Office 365 Backup
Whether you have completely migrated to Office 365, or have a hybrid Exchange and Office 365 deployment, your business objectives remain the same. You must remain in control of your data and you need Office 365 backup and recovery at your fingertips.
One of the most vulnerable situations for an IT Admin is when their only option is to send a support ticket and wait. Don’t let this be you.
Backup for Microsoft Office 365 mitigates the risk of losing access to your Exchange Online email data and ensures Availability to your users.
With Office 365, it’s your data
Microsoft Office 365 enables you to work anywhere, anytime, without the need to maintain your own email infrastructure. It also provides a great way to minimize your on-premises footprint and free up IT resources. Even though Microsoft takes on much of the management responsibility, this doesn’t replace the need to have a local backup of your email data.
With Office 365, it’s your data — you control it — and it is your responsibility to protect it. Utilizing Backup for Microsoft Office 365, allows you to:
- Empower your IT staff to take control of your organization’s Office 365 data
- Reduce the time and effort needed to find and restore email data
- Protect against data loss scenarios that are not covered by Microsoft
- Facilitate the migration of email data between Office 365 and on-premises Exchange
Backup Office 365 email
You need to securely backup Office 365 email data back to your environment for a variety of reasons (i.e. to follow the 3-2-1 Rule of backup, to facilitate eDiscovery and to meet internal policies and compliance requirements). The most important reason being — for the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing you’ll be able to restore your users’ data when needed!
With Backup for Microsoft Office 365, you can retrieve Office 365 Exchange Online mailbox items (email, calendar and contacts*) from a cloud-based instance of Office 365 and uniquely back up this mailbox data into the same format that Microsoft Exchange uses natively — an archive database based on Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), also known as the Jet Blue database.
Restore Office 365 email, calendars, and contacts
Never settle for less than fast, efficient recovery of Office 365 mailbox items with best-of-breed granularity.
Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange allows for quick search and recovery of individual mailbox items residing in either archived Office 365 content or on-premises Exchange backups. Mailbox items can be restored directly to an Office 365 mailbox, an on-premises Exchange mailbox, saved as a file, emailed as an attachment or exported as a PST.
eDiscovery of Office 365 email archives
Without a local copy of your data, retrieving emails for regulatory or compliance reasons can be costly and time consuming, and can ultimately present a major disruption to normal business operations.
But, not with Veeam! You can leverage the familiar, advanced search capabilities and the flexible recovery and export options of Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange to perform eDiscovery on Office 365 email archives — just as easily as you would today with your on-premises Exchange server backup.
To start a free trial of Office 365 Backup, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Yep. That’s one headline I saw this weekend about the WannaCry attack. And I guess we can understand that sentiment, maybe. Our view at Global Data Vault, is our job is to be ready to help any of our customers hit by this outrageous attack. Our customers use our services to recover from Ransomware attacks quite regularly and this one is far from over, and I suspect we’ll help our customers perform more than a handful of recoveries. We may all know this by now, but here is some background on the subject.
Ransomware is malware that encrypts and sometimes later deletes files from computers, smartphones, and other intelligent devices – now even including TVs. Ransomware is operated by organized crime gangs, many of whom are based in Russia. The proceeds of these attacks are being used to fund terrorism, human trafficking, drug operations and other nefarious activities.
The first known Ransomware attack occurred at a World Health Organization AIDS conference in 1989. At the time, the intent was to extort small amounts of money. Another early implementation posed itself as antivirus software which the victims were encouraged to purchase in order to eradicate malware that was planted by the same code.
Today, with attacks from so many sources, and with the advent of untraceable virtual currencies like Bitcoin, and through the existence of sophisticated encryption algorithms, ransomware has become a billion-dollar industry.
There is even a market that supplies tools to build ransomware and tech support for implementing attacks. The encryption is often now 256 bit RSA grade and is too sophisticated for even large technical organizations to solve. Citrix reports that many large companies are keeping Bitcoin available as a last-resort.
Even further frightening are cases where remote access trojans have been used to monitor a potential victim to determine the scope of the organization and assess its ability to pay a given ransom.
CryptoLocker was the first wideapread attack and first appeared in 2013. It was supported by a large network of malware bots (together called a botnet) which is used to distribute the actual attack. Cryptolocker extorted over $3 million before being shut down by the Department of Justice who took control of the botnet and issued a warrant and a bounty for Russian hacker Evgeniy Bogachev for his involvement.
New threats exist; Cryptowall is believed to have extorted over $350 million; Locky operated in 30 languages; Petya encrypts entire hard drives. As bad as these are Cerber is the most prevalent, accounting for 90% of Windows ransomware.
Cyber attacks through email attachments. Word, Excel and PDF files containing dangerous macros are sent as bait – usually calling themselves invoices, etc. If the user opens the file and allows the macro to run, the attack will generally succeed. Your inbox has become your most vulnerable point.
Avoidance and Prevention
- Patch Everything – as often as possible – patch every application.
- Do not allow local admin rights on user desktops.
- Desktop antivirus is helpful but not enough because the attackers are continually recompiling their code to escape detection. Secure email gateways also help but are also limited for the same reason.
- BACKUP – is the only real protection!
- Follow the 3-2-1 rule: Always have 3 backups, on 2 media types and 1 offsite. More on the 3-2-1 rule later.
As a service provider working in this area, we see attacks on a weekly basis. We have performed hundreds of recoveries. The following points are the lessons learned from our own experience and the well-organized thoughts on this subject from Rick Vanover Director of Technical Product Marketing at Veeam Software.
- Use different credentials for backup jobs! An attack or attacker with credentials to access your system might also attack your backups.
- At some point commit data to offline media such at tape. If it’s offline, it cannot be attacked.
- Use Veeam Cloud Connect (we do). It uses a different method of authentication and a different backup API.
- Store backups in a different file system.
- Take SAN snapshots of your local backup repository.
- Expand and master the 3-2-1 rule – use the 3-2-1-1 rule: have 3 copies of your data, on 2 types of media, have least 1 offsite and at least 1 offline.
- Test – have 0 errors after recovery is tested! Veeam’s Sure Backup verification is one great way to test.
While this is a good start, there are other many other technical strategies we implement for our customers. GDV employs as many as possible for each of our customers. We’re always happy to discuss how you can leverage these ideas.
We hope this is helpful. Good luck and stay ready.
How Much Bandwidth is Enough?
Knowing and planning for an appropriate level of bandwidth is a key component of every DRaaS solution. In our most common DRaaS implementation, the data is moved from local repositories at the customer site over the internet or WAN to our data centers once per day, even though that data may contain multiple restore points.
Here’s a diagram showing how the data moves.
The key to an effective solution is knowing whether the remote data center is getting the data on a timely basis. We measure this daily, and we call this measurement “quality”. In other words, how current is the remote data. If it’s within the desired restore point objective (RPO) as agreed in the service level agreement (SLA), then we regard it as being “in SLA”.
It’s essential that the bandwidth between the customer site and the remote data center is sufficient to move the data that’s changed every day quickly enough that it’s in the remote data center in time to support the agreed or planned RPO. See our discussion of RPO here. As a general rule for most sites, we find that 4 to 6 hours is “quickly enough”, and this is usually scheduled overnight.
Why not use 8 or 12 hours? in more complex implementations there are other events, like multiple backup jobs, each of which use resources and must finish. So 4 to 6 hours is a conservative window of time. Some sites may be able to use longer windows – and therefore less bandwidth – to move the data. Or simply move more data per day in the longer window.
Getting to the Question
So, how much bandwidth is required to move the data in 4 to 6 hours. To answer this question, we need two pieces of data and a bit of math. First, we need to know the total storage in use. This is your disk storage in use across all servers. If you’re running VMware, one way to get this data is from your vSphere console as covered here.
Second,we need to know the daily data change rate. This is easily measured by Veeam ONE as discussed in a previous post or it can be derived from simply looking at the actual size of daily backup files.
Now for the Math
If R is required speed in Mbps (see note 1), D is data changed each day in Gb (see note 1) and T is 6 hours expressed in seconds, then our formula is: R = D / T.
To save you from number crunching, we’ve prepared this chart showing typical storage sizes and change rates and the required bandwidth result:
So at a site with a 1% daily data change rate (after compression and deduplication), which we find is typical, with storage of 5TB, the required bandwidth is 19Mb.
For a deeper dive, check out this great web based calculator at WintelGuy.com.
Note 1: WintelGuy also defines all of the relevant units of measure you may encounter.
Summarizing this Idea
- Start with your storage in use
- Find your daily data change rate
- and calculate or lookup the required bandwidth here
What if my bandwidth is not enough? There are numerous strategies we employ to deal with slower lines, larger data sizes and higher change rates. The best strategy is developed on a case-by-case basis.
Let us know if you have questions. And we welcome your thoughts and real world experiences.
What is Cloud Disaster Recovery?
Your server goes down. Your network won’t work. Or worse…your office suffers a fire, flood, or other natural or man-made catastrophe. Whatever the case, you need to have a disaster recovery plan ready to protect your data as well as your overall business. Cloud Disaster Recovery can be part of that plan.
Often shortened to DR, disaster recovery is a plan put into place if a disaster hits. Cloud DR refers to that component in your disaster recovery plan which involves the use of a cloud environment.
The Cloud Component
The cloud component of a disaster recovery plan can involve various strategies that use a cloud environment.
- Online or Cloud Backup: Using an online backup system lets you store copies of your data in an offsite data storage environment at regular intervals. Choose which workstations and servers you want protected, perform an initial data load, and then use only incremental backups to keep your data current and secure.
- Disaster Recovery Failover: Disaster recovery failover provides a cloud-based environment that is a complete rebuild of your infrastructure. It sits ready if you should lose access to your primary IT infrastructure.
Benefits of Cloud DR
Using a cloud environment in your disaster recovery plan comes with a number of critical benefits:
- Speed, with instant restore capabilities
- Security, with an off-site, protected environment
- Scalability, with the ability to grow your cloud solution right along with your business
- Compatibility, with the ability to work with a number of different servers and systems
Another benefit of cloud DR is the overall low cost, especially when compared to other DR strategies. Cloud DR can be used in combination with other techniques to fully fortify your company and keep your data safe.
The Veeam Lunch N Learn in Alpharetta was a great event to introduce the inside sales teams to Global Data Vault and our unique culture of quality. Here are a few photos from our fun day playing “The Vice is Right”: