Microsoft 365 Backup is finally in public preview! Last night Microsoft announced the public preview via e-mail and i immediately grabbed my notebook to setup Microsoft 365 Backup!

Microsoft 365 Backup enables you to do the following: 

  1. Backup in place all or select SharePoint sites, OneDrive accounts, and Exchange mailboxes in your tenant in a matter of hours regardless of tenant size.
  2. Restore select or all SharePoint sites, OneDrive accounts, and mailbox items to a prior point in time for your entire tenant on the order hours.
  3. Search or filter content in your backups using key metadata such as site names, URL, owners, subjects, creation/modification dates, and event types restore point date ranges.

Prerequisites

Configure Syntex pay-as-you-go billing

First, we need to configure Syntex pas-as-you-go billing. Read more about Syntex pay-as-you-go billing here: Overview of Microsoft Syntex – Microsoft Syntex | Microsoft Learn.

1: Open https://admin.microsoft.com -> Setup -> Use content AI with Microsoft Syntex -> Manage Microsoft Syntex

2: Go to Configure Billing and follow the steps on your screen,

3: Select the required Azure subscription from the dropdown menu.

4: Choose a resource group and region. If a new resource group is required you have to create this first. It could not be done from this setup screen at the moment of writing.

5: Accept the Microsoft Syntex pay-as-you-go terms of service and select Save.

More information on setting-up Microsoft Syntex billing can be found here: Configure Microsoft Syntex for pay-as-you-go billing – Microsoft Syntex | Microsoft Learn

Setup Microsoft 365 Backup

1: Open https://admin.microsoft.com -> Settings -> Microsoft 365 Backup -> Backup (Preview)

2: Click Turn on

You are now being redirected to the Microsoft 365 Backup admin center.

Configure Backup policies

You can only setup and manage backup’s that are available based on your permissions. If you are a global admin, you can setup and manage SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange. The SharePoint Administrator can also manage OneDrive. Exchange Admins can only manage Exchange Backups. These permissions are nothing different compared to Microsoft 365.

Admin RoleOne DriveSharePointExchange
Global adminYesYesYes
SharePoint AdminYesYesNo
Exchange adminNoNoYes

The backup policies are easy to setup. With a few steps your backup is up and running!

SharePoint Backup Policy

The SharePoint policy will backup all recent data every 15 minutes while data older than 14 days and up to 1 year are backed-up weekly.

  • Recent 14 days – Every 15 minutes
  • Post 14 days to 1 year – Weekly

Select the SharePoint sites that need to be in this backup. This can be done by manually selecting specific sites or do it via specific rules. This can be done using the Site name or URL contains setting. The current options are limited. It’s unknown to me if more and more options are added overtime. I guess we will see an “Backup all SharePoint sites” in the feature. At this moment, newly created sites are not included in the backup or you need to modify your policy manually. Also, there’s no option yet to modify the schedules.

Click Next and Create Policy. Once the policy is created you will see that it’s being processed immediately.

Exchange Backup Policy

The Exchange policy will backup all data every 10 minutes by default. It is not possible to modify this value at this time. I expect more options to be available in the feature.

At this moment you need to select the mailboxes that are being backed-up by Microsoft 365 backup. There is no option to backup “All Mailboxes” yet. This means that newly created mailboxes are not being backed-up until you add them to this policy manually.

Click Next and Create Policy. Once the policy is created you will see that it’s being processed immediately.

OneDrive Backup Policy

The OneDrive policy will backup all recent data every 15 minutes while data older than 14 days and up to 1 year are backed-up weekly. This is the same as the SharePoint policy does.

  • Recent 14 days – Every 15 minutes
  • Post 14 days to 1 year – Weekly

At this moment you need to select the users that are being backed-up by Microsoft 365 backup. There is no option to backup “All Users” yet. This means that newly created users are not being backed-up until you add them to this policy manually.

Click Next and Create Policy. Once the policy is created you will see that it’s being processed immediately.

Pricing

The Microsoft 365 Backup pricing calculator, when calculating the storage required for each month, takes into consideration the following heuristics:

  • How much storage is typically added (or removed) from a protection unit during the month. For example, if the protection unit was a SharePoint site, how much storage on average is added (or removed) from a SharePoint site during the month due to documents being added (or deleted).
  • How many new protection units for a service type are typically added (or removed) every month. For example, if the service type is Exchange mailboxes, how many new mailboxes are added (or deleted) on average each month.
  • The largest amount of storage required for the previous 12 months.

Use the pricing calculator to estimate your total costs: Pricing model for Microsoft 365 Backup (Preview) – Microsoft Syntex | Microsoft Learn.

Conclusion

Microsoft 365 Backup is in public preview. That being said we cannot expect everything to be in place yet. The options within policies are limited compared to other (third party) backup solutions. I expect this product to develop and more advanced settings will be available when it will be available (out of preview).

For now, this backup solution is good enough for simple tenants who don’t need anything special. Not having options to backup new SharePoint sites, Exchange mailboxes or OneDrive users is a lack of functionality to my opinion. I hope this will be added once it goes globally available.

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