As of yesterday the 3rd of October there is a new release of the Veeam Backup Microsoft Office 365 solution now shipping with version v1.5. There are plenty of new enhancements from the previous version 1.0. The latest version can be downloaded as a trial from the Veeam website. In particular this new version is addressing many business needs around scalability, automation and the ability to support multiple deployments including On-Premise and Hybrid Deployments.
With regards to scalability this version introduces the concept of using multiple Backup Proxies (just like in Veeam Backup & Replication) connecting to one or multiple Backup Repositories. This way large organisations can benefit not just from backing up large data (even exceeding 64 TB which is the hard limit for Exchange native databases) but also the option of segregating data based on different Repositories benefiting from different settings including retention. Another challenge that typically organisations are facing when backing up large data deals with Throttling Policies when exceeding specific thresholds. In this version it is possible to use additional Office 365 Identities (no subscription required) that will Backup and Restore data without hitting on bespoke policies.
In terms of automation this version includes the PowerShell RESTFul API which allows the integration with external workflows into Portal. Operations like automating backups for new, existing users or even leavers are fully automated. This also includes the creation of new Backup Proxies and Repositories.
Additionally this version also extends support for Exchange On-Prem and Hybrid deployments. This means that regardless the deployment type Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 can backup and restore in-place and out-of-place. This provides full control of your Data.
Last but not least the Veeam Backup Microsoft Office 365 already includes a VSS Writer. This will help to make an application and crash consistent backup of the server used as Backup Repository. That’s right. If we want to follow the industry standard 3-2-1 rule which states that a good Backup strategy should have at least 3 copies of the data, in 2 different media, 1 of which should be off-site; VSS writer will help preventing inconsistent Backups. There’s a lot more and we’ll cover additional topics in separate articles.
So let’s take a look on how to install the latest version main components and a quick overview of the settings.
Install Veeam Backup Microsoft Office 365
The installation of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is a very lightweight setup. In terms of minimum requirements it does not require much. 8 GB of RAM recommended. The more the quicker backup, restore and search operations will be. As per usual the installation wizard will walk us through the deployment steps.
Let’s accept the EULA and continue.
We can now specify the installation folder. 500 MB of disk space minimum would be sufficient. A different story will be with the space for the target Repository where all the Backup data will be stored.
At this point we can hit the installation.
The wizard will proceed with installation and produce warnings in case of missing components. Likely these are Windows OS features and components that we can add on the fly if required.
And now the installation for this component is complete. Next is the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange.
Install Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
The Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange allows to restore in-place and out-of-place all data that is part of the Backup plans. This includes all the Mailbox objects to the original location, a separate instance on-prem / online and even to export in a different location on the file system.
Let’s accept the EULA and continue.
We can now choose the install location.
The wizard will now install the Veeam Explorer for Exchange.
The installation is now complete. As soon as the first Backup is complete a new icon in the ribbon will appear to directly access the Veeam Explorer for Exchange.
We are now ready to take a quick look at the GUI for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.
Veeam Backup Microsoft Office 365 PowerShell commands
Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 includes an extensive list of built-in PowerShell cmd-lets to easily administer and manage existing components and new ones. Of course it is also possible to manage Backup Jobs. Very useful when integrating with other frameworks. By leveraging PowerShell it will be very easy to automate Backup operations for new users or leavers. Moreover even for scale-out scenarios it is possible to add and configure additional Veeam Backup components like Proxies and Repositories.
In a separate article we’ll cover the most common scenarios using PowerShell commands to achieve automation.
It’s now time to take a look at the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 settings. From the main menu we can click the Options icon. The Folders tab provides the option to automatically exclude items from our Backups. By default items marked for In-Place Holds and Litigation Holds are automatically excluded. We can have separate settings for different Backup Proxies managing different mailboxes within the same Exchange organisation.
The History tab specifies for how long we want to keep the Job sessions details. Not the Backup data. This is very useful especially for auditing purposes.
Should we want to integrate with 3rd parties application we can do so by also setting the RESTFul API configuration parameters in this tab. This requires the installation of a certificate. So for organisations securing applications and how they communicate with each other can still use the same certificate in this case as well.
In the notification tab we have the ability to customise job notifications and recipients based on status. We can use variables like:
In the case a company wants to provide tenants the ability to explore and restore data, the tenants can specify the settings below to connect to their data.
This pretty much concludes a quick overview about Veeam Backup for Office 365. It’s a very easy product to install and manage. In the next articles we’ll cover quick info about Backup Proxies, Backup Repositories and creating our first Office 365 Backup Job.
Comments and feedback are always welcome!