Microsoft is introducing user content backup for its M365 services, along with API integration for partners. Additionally, a SharePoint archive tier will be available later this year, also with API-based partner integration.
Numerous data protection suppliers offer user data protection services for SaaS apps like M365 and Salesforce because SaaS providers primarily protect their infrastructure rather than user content. Microsoft is enhancing its approach by providing user content protection for SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and Exchange Online services. Furthermore, Microsoft will offer an archival storage tier for SharePoint at a lower cost than standard SharePoint storage to address rising storage costs.
According to Jeff Teper, President for Microsoft 365 Collaborative Apps and Platforms, Microsoft 365 Backup “provides recovery of your OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange data at unprecedented speeds for large volumes of data with a restore service level agreement (SLA) – while keeping it all within the Microsoft 365 security boundary.”
Key features of M365 Backup include:
- Backup of all or selected SharePoint sites, OneDrive accounts, and Exchange mailboxes in your tenant.
- Parallel restoration of files, sites, and mailbox items to a specific point-in-time, either granularly or at a larger scale.
- Searching and filtering content within backups using metadata such as item or site names, owners, or event types within specific restore point date ranges.
Microsoft aims to carve out its share of the backup market while allowing partners to build applications on top of its Backup APIs. Teper mentions that users can benefit from this technology by adopting a partner’s application, especially if they have non-M365 data they want to back up.
Initial partners for Microsoft 365 Backup integration include AvePoint, Barracuda, Commvault, Rubrik, Veeam, and Veritas. Rubrik highlights the advantages of its integration, such as faster M365 restores, recovery of Azure Active Directory, and comprehensive centralized management of Microsoft 365 data and other SaaS and hybrid cloud workloads. Veeam, which already protects over 15 million M365 users, plans to use the Veeam Data Platform to deliver innovative features and capabilities, “taking advantage of the power and reliability of the Veeam Data Platform which keeps businesses running,” said CTO Danny Allan.
The public preview of Microsoft 365 Backup is set to launch in Q4 of this year, and you can sign up here. Rubrik integration will become generally available in the coming months, while Veeam’s updated offering is expected within 90 days of the availability of the Microsoft 365 Backup service.
Teper’s blog post mentions the introduction of Microsoft 365 Archive, which he says will offer a cost-effective cold storage tier for aging, inactive, or deleted SharePoint sites. Although stored SharePoint content may become less useful for collaboration over time, it remains crucial for business records and compliance. Customers will retain full admin-level search, eDiscovery, access policy, sensitivity labels, DLP, retention policy, access control settings, and other security and compliance functionality. Content in the archive can be reactivated, and customers can automate mass archiving using PowerShell scripts or SharePoint Advanced Management’s site lifecycle management feature.
File-level archiving, along with retention policy workflow integrations, is planned for the second half of 2024. Microsoft 365 Archive APIs will enable partners like AvePoint and Veritas (Alta SaaS Protection) to integrate Microsoft SharePoint archiving into their existing offerings.
The public preview for Microsoft 365 Archive is expected to be available in Q4 of this year. Anyoen interested can sign up here.
It remains to be seen whether other SaaS application providers, such as Salesforce, will introduce their own user content data protection services to increase subscription revenues and outperform competitors.