Office 365 – do we need to backup our own data?

office 365 backup retention-disaster-recovery | CloudAlly
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Office 365 Backup Retention

The short answer is… yes. Of-course our office 365 backup retention policy is required.

Let’s start from deletions. What happens when you delete an email? You have 14 or 30 days to recover it from the dumpster and afterwards, it’s gone forever.

  • If you have Office 365 plans E3 or E4, then you can set the dumpster to keep deleted emails forever. However, if the size of the dumpster is limited, then the oldest emails will start to be permanently deleted…
  • If you have plans E3 or E4 though, you can configure the “litigation hold” per specific accounts and retain all deleted emails.

With SharePoint Online, deleted items are kept in the recycle bin for 30 days. But in case of malicious deletion this could be removed as well. SharePoint Online data is backed up every 12 hours and kept for 14 days which could help in some cases.

Net: all Office 365 users are exposed to data loss due to accidental or malicious data deletion, for some users, there might be a partial backup as mentioned above.

But what about data override that is done accidentally or maliciously by Office 365 users? Yes… if you did not back up your data in advance, there is a good chance that you will not be able to recover once you notice that the Calendar or Contact was overridden, or a SharePoint item that was overridden some time ago. The best you could do is to configure SharePoint versioning on the relevant folders and then for a limited time and limited storage capacity, you can enjoy versioning for specific supported file types.

In addition, there is the issue of not putting all your eggs in one basket, even if it is Microsoft’s basket.

By now it should be clear that you should be aware of the risks you take by not backing up your Office 365 data. But what can you do? Well, there are manual tools you can use to manually backup your data. For this purpose, CloudAlly presents the simplest and cheapest cloud backup for Office 365. You gain:

  • Daily automated backup
  • Unlimited archive storage
  • Unlimited archive retention
  • Secured Amazon data center storage (at US or EU)
  • One click restore
  • All Emails
  • All Contacts, Calendars, Tasks and SharePoint Online data (coming soon)
  • And more…

All of this for just $2.49 per user per month (for an annual subscription) or even less (for enterprise customers). You’re welcome to sign up for a free trial at and test it!


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