Local Backups of Office 365 Email Help Protect Your Business

 In Office 365, Email, Microsoft

Using Office 365 as your email service doesn’t mean you don’t need a backup and recovery strategy. Although Microsoft offers uptime of over 99.9%, that .1% downtime still allows for outages of nearly three quarters of an hour every month. That’s not a huge amount of time, but still can be noticeable to your business.

That’s one reason to make sure you have a strategy for recovering emails independent of Office 365. Another reason is to have increased flexibility in terms of recovering individual mailboxes. Still another reason is to implement greater search capabilities to meet e-discovery requirements.

Before deciding how to handle your Office 365 backups, it’s important to understand the email challenges that come with using Office 365.

Office 365 and Cloud Email Challenges

The biggest challenge that comes with using Office 365 for email is the one that comes with using any cloud service: loss of control. Even though Microsoft provides the foundational email services, it’s important to remember that it’s your data and it’s your responsibility. Keeping it available is your responsibility, too. That requires awareness of how Microsoft handles terminated email accounts and making sure they’re preserved in accordance with your own policies. At the same time, you need to balance the legal need to preserve data with the cost of maintaining employee accounts in Office 365.

Local Copies of Data Provide Advantages

Keeping local copies of your email data is good practice, just as it is with any data. A typical backup strategy is 3-2-1, which requires keeping three copies of data, using two different storage media, and storing one copy offsite. Combining cloud with a local copy of your email lets you satisfy that basic approach to backup.

With a local copy, you can ensure recovery times that meet your business needs and satisfy compliance requirements. If you don’t keep your own copies of data, it’s possible for users to misconfigure email policies and think they’re retaining emails as required when they are not.

An offsite backup also ensures you’re able to recover and restore emails under any unusual circumstances, where the retention and recovery policies supported by Microsoft may not meet your needs.

If you’re using a hybrid email configuration, with both cloud-based and on-premises Exchange, keeping a local backup of your online email lets you apply the same backup, recovery, and e-discovery strategies across your entire organization. This approach reduces the training your team needs and simplifies managing your recovery during a crisis.

Make sure your Office 365 strategy supports all your business needs with help from Prescient Solutions. Our certified team is a Microsoft Partner with expertise in all aspects of Office 365. We provide IT consulting services and managed services to businesses and organizations in the Chicago and Schaumburg areas. Contact us to learn more about ensuring that your Office 365 email will be protected and available.

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