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How Can You Recover a Deleted SharePoint Site?

Recover a deleted SharePoint site

Your team has created an elegant SharePoint Team Site for your intranet – it is the mainstay of your company. And then someone mistakenly hits delete or the site gets corrupted. Or worse still, an entire Site Collection gets erroneously deleted by another admin. As the Office 365 or Sharepoint administrator, it would be up to you to recover them. We thought we’d help out with a step-wise list of instructions to: recover a deleted Sharepoint site, along with best practices for Office 365 data recovery. 

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Steps to recover a deleted SharePoint site

Note, that we’re assuming that you as the Office 365 or SharePoint administrator have the required permissions. If not, check with your technical support.

Consider you have a SharePoint site for the ‘CRM Development’ project team and it is located at https://ppmdev.sharepoint.com/crm/

Recover a deleted SharePoint site


Oops! The site has been accidentally deleted, and you will receive a 404 error when you try to access the site. 

404 error on access

Perform the following steps to restore the deleted site.

Step 1: Go to Site Settings

  1. Go to the root site collection of the deleted site. The link in our example is https://ppmdev.sharepoint.com/  (without subsite link ‘crm’). 
  2. Log in as a user with the site collection admin permissions
  3. In the top navigation panel click Settings and then select Site settings on the dropdown menu

Go to Sharepoint's Site Settings

Step 2: Go to the Second-Stage Recycle Bin

Click Recycle bin under Site Collection Administration section

Go to Sharepoint's Second-Stage Recycle Bin

The recycle bin might be empty. Click Second-stage recycle bin at the bottom of the page

Second-stage recycle bin

Step 3: Restore your deleted site

Select the site you want to restore and then click Restore

Select the site you want to restore

The restored site will disappear from the list after the restoring process is completed

Restored Sharepoint site removed from the Bin

To verify that the site has been successfully restored, go to the site’s source link https://ppmdev.sharepoint.com/crm/.

Sharepoint Site successfully restored

For additional information, read more from the Microsoft help center

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Limitations to Restoring Sites from SharePoint Recycle Bin

Here’s the caveat, and it’s an important one. Deleted sites are stored only for a maximum of 90 days. After the 90 day period, the deleted sites are automatically and permanently deleted.

Moreover, the Site Collection Recycle Bin has a quota on the amount of data that can be stored in the bin. If the quota is exceeded, then the oldest items, including deleted sites, will be automatically and permanently deleted.

SharePoint Recovery Best Practices

Native options such as restoring sites from SharePoint Recycle Bin have time-based and size-based limitations. As the administrator, when faced with the stress of a deleted site or site collection, what if you found that it could not be retrieved because the Recycle Bin got purged or three months have elapsed. Understand that such built-in solutions are meant as a bandaid measure and not as a robust recovery solution. 

Additionally, SaaS solutions cannot protect your from data loss at your end, due to human error or malicious intent, malware attacks, or sync errors. With one in three organizations having experienced SaaS data loss, you need a dependable backup and recovery solution to quickly get your lost data back – accurately and from any point-in-time.

CloudAlly’s SharePoint backup solution, comprehensively backs up SharePoint Online Team Site (and all sub-sites), Public Site (and all sub-sites), private Site Collections and OneDrive for Business Sites. What’s more, it stores the backup indefinitely and in Amazon’s highly reliable data centers. CloudAlly makes recovery a breeze with provisions for non-destructive restores both at the granular item-level or of the complete site.  Learn More.

Contact us to see how CloudAlly can smoothen your SharePoint recovery.

Why Should MSPs Include Backup Solutions in Their Suite of Offerings?

Cloud Backup For MSPs

Organisations are increasingly trusting Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to provide them with an all-in-one SaaS platform and comprehensive cloud service management at an optimal cost. However, with increasing malware attacks, data protection is of vital importance to the success of the SaaS suite. Cloud backup for MSPs, is a must-have. A few pointers on how the MSP can secure their cloud solutions.

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Why do Organisations use MSPs?

The modern organisation requires a diverse stack of SaaS-based enterprise applications. Given the complexity, organisations typically have two options to manage their SaaS suite: 

  • Build a team within their organisation that is knowledgeable, and responsible for managing and supporting the range of cloud services. This means high Capital expenditure (CAPEX) and compromised Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Choose an MSP for the job and benefit from proven expertise and efficiencies of scale.

The advantages of this method are:

  • Low Operating Expenditure (OPEX) and low CAPEX,
  • Access to best-in-class expertise. 
  • Industry-grade quality of service (QoS)
  • Frees up time to focus on their core business 
  • Peace-of-mind that the MSP is taking care of the SaaS stack both proactively and reactively.

It’s no surprise then, that organisations are overwhelmingly choosing Managed Service Providers (MSP’s). ChannelE2E indicates that the MSP market is globally a ~$200 billion dollar industry and continues to grow at 12.5% compounded rate.

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Why is Backup so Vital to the MSP’s suite?

Our previous blog post extensively talks about why SaaS platforms need backup too. Most SaaS services like G Suite, Office 365, OneDrive, Sharepoint Online, Dropbox, Salesforce make it explicitly clear in their terms and conditions that they are a service provider and ownership of data in their service is the customer’s responsibility. These best-in-class SaaS solutions are extremely secure, but they cannot protect the customers from their own mistakes such as inadvertent or malicious deletes, overwrites, sync errors or from the threats of malware, ransomware, and hackers. Hence, the SaaS providers themselves actively advise using 3rd party backup solutions. Compliance laws like GDPR, HIPAA, and Sox also mandate that data protection is a “shared responsibility”. 

All of which highlights how vital it is for MSPs to include a reliable cloud-based backup and recovery solution as an essential part of their SaaS suite. This is particularly critical for MSPs, as Quality of Service QoS is paramount for MSPs, and how better to ensure high-quality than by providing a data protection safety net? Hence, an increasing number of MSPs are offering managed backups via 3rd party solutions as part of their service offerings. SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) are especially vulnerable to data breaches which at a crippling cost of $3.92 million is many times greater than or comparable to their monthly/annual revenue. MSPs ensuring 3rd party backup solutions bundled with their offerings – seamlessly ensure adherence to the golden 3-2-1 backup rule

MSPs know best how important it is to distinguish offerings by industry sectors, customer types, etc. For example, the data retention needs of a publishing house will be different than a HIPAA compliant healthcare service provider. So MSPs can also intelligently bundle backup services to maximise their margins while retaining the customer’s focus on the top-notch QoS provided by the MSP.

How can CloudAlly Help?

CloudAlly helps MSPs proactively solve their customers’ data protection and data loss issues by providing SaaS backup solutions for the entire range of SaaS platforms – Office365, G Suite, Salesforce, Sharepoint and OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and more. We are also ranked as the Newsweek’s #1 best backup and restore tool. We offer a full-featured 15-day free trial which you can activate and start backing up your data in minutes and are very highly rated and recommended by our users. As an MSP, if QoS is important to you, you would be glad to know we take pride in our 365 X 24X7 availability for through our dedicated customer support hub across channels like phone, email, ticket and chat.

Contact us to have an expert guide you through making your managed service offerings holistic. Psst…we also offer competitive affiliate commissions.

How Can You Safeguard Against Data Loss in Office 365?

Office 365 Data Loss

It is a myth that Microsoft will protect you from data loss in Office 365. Microsoft is incrementally ensuring a reliable service, but the data within your Office 365 tenant is your responsibility. However, it cannot protect you from Office 365 data loss at your end – due to malware, human error or malicious intent.

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YOU have the onus of protecting Office 365 data

As per Compliance Laws

As per governance laws like the GDPR, HiPAA, SOX, and many others, protecting your customer’s data is a responsibility that is shared between the controller (your organization) and the processor (third-party service providers like SaaS platforms). Moreover, in the event of a data breach or data loss, “shared accountability” and “joint liability” is mandated.

Need another reason? Compliance laws also insist on the organization having “the ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident”. What that means, is that they mandate that you have a solution or capability to accurately backup and restore data.

As per your Cloud Service Provider

Office 365 Data LossMicrosoft provides a highly reliable service with Office 365, but they themselves recommend backup in their service agreement, “We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services” 

Do not be mistaken – your data in Office 365 is your responsibility!

Ways data loss occurs in Office 365

Human Error: Office 365  has not yet reached the maturity where it can decipher intent when all the rules of the service are followed. We are talking about accidental deletions of data by parties with no ill-intent – plain human error. According to Aberdeen Group, research shows that 70% of all data loss is accidental.

Malware: Then there are malicious actors such as hackers, ransomware, and malware that can cause massive data loss. While there is so much you can do to fully prevent these attacks, these do happen and you need countermeasures.

And don’t forget about the disgruntled employee causing data loss by malicious intent!

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Office 365 outages do happen

Service in the cloud means 99.9% uptime. In the first few months of 2019 alone, Office 365 has suffered two major outages. The second outage dated 28th January 2019 was a massive two-day outage

Another Microsoft outage caused data loss where Microsoft deleted several Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) databases in Azure, holding live customer information. 

We are talking no email access, no customer emails, no spreadsheets, no presentations – Basically bringing your enterprise to a halt. Can you quantify the financial loss in having your data unavailable or lost for that long? 

What about native Office 365 archives

Office 365 offers short preset retention periods for deleted emails and deleted items in OneDrive. However, they hold data only for a limited period of time, do not backup regularly (your data will be outdated), and restoring data from may be cumbersome. Such options are more of an archival mechanism than a true backup and restore solution.

So how do you safeguard against Office 365 data loss?

So now that you know that your data in Office 365 needs dependable protection against data loss, what should you do? Select a 

Cloudally provides a safe (ISO 27001 certified, GDPR, and HIPAA compliant), secure (Amazon S3 Secure Storage and AES-256 Encryption) and flexible cloud backup solutions for Office365, Sharepoint and OneDrive, We were also ranked #1 under best business tool category by Newsweek by over 10,000 IT Pros. We offer a full-featured 15-day free trial which you can activate and start backing up your data in minutes and are very highly rated and recommended by our users.

Contact us to have an expert guide you as you navigate the waters of data protection to achieve a reliable and secure enterprise.

Why Do You Need SaaS Backup for Your Data in the Cloud?

SaaS Backup

An increasing number of organizations are moving to SaaS platforms like Office 365, G Suite and Salesforce. It is a misconception however to assume that your data on the cloud is secure. Understand the risks of data loss on the cloud and use SaaS backup solutions to protect it. 

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SaaS data loss is a reality

SaaS BackupYou’ve moved your data to a SaaS platform, and are hugely benefiting from its flexibility, scalability, and fantastic collaboration mechanisms. However, did you know that while SaaS solutions like Office 365, G Suite, Box, and Salesforce, have best-in-class security precautions, they cannot protect your data from data breaches or data loss at your end or from platform outages? Which is why it is no surprise that SaaS industry news is replete with increasingly frequent occurrences of outages and security breaches

At the root of it is a mistaken (but gradually changing) perception within the IT workforce that using cloud / SaaS solutions means that there is no need for data in the cloud to be backed up.

Main reasons for SaaS data loss

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According to Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach 2019 report, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million. Your data on the cloud is vulnerable to loss and breaches due to these reasons:

Human error: An account mistakenly deleted, a critical email erased or an org-wide shared document overwritten? Nightmarish scenarios that cannot be fixed without a backup and recovery solution.

Malicious intent: Your SaaS data is also prone to intentional overwrites, and deletes by bad actors like disgruntled or malicious employees.

Synchronization errors: Syncing or updating multiple SaaS applications, which is a common software scenario in organizations, is not always seamless and can cause loss of SaaS data.

Hackers, Malware, Ransomware, Cryptomining, Phishing: There is an ever-growing list of malware types and scams. The damages due to such data breaches are devastating not only in terms of financial loss, but also damage the business’ reputation and cause loss of customers

Your SaaS platforms cannot protect you from all these causes. Additionally, many regulatory laws such as GDPR, HiPAA, SOX, etc. mandate that protecting SaaS data is a “shared responsibility”, and an organization needs to have accurate recovery capabilities in the event of data loss.

How do you secure your SaaS data?

Ironically, the cloud itself is the answer to protect your SaaS data. Cloud-to-cloud backup harnesses the many advantages of the cloud to provide reliable backup and quick recovery. 

CloudAlly provides SaaS backup solutions for the entire range of SaaS platforms – Office365, G Suite, Salesforce, Sharepoint and OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and more. We were also ranked #1 under best business tool category by Newsweek by over 10,000 IT Pros. We offer a full-featured 15-day free trial which you can activate and start backing up your data in minutes and are very highly rated and recommended by our users.

Contact us to have an expert guide you as you navigate the waters of data protection to achieve a reliable and secure enterprise.

Do you really need to backup office 365?

How to Ensure Business Continuity When Microsoft Backup Fails!

The importance of being earnest with the need for 3rd party backup!

One of Microsoft Windows 10’s most effective built-in backup features used to be its Registry backups. Though the Microsoft backup commands Do you really need to backup office 365?were still running and allegedly being performed successfully, the actual Registry backups had in fact no longer been created – for over a year. So, do you really need to backup office 365?

After numerous complaints, Microsoft explained what was happening, but such a long gap between Registry backups certainly caused problems for companies. This kind of issue demonstrates the importance of creating third-party backups, even if your operating system promises to provide recovery options.  Backup for online business solutions is also required because of the lack of restore possibilities beyond the built-in data retention periods, in solutions such as Office 365, G Suite, etc.

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What this article is about: 

  • Microsoft’s Registry Backups
  • History of Problems with Windows 10
  • Registry Backup Work-Around in Windows 10
  • Using CloudAlly’s Backup for Business

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Microsoft’s Registry Backups 

In June of 2019, Ghacks picked up on the fact that Microsoft was no longer creating Registry backups. While it seemed like these backups were being created as usual, only registry hives, not files, were actually appearing in the RegBack folder.

This meant, of course, that users weren’t able to restore their Registries back to an earlier state by using one of these backups.

Microsoft didn’t address this issue for nearly a year, and when they did, Forbes’ Consumer Tech writer Gordon Kelly calls their delayed response “worrying on multiple levels.”

It turns out that Windows 10 hadn’t been creating Registry backups for nearly a year. However, the tech giant didn’t dub this failure to make backups a bug or a glitch but instead called it a change “by design.”

An explanation (belatedly) issued by Microsoft reads:

“Starting in Windows 10, version 1803, Windows no longer automatically backs up the system registry to the RegBack folder… 

This change is by design, and is intended to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows. To recover a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you use a system restore point.”

 What’s particularly shocking about this change is that users were led to believe that their Registry backups were still running as usual. After all, in the Registry backup folder, backups were still being added, though the actual file size of these phantom files was only 0 KB.

Kelly explains why Microsoft’s surprisingly-late explanation of this change is so problematic:

“Backing up a registry is a crucial last line of defense for many businesses and everyday users. Should a Windows System Restore point fail, barring the use of third-party software, the registry backup is all you have.” 

History of Problems with Windows 10 

When Windows 10 1803 was released in April 2018, users started complaining about the Registry backup issue in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub. However, nobody responded to their complaints or offered a solution to their problem.

Kelly dubs what Microsoft was doing here a “deception,” though it’s difficult to understand why the company might have wanted to make such a change without letting its user know about it. A backup registry usually takes up 50 to 100 MB on a disk, and if administrators wanted to free up this space, it seems they could have made the choice to turn off registry backups on their own.

While it’s unclear why Microsoft might have made this change – and then left users in the dark about it for more than a year – in April 2019, the company did promise to offer its users more transparency and honesty. However, as the company didn’t issue an explanation about what had been going on with Registry backup until two months after that, it remains to be seen if the company will live up to its promise.

With problems like these, it’s perhaps no surprise that so many users are resisting the move to Windows 10, instead hanging on to Windows 7 as long as they can.

Registry Backup Work-Around in Windows 10 

 Though Microsoft automatically disabled Registry backups, the company also gave administrators a workaround that allows them to re-enable this backup using by changing the Registry key’s value. Here’s how to do it:

  1.  First, type regedit.exe into the start menu and open the Registry Editor.
  2. Next, open the Configuration Manager using the key. HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager\
  3. From there, right click on the Configuration Manager and choose New > Dword (32-bit) Value. Call it EnablePeriodicBackup.
  4. After your backup has been created, double-click it to set its value to 1.
  5. Restart the computer.
  6. When Windows reboots, it will start backing up the Registry to the RegBack folder again and will use RegIdleBackup task to start performing regular backups again.

Do you really need to backup office 365?

CAPTION: From Microsoft 

Obviously, though, since Microsoft turned off this functionality, it doesn’t recommend this method for restoring corrupt registry hives. Instead, it suggests using a system restore point for this type of restoration.

Further, setting a Registry backup at this point is too little, too late for many users. Any user that wanted to restore the Registry to before Microsoft’s announcement in June 2019 – backups they believed they had – are out of luck, unless they were backing up their files with a third-party platform in the first place.

Using CloudAlly’s Backup for Business – on cloud solutions.

Business who wish to maintain business continuity, and be able to restore from any point in time with an unlimited retention period, for  solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 online, need to backup with 3rd party providers.

In turn, CloudAlly offers the security to know that your data will be recoverable.  CloudAlly backs up your data daily and allows for unlimited archiving. What’s more, you can use granular restore for single lost files or you can restore a mailbox or calendar, without losing updated information.

How cloud to cloud backup solutions, help avoid business continuity disruption?

…with increasingly common cloud outages?

Why cloud to cloud backup is needed for business continuity in the face of  recent series of outages?

On January 24, 2019, European Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online users discovered that they couldn’t access their emails. It turned out that some of Microsoft’s data center infrastructure had failed, leaving these cloud users out of luck.

While one Microsoft cloud outage might not have been a problem, less than a week later, users faced problems with their cloud Office 365 and Azure and Dynamics services. The outage was blamed on a CenturyLink software defect.

These outages from major players in the cloud industry has IT pros nervous, and for a good reason indeed. Is the cloud really the full-scale solution we’ve been promised? Certainly, in order to adopt cloud services without worrying about down-time, it’s important to use a third-party service that helps you recover lost data and continue operations during outages.

What this article is about:

  • Outages from Big-Name Cloud Providers
  • Is the Cloud Actually Trustworthy?
  • Using a Third-Party Backup for Recovery

Outages from Big-Name Cloud Providers 

 Why Cloud Backup Is Needed for Recovery DataThis year, many of the best-known cloud providers have had one or more outages. Some of these well-known cloud providers have included widely-used business services, like Google Cloud, Apple Play, and iCloud.

On March 12, 2019, for example, Gmail and Google Drive were down for over three hours. Microsoft Azure, which includes features like Microsoft 365, Active Directory and database services, and storage, was down for almost three hours on May 2.

While many of the cloud outages this year have been relatively short, this time offline adds up in productivity and money. Further, different cloud providers have differing outage length, so your business could be more or less affected based on the service you use. From January 2018 through May 2019, Amazon Web Services (AWS) only had 338 hours of downtime, with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) reporting 361 hours. Microsoft Azure, in turn, reported 1,934 hours of downtime.

Complicating this outage reporting time, too, is the fact that there is no standardized measure for reporting cloud outages. Each company must self-report its outage times and frequencies. This means, then, that Azure and GCP often don’t report the regional impact of cloud outages. For example, some services would report only one hour of downtime, even if that downtime affected three distinct service regions.

With good reason, these regular outages have worried IT professionals about how reliable cloud services are for their businesses. After all, how would operations come to a halt if Office 365 Exchange came to a halt in the middle of the workday?

Is the Cloud Actually Trustworthy? 

Cloud platforms are growing at an exponential rate. In 2019, Gartner predicts that cloud services will increase by a remarkable 17.5 percent in just one year. Though cloud providers know about the issues that will inevitably face their data centers and services, an increasing demand for cloud services means that problems will certainly continue to arise.

For example, as cloud services increase quickly to meet demand, older on-premises infrastructure that probably should have been aged out will be forced to work another day.

Still, while most of the outages thus far have often been short, a loss estimate has been predicted for a longer outage that lasts for three to six days. Because so many businesses rely on a limited number of providers, the estimators suggest, an outage that lasts for multiple days could lose companies a total of $15bn. Small businesses would be particularly at risk for loss because many of them don’t have cyber-insurance.

Using a Third-Party Backup for Recovery 

There are undeniably benefits to using cloud services, and as we see a significant industry change, companies that don’t switch over will likely be left behind. At the same time, though, cloud outages will likely continue to be a problem as the industry expands.

The only solution, then, is to be prepared for cloud outages, or even data loss, before it happens. Using a third-party cloud to cloud backup like CloudAlly for Office 365, G Suite, SharePoint, OneDrive, and DropBox ensures that you’ll be able to recover necessary files during a cloud outage.

Say for example that you’d experienced the Office 365 email outage described above. With CloudAlly, your users would have had their email contacts and mailboxes saved the day before with CloudAlly’s automatic daily backup. With CloudAlly restore, they could have retrieved the information they needed to continue daily functions until the outage was restored. Once that happened, then users could access both their older and newer files, accessible through CloudAlly’s non-destructive data restore.

Interested to know more about why it’s necessary to protect your online data? Read our eBook Why Backup Online Data? to learn more.