Do I need to backup Office 365?


As a consultant I visit many different businesses with different solution requirements, but there is one question I get asked a lot and that is, Do I still need to ensure that my data in Office 365 is backed up?

There is a widespread misconception that data created and stored in the cloud does not need to be backed up. When data is deleted or corrupted, companies face three major problems: Lost data, lost time and lost revenue.

Data loss is often a major concern for Office 365 customers because Microsoft’s backup policies cannot guarantee a complete and speedy restore of lost data. Even when data is retrievable, the process is long and complicated, and retention policies vary for each application included in the cloud platform.

Below is an image that should hopefully help you identify who is responsible for the different aspects of Office 365

o365 backuo

Reasons to use a third party backup provider

Ransomware attacks

Companies need to consider a multi-layered approach when it comes to security against cyber-attacks. Office 365 data is not invulnerable—without sufficient backup, companies stand to risk losing all of their files. -The WannaCry Virus is a prime example of this, we had numerous customers who’s data got encrypted and then synchronised to OneDrive, the only way around this was using 3rd party tools we already had in place protecting the businesses data. – if we did not then the data that was encrypted would have been lost.

Additional costs & data loss due to inactive licenses

As one would expect, an active Office 365 license is required to access O365 data. Unfortunately inactive or deprovisioned user data is permanently deleted, and retaining licenses of departed employees can be expensive.

Data loss due to Permanent deletion

When a SharePoint Online administrator deletes a site collection, all data will be placed in the Recycle Bin where it is deleted after 90 days. After it is automatically deleted, there is no rollback option.

Data loss when Restoring files

When restoring older files from a SharePoint backup, the restore is targeted at the same URL. This means a restore overwrites whatever data currently exists in the site collection – not the individual file or folder.

Business downtime

Contacting Microsoft Support for assistance with possible data loss after identifying the proper document version can be very time consuming.

Depending on the size of your business there are a number of Cloud backup solutions that are available to you, ones that I have used previously are:


Datto Backupify: 


Cloud Ally:

I know that there are solutions from Veeam and NetAPP as below:


NetAPP Software as a Service Backup:





How to Backup/Restore IIS7 & IIS8 Configuration

Backing up IIS7 configuration is as simple as copying the \windows\system32\inetsrv\config directory (and subdirectories) into a backup directory, so you don’t need anything special to do it.  Just include this directory in whatever your OS/content back-up plan is, or write a custom script to do it.

To help make managing backups easy, Microsoft added a simple cmd-line option to AppCmd.exe that makes management of backup/restore sets easy.  For example, to backup configuration, run the follow command:

> %windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe add backup “My Backup Name”

to restore that backup, run this command:

> %windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe restore backup “My Backup Name”

to delete a backup, run this command:

> %windir%\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe delete backup “My Backup Name”

IIS will automatically make history snapshots of ApplicationHost.config each time a change is detected, enabling you to easily restore to a prior version.  By default, IIS checks for a new version every 2 mins, and will keep 10 prior versions of the file.  IIS stores these snapshots in the %systemdrive%\inetpub\history folder by default.  You can change any of these settings by editing the section in ApplicationHost.config.