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No, Microsoft Office 365 does not back up your data.

Microsoft Office 365 is the most popular email platform on the market today. Nearly 80% of IT decision-makers surveyed by technology research company, Gartner said they were currently using or planning to use Office 365 software and services.

The Office 365 platform is a powerful tool that allows IT managers to leverage Exchange Online as an efficient cloud-based email platform. Microsoft takes care of quite a bit for companies—it manages their Office 365 infrastructure and maintains uptime for their users. However, it does not back up their data.

Let’s repeat that: Microsoft Office 365 does not backup your data.

The backup and recoverability that Microsoft provides and what users assume they are getting are often very different. Microsoft Office 365 offers geo-redundancy, which protects user’s availability, not their data. 

“This is a complex topic that is hard for most people to wrap their heads around.” Said Element Four’s Chief of Operations, Beth Ostrowski. “Geo redundancy offers users protection against site or hardware failure—so if one of these issues occurs, they will not experience an interruption in their service. But it will not protect users from data loss.”

Accidental deletion, retention policy gaps & confusion, internal & external security threats, and legal compliance requirements can all cause significant and irreversible data loss on an Office 365 platform.

These threats are common occurrences, meaning that Office 365 backup should be a critical part of every company’s disaster recovery plan.

In October of 2016, Veeam Software released a backup solution for Office 365 that allows companies to take control of their organization’s Office 365 data. It helps companies reduce the time and effort needed to find and restore email data, protects against data loss scenarios that are not covered by Microsoft, and facilitates the migration of email data between Office 365 and on-premises Exchange.

“Veeam has created one of the best O365 backup solutions on the market.” Ostrowski said. “It is a valuable piece of software that I would recommend to any company that is looking to ensure that their Office 365 data is always available and protected.”

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