#1 Microsoft 365 backup guide

update notice:
The information in this blog post has been updated on May 02, 2022.

In this blog, we’ll focus on a new, easy-to-read technical guide we recently released called, “#1 Microsoft 365 Backup by Veeam”. You can download it here, or read an overview and excerpts below.

Since the inception of Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365, we at Veeam made it our mission to educate the IT community on the importance of protecting data in Microsoft 365. Fortunately, as time has gone by, more and more organizations now understand the “why” behind Software as a Service (SaaS) backup and want to focus more on the “how”. So, we have created a new technical guide for Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 that explains everything from what the components are, to how to get your first backup and restores up and running.

Let’s cover a few important aspects of deploying Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365:

Installation package

The Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 installation package consists of the following four MSI files:

  1. Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365

Installs Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 with the following services:

  • Control global configuration settings
  • Manage backup proxy servers and repositories
  • Process REST commands (this component is disabled by default, but can be enabled)
  • Automate operations with PowerShell
  • Restore backed up data via Veeam Explorers
  1. Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 console

Installs the following services:

  • The user interface client for local and remote Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 servers
  • Veeam Explorers for data restores
  1. Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 PowerShell

Installs the PowerShell extension with sets of PowerShell cmdlets.

  1. Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 REST API and restore portal

Installs the RESTful API plugin and the restore portal.

You can download the Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 installation package from the official Veeam website.

Infrastructure components

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive solution that allows you to back up and restore your Microsoft 365 organizations’ data, including Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business and Teams data, as well as data from on-premises Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint organizations.

There are three core components within Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365: A backup server, a backup proxy and a backup repository. Additionally, there are components like a RESTful API plug-in and PowerShell.

Backup server

The Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 server is the central configuration and control component. This component is responsible for setting up and managing other components, job scheduling, task coordination and more.

The server can be installed on a physical or virtual Windows-based machine. The server also includes access to Console UI.

Backup proxy

The Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 proxy is the workhorse behind scenes that conducts all read and write activities and intelligently converts objects to smaller, manageable items.

Backup proxies provide an optimal route for backup traffic and enables efficient data transfers.

Backup repository

The Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 repository is the location at which Microsoft 365 data is stored. Repositories can also store important metadata used during backup and recovery operations. Backup repositories are supported through the following types of storage: Object storage (on-premises and cloud), directly attached storage (DAS), SAN and server message block (SMB) 3.0.

Simple versus advanced deployments

With Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365, you can use both simple and advanced deployment options. Find out which one will work best for you!

Simple deployments

A simple deployment will include the installation of all its components onto a single server, and this machine can be either virtual or physical. Specs should follow configuration maximums. In this scenario, all the major components (i.e., the server, proxy and repository) are installed on the same machine.

A simple deployment scales out by adding multiple repositories that are operated by the same built-in proxy server. Simple deployments are suitable for small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that want to have a local backup copy of their Microsoft 365 data on-premises. This applies to public cloud deployments like Azure Cloud, AWS and other offerings as well. In this case, backup data can be stored on disk- or file-based repositories that are attached to the servers as well as object storage repositories that sit both in the public cloud and on-premises.

Advanced deployments

Advanced deployment gives users the option to scale out installations by adding proxy and repository components to meet demanding business requirements. The process of adding these components is handled by the main server, and when scaling out to an advanced deployment, the server installs the necessary components onto the required servers. This works by deploying the main veeam.archiver.proxy service along with a copy of the infrastructure configuration.

This newly added proxy benefits from having a view of the entire infrastructure and gives users the option to configure backup jobs by using additional repository targets. This entire process is wizard driven. Full automation is also possible through native PowerShell commands and RESTful APIs. Servers and proxies can be part of the same domain, a separate domain (with trust relationship) or even part of workgroups.

Infrastructure planning

Typically, the size of an environment dictates the deployment model. The size of an environment is not necessarily related to the number of Microsoft 365 users that need protecting; it’s based on the number of objects to protect.

Getting started with sizing is easy, since you can size your environment with the Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 capacity calculator!

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably interested in the full technical guide! Download here to keep reading.

Additional resources:

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