This content is part of the Essential Guide: The essential guide to Exchange Server backup and recovery

Four tools to back up Office 365 that aren't from Microsoft

Availability and security are essential for cloud services. Use third-party tools that encrypt data and offer backup support to secure Office 365 backup and recovery efforts.

Cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 take availability and security very seriously, but there is no native...

way to back up Office 365 mailbox content.

Accidental, or even malicious, email deletions are not recoverable and can't be tracked, which poses problems for email administrators, security professionals and compliance officers. Third-party backup tools can protect cloud data locally or to other cloud locations, improve activity tracking, archive ex-employee email and generally improve email integrity for businesses that adopt Office 365.

Here are four third-party tools to help back up Office 365 and protect it from malevolent or unintentional harm.

Barracuda Backup is a cloud-to-cloud service that receives a copy of Office 365 data and encrypts it with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard.

Backups are performed on demand or scheduled as frequently as every 60 seconds, and administrators can produce global or granular retention policies for individual users or backup data sets. Backups are searchable and allow point-in-time recovery of mailboxes, folders, files and other content.

Detailed reporting and audit logging help admins monitor service health, track backup and restoration actions, and track completed backups -- including which messages and files were added, changed or deleted since the last backup. The Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup also includes storage statistics that track the amount of content in the service.

CloudAlly Office 365 Backup is a cloud service that provides backup support for all Office 365 plans and protects email, calendar, contact and task data for all Office 365 users.

Backups occur once daily by default, though service users can select other backup times and frequencies. Users can search backups by date and keywords, and then locate and restore individual items or restore entire data sets for point-in-time recovery. Optional notifications inform administrators when backups are complete.

In a unique twist, Office 365 restorations are nondestructive, so data can be recovered from the service without overwriting current data content. Data can also be exported in various formats like PST, EML, VCF and ICS. CloudAlly promises unlimited storage and unlimited retention of daily archives.

CodeTwo Backup for Office 365 allows administrators to perform full or specific data backups of Office 365 mailboxes directly to local storage. Local storage combined with automatic and continuous incremental backups allow Office 365 mailbox content to remain accessible even when disruptions occur to Microsoft's service.

The tool can protect the entire Office 365 mailbox while excluding unneeded folders, such as deleted folders or junk email. Since data is stored locally, businesses have full control over backup storage capacity and retention.

Admins can browse data using search criteria -- keywords, time periods and senders -- and then they can restore this data to the cloud or to a local Exchange server. Administrators can centrally manage all mailbox backup copies and backup activities.

Spanning Backup for Office 365 is a software as a service tool that provides automated daily and on-demand backups that capture the point-in-time state of folder structures, categories, permissions, settings and other configuration details.

The service is designed for mobility, and backup Office 365 data can be accessed and restored from desktop, tablets and mobile devices. Search capabilities allow point-in-time or granular data item restoration to specific users; it also allows cross-user restoration -- restoring data from one user to another.

Administrators can manage all aspects of the service, including license management, activity and audit logging. They can also receive detailed activity reports. Spanning promises unlimited email backup storage for all service accounts, but does not yet support calendars, people or Microsoft One Drive.

Next Steps

Which third-party tools support an Office 365 migration?

On-premises Office 365 data security

How to protect an Exchange hybrid setup

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