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Office 365 backup question

Do you backup Office 365 data?

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We currently use Office and Outlook desktop versions but are considering moving to Office 365 for our team of nine users.

We have a Remote Server provider who has quoted us £15.10 a month per user, which ties in with Microsoft's prices, but has then quoted add-ons of £3 a month per user for 50GB mailbox and £3.11 a month per user for Microsoft 365 backup. 

I'm not questioning the prices specifically, but the Microsoft site doesn't give any indication that it's necessary to separately backup the data and a quick Google on the subject seems to suggest in most cases it's not necessary. Microsoft do say 'Enable unlimited cloud archive and long-term preservation policies to ensure you never lose an email with Exchange Online Archiving' but do not specifically say that they automatically back up Office documents.

Is it necessary to back-up separately please?

With the 50GB mailbox add-on the Microsoft site says Email hosting with 50 GB mailbox as part of the £15.10 Office 365 Premium subscription. Can you think of any reason why we are being quoted extra for this please?

Thanks for any advice.

Replies (12)

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By Duggimon
11th Aug 2021 12:17

What are the remote server provider providing that Microsoft are not? Is it just a different route to get the same service?

As for the backup service, it depends what you're backing up for. Microsoft backs up it's servers for disaster recovery and your data is distributed so that, barring any massive outage, you'll keep continued access regardless of what happens to any of the physical servers. If you want to backup to deal with issues like staff deleting things they ought not to have deleted, you might want a separate backup system outside of Microsoft.

Thanks (2)
By Hugo Fair
11th Aug 2021 13:09

The validity of a back-up facility is dependent on what you're protecting against. And not just in terms of the cause of the 'problem', as Duggimon correctly points out, but in terms of the solution's ability to overcome the problem.

For instance, many years ago I had a client (in the days when computer systems meant having a physical server in the office) who rigorously took backups every night - and placed those in a normal safe in the same office. Until the day that I asked him what he was most concerned about and, after he'd replied "Fire or Flood", I looked at his server then back to the safe then back to the server ... until he got the message!

So if you rely on Microsoft for your day-to-day backups but want additional security, just in case you lose access to the Internet, say ... then that additional back-up had better not require you to access it over the same Internet!

Work out what matters to you ... and what you couldn't live without (either as archives or for ongoing operations) ... and what circumstances could endanger those. Then and only then seek solutions to the potential problems that you've identified.

Thanks (2)
By Mr_awol
11th Aug 2021 14:26

I'd tend to say if your IT specialist has included it and you arent sure if you need it or not - maybe ask them what it's for?

Or maybe get revenge on the freeloaders who come on here by hopping over to and telling them you already have an IT support professional but want to 'check' so you can be 'informed when you go into the meeting'.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Mr_awol:
By newmoon
11th Aug 2021 14:39

Mr_awol wrote:

I'd tend to say if your IT specialist has included it and you arent sure if you need it or not - maybe ask them what it's for?

Or maybe get revenge on the freeloaders who come on here by hopping over to and telling them you already have an IT support professional but want to 'check' so you can be 'informed when you go into the meeting'.

Ha! That's one option (is there such a website?).
I will ask our IT specialist but as you say, ideally wanted to double check beforehand whether I'm misunderstanding something.

Thanks (0)
By Moonbeam
11th Aug 2021 16:49

I shall be moving onto 365 in October. My IT people tell me I need a separate backup function just in case. It's not very much in cost, and I think it would be worth it if I deleted a file that I couldn't live without.

Thanks (2)
By atleastisoundknowledgable...
11th Aug 2021 21:58

I don’t have, but keep meaning to get a separate backup for M365 - I’ve been quoted £2.50pppm.

My reason for it is for the situation when someone (accidentally or on purpose) deletes a file or email that we need.

Thanks (1)
By paulwakefield1
12th Aug 2021 10:49

I am probably slightly paranoid but, whatever the blandishments from IT providers, back it up. Ideally off cloud and secure. By all means have cloud backups and syncs as well - in fact more than one solution is eminently sensible. Storage drives can fail as well.

Thanks (1)
By john hextall
12th Aug 2021 13:21

I thought Office 365 was about £9.10 a month rather than £15.10. Our provider tells us that Microsoft only back up about 3 months worth of Outlook messages so we pay extra to get them all backed up. We also pay extra for cloud back-ups of our server and the PCs connected to it. I recommend getting your provider to explain clearly what they are charging for and don't be afraid of asking probing questions. There is also the issue that restoring Office 365 from Microsoft might be a bit more difficult than from a dedicated back-up service, and it is worth paying extra for that.

Thanks (1)
By North East Accountant
12th Aug 2021 13:41

Datto - can keep everything forever ( and yes I know about GDPR).

Thanks (1)
By Caber Feidh
13th Aug 2021 02:06

Will your backup(s) protect you against ransom attacks as well as all the other routine disasters?

I keep three separate backups that I use in rotation, that are only connected to my desktop when actually backing-up, that do not rely on the Internet and that are kept separate from my desktop. I do not currently backup my laptop but only because its contents are delivered to it (or updated) from my desktop. In effect, it is a fourth backup.

I am a chartered engineer and not in business so my concerns are likely to be different from those of accountants in practice.

Thanks (1)
By Luke
13th Aug 2021 11:46

We use microsoft 365 but also pay for OneDrive for business subscription and a Carbonite subscription. Both are independent backup solutions and whilst it may be a bit paranoid, I like to think that if something went wrong with one provider I would always have the other one. In terms of cost it is not high for peace of mind.

I do sporadically do external hard drive backups but not often enough to be reliable.

Thanks (1)
Elliott Chandler Picture
By elliottchandler
15th Aug 2021 23:52

It all depends on how important is your data. If you want to reduce the risk then old age three level backup will do the job. And in some respects the cost is irrelevant if you lose the one piece of information that saves your business from disaster.

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