The pandemic has forced many organisations to prioritise digital transformation initiatives and accelerate migration to the cloud, a trend which was well under way before COVID-19.
The growth of Microsoft Office 365 clearly shows this, as businesses look to digitise workflows and improve employee productivity. For its financial quarter ended 31 December 2020, Microsoft reported Office 365 growth of 21% for commercial use compared to the same period the previous year.
Of course, with this growth in cloud use comes a massive increase in data stored in the cloud. Yet data protection and backup strategies for Office 365 haven’t changed with the times, and too often still feature the on-premises mindset of legacy IT infrastructure.
This old-style IT thinking creates unnecessary cost and complexity for your Office 365 backup. Many on-premises backup vendors that support Office 365 do not provide their own cloud-to-cloud backup service and require the customer to sign up and use a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. This still requires the customer to build and pay for their own backup infrastructure, install the backup software, support and test it all, and manage storage capacity planning and cost.Many on-premises backup vendors that support Office 365, require the customer to sign up and use a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS.Click To Tweet
It’s a lot of overhead and simply doesn’t make sense from a total-cost-of-ownership point of view in the cloud era. It’s an approach that means you’re not getting the full utility and benefits of the cloud.
Some organisations are also exposing themselves to risk, by relying completely on the limited data protection capabilities within Office 365 (site collection bins). There are plenty of reasons why you should not do that.
For example, if you want to restore OneDrive data, Microsoft doesn’t necessarily recover all of the folder structures and if versioning is switched off or someone empties the recycle bin critical files may be unrecoverable or not recovered back to the original location. And when a person leaves a company and their Office 365 account is deactivated, Microsoft automatically deletes all of their data after 30 days.
Even Microsoft itself recommends in its own Office 365 terms and conditions that organisations use a third-party backup application.
How Barracuda can help
With our SaaS-based cloud-to-cloud backup service, Barracuda has been successfully helping companies back up and secure their Office 365 data since 2014, backing data up into the Barracuda cloud across geographically dispersed data centres in six countries.
However, with the latest version of Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup we are now using the Microsoft Azure platform to truly bring Office 365 backup into the cloud era. By using Microsoft Azure, the Barracuda Cloud-to-Cloud Backup solution now gains the scalability and geographic footprint to access and use the Microsoft Azure Cloud globally, which is comprised of more than 160 fully-managed data centres, with 60 regions, which are available in 140 countries.
The greater choice of data centres and locations with Microsoft Azure is particularly important for the increasing data residency requirements of our customers. It means their data can be backed up and stored in a specific country to meet local data laws.
The Microsoft Azure platform also delivers significantly higher data storage durability – the ability to protect the integrity of stored data from loss or corruption. Locally redundant storage (LRS) copies data synchronously three times within a single physical location in the primary region and offers 11 nines durability of stored data over a year. Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) copies the data synchronously across three Azure availability zones in the primary region – each with independent power, cooling and networking – and offers 12 nines data durability over a year.
Our switch to Microsoft Azure comes with a significant increase in performance too. The Microsoft Azure and Office 365 data centres, which are in different locations, are connected with superfast networking links that deliver high speed and low latency networking for faster backup and recovery. That’s in addition to the Microsoft Global Network of undersea cables that deliver incredible bandwidth and coverage for Azure around the world.
We also worked closely with the Microsoft Azure engineers to design and optimise the architecture, performance and scalability of our Office 365 cloud-to-cloud backup service. In particular, Microsoft’s engineers helped with the development of some of the data sources, which is the part of the product that understands and interacts with the Office 365 apps, such as SharePoint and Teams.
All this means Barracuda has created a fully managed SaaS cloud-to-cloud backup service for all your Office 365 data. It lives entirely in the cloud, so there’s no software or hardware for you to manage or update. Get complete, granular protection of your Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint and Teams data with point-in-time retrieval and both scheduled and on-demand backup. And your data is deduplicated and compressed to maximise storage efficiency and minimise the backup window.
There’s more to come, too. With the 6,000 services that are available in Microsoft Azure, Barracuda is better positioned than ever to build add-on services to Office 365 cloud-to-cloud backup, to help customers manage and secure their data in the best way.