Office 365: Restoring data with Veeam explorers

The first step in the data protection process is to configure your console to back up the data you want. The next step, and what we’ll be covering in this article, is restoring the data when the time comes. Veeam over the years has built out several application explorers in order to restore critical application data in the format necessary to be read properly. We have adapted these same explorers to work with the Microsoft Office 365 infrastructure so you can get the data you need in the necessary formats.

With Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 version 4, we offer an explorer for SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange Online. These explorers can not only restore data back to the original locations but export locally for manual upload or archival purposes. The export options are also very helpful for legal reasons like eDiscovery.

When restoring data, you have the option for restore on any level, whether you want to start a restore from a single organization, all organizations added to the console, or just from the data contained within a job we support with the data scope. To see more on selecting different scopes, please check out Data Restore section from our user guide.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange

This explorer is not just used to restore emails and attachments but contacts, calendar items, tasks and Exchange sticky notes. It also gives the flexibility to select as granular as one of these items to restore or export and up to multiple full mailbox users in parallel. A bonus feature that comes with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange is the ability to compare what is in the backup files to what is currently in production so that only the items that have changed will populate the preview pane. This could be helpful for recovering missing mail from an inbox or seeing what contacts might have been deleted or changed by mistake.

With the advanced search function built into the explorer, you can search the Exchange items by more than 100 different fields and 8 different conditions. If you receive a daily weather report and you want to know what days in April had rain and were over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you could find out with a simple advanced search query. Just setup a date range for emails received only in April which also contains the words “rain” and numbers above 50. This may never be something you need to search for in emails but these advanced search options can become invaluable when gathering information for an eDiscovery and you need to pull every email sent or received from a particular user in the entire organization containing a code word for a contract.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint Online has become an essential tool for collaborating between both internal and external teams on projects. It makes it easy to organize information and data from almost any device anywhere, but in many cases this means more people have access to modify this data. So being able to access and restore versions of these documents and items is essential. Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint makes this easy with a wide range of restore options. You can restore anything from individual documents and lists to entire SharePoint sites. It is also flexible in where you want to restore that data, whether it is back to the original location, new location or exporting it for local access. The advanced search options allow you to choose more than 90 different property fields for the data you’re looking for and any type of time frame. Each of these options make sure you quickly get the data you want, in the way you want it, so business can continue with minimal downtime.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft OneDrive

I can remember when I had to carry a flash drive or the “My Passport” external drive with me everywhere to take files from one computer to another and then another cable to transfer them to my phone when the data was too big for email. Now we have Microsoft OneDrive, which if you did not notice (it’s in the name), one cloud drive to replace all external drives… OneDrive to rule them all. Data in that time was just as vulnerable as it is now with OneDrive when it comes to deleting the wrong files but there is good news, OneDrive can be backed up and restored back to the original location from anywhere. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 offers Veeam Explorer for Microsoft OneDive for this purpose. You can restore an entire drive, folder or just individual files anywhere. Whether you want to restore a copy back to the original location, a new location, download locally, or even email the data, this is all possible within one explorer. If you choose back to the original location, you also have the option to overwrite the existing object or restore and keep both versions of a file. The advanced search options can help you find any file. Whether you remember the exact name or just the file type, the dynamic search options can help you find what you need.

Microsoft Teams data

Understanding Microsoft Teams data is the key to understanding where the data for Teams is stored. Microsoft Teams is a front-end messaging and collaboration mechanism for data backends throughout Microsoft Office 365. Like chat, contacts and team-chat are pulled and stored on the Exchange backend, so to recover this data you need to open the Exchange explorer. Then, team-chat-files and Wiki data is stored on SharePoint Online which means you would find these data types in the SharePoint explorer. Anything contained within the personal chat files section would be under OneDrive which is the explorer you would be able to recover this data. Currently, we can recover any of this data from Microsoft Teams from these data points, but conversations cannot be restored directly back to Microsoft Teams. This is a limitation because the access does not exist to directly inject conversations back into the Teams client, but you can restore files back to SharePoint sites and Wiki to have them populate in team channels. For more on where to pull this data, please check out our Best Practice guide section on Microsoft Teams data.

Veeam offers a wide range of restore options through our explorers so you can get the data you need where you want it with very little effort. The explorers also offer advanced granular search options to make eDiscovery processes a piece of cake, letting you get back to your job faster. With a little planning, your Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 deployment can be up and running with very little inconvenience and have your data protected from disaster or user error.

Series navigation:

  1. Office 365 Backup quick start: Initial configuration
  2. Size planning for your Office 365 backup job
  3. Office 365 Backup: Auxiliary accounts, cloud to cloud
  4. Office 365: Restoring data with Veeam explorers
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