started, let’s look at what Microsoft offers compared to what a few of our top backup partners offer.

Microsoft’s backup solution

If a user accidentally deletes data and discovers it within 30 days, Microsoft is a great solution. However, if the incident exceeds 30 days, Microsoft’s resolution will depend on whether it involves data for which you’ve set up compliance policies.

Microsoft 365 contains features to help retain data longer but strongly recommends that for data governance, retention policies be used because a retention policy is the only feature that can both retain and delete content across the platform. However, many of these offerings are only available in the Microsoft 365 E3 Plan or higher.

Synology Microsoft 365 backup

Synology offers a great on-prem solution for ease of implementation, ongoing management and overall affordability. Their NAS device is easy to set up, receive notifications, and restore files, folders, etc. Synology covers Exchange, SharePoint and OneDrive. It also protects your Microsoft Teams data if it’s stored in the online versions.

Synology NAS is license-free, without limits on the maximum number of allowed accounts. They also offer a cost-effective plan to NAS users for data availability in the cloud through Synology C2.

Barracuda Microsoft 365 backup

For organizations wanting services beyond simple backup, Barracuda Cloud essentials might be the right fit. It provides a solution that, in addition to Microsoft 365 Backup & Recovery, also includes Advanced Threat Protection, Inbound/Outbound filtering, Archiving, Compliance and eDiscovery.

Veeam Microsoft 365 backup

If you, like many of our clients, are already using Veeam to back up your physical and virtual servers or if you need to back up data to an on-prem location, Veeam might be the right fit for you.

The bottom line: Microsoft 365 has a feature-rich infrastructure for organizations wanting access anywhere at any time, but a comprehensive backup for your Microsoft 365 data is not included. It’s your data and you need to have active and successful backups occurring so that the next time a user accidentally deletes their data, you can restore it.

We can help make the process easier! CCB can make your search for the best Microsoft 365 backup solution simple and effective – from demo to trial to purchase. Let’s have a conversation.