Expert GuideMicrosoft 365 Backup: Backing up business-critical data with AvePoint in the cloud

Andreas Diefenbach — 01. September 2022
Reading time 3:51 minutes

Microsoft 365 AvePoint Cloud Backup

In our whitepaper, we showed that and why data processed in Microsoft 365 needs to be backed up, what Microsoft 365 itself offers and what should be added. Those already working with a SaaS solution might be interested in the backup solution with AvePoint.

Why do you need a Microsoft 365 backup?

For the same reasons you've been doing on-premise backups for years: to protect your critical data through retention and versioning. "After all, our cloud provider takes care of everything!" You shouldn't rely on that: Some vendors specifically tell you to set up a backup. So does Microsoft 365.


Cloud providers will primarily ensure that the services they offer are accessible in the event of an emergency. This can cover scenarios such as hardware failure, natural disasters or the failure of an entire data center. But you should also think about attacks (ransomware, hackers, malicious insiders), recovery after a long period of time or even data loss due to employees leaving the company.


In addition, the products, such as teams, do not use a central storage, which you "have in view". With the classic file storage via network drive, data is often stored together according to customers, projects, etc. With Teams, data is stored in various places, such as OneDrive or SharePoint, and may be accessed with OneNote or Outlook.


Of course, there is certain basic functionality in the backup area, such as a recycle bin or version history, but these are more suitable for short-term data loss.


Example: Your boss deleted an important customer email. Five weeks later, on the occasion of the next meeting with the customer, he notices that the important information is missing. He contacts IT and asks for recovery. You log on online and discover that you can only retrieve items that are not older than 14 days (default setting). Even if you increase the default setting to a maximum of 30 days, you will not be able to recover the data. (Change deleted item retention (Microsoft Exchange Online))


As the owner of your data, you are responsible for long-term data backup. Cloud providers ensure that their platform is available. They achieve this through redundant data centers, including geo-redundant ones.

AvePoint as an alternative to SaaS solutions

Are you already using Saas solutions such as Teams, OneDrive, Exchange Online, Planner or similar? Then you should consider a SaaS backup solution.

An "offsite backup" of online services like Teams or Planner will at best help reassure you, but it won't help with a complete outage. You won't be able to run a SaaS server like Teams offline, so the data offline is virtually useless. To restore the data, a restore from an offline backup to the cloud would take additional time.

Cloud-driven backup benefits for Microsoft 365.

The same advantage as with SaaS production solutions can also be achieved with AvePoint. This no longer requires running a backup server. AvePoint provides everything in one platform and takes care of updates as well as availability. Your IT team only needs to focus on the backup history, monitor it, and, if necessary, restore lost items.

What's more, AvePoint can back up other business-critical data on the AvePoint platform, such as Azure, Dynamics, Salesforce, or Google Workspace.

What can be backed up with AvePoint MS 365 Backup & Recovery.

What can I back up with AvePoint Microsoft 365 backup? We have listed the application areas at AvePoint for you: (Source: AvePoint)

Exchange Online

Backup Outlook mailboxes, archives, folders, chats, calendars, contacts, messages, permissions, and more.

SharePoint Online

Protect site collections or granular sites, lists, libraries, folders, items, metadata, security settings and version histories

Microsoft 365 groups

Secure Microsoft 365 groups, including files, conversations, notebooks, sites and more.

Microsoft Teams

Teams channels, private channels, conversations, work files, meeting items and more can be restored effortlessly.

OneDrive for Business

Back up lists, libraries, folders, items, metadata, security settings, and version histories.

Public folders

Mailboxes, messages, files, contacts, forms and postings, all protected.

Project Online

Back up plans, tasks, assignments, and files.


Planner tasks, buckets, progress, labels and task assignments are kept secure and accessible at all times.

All data backed up: What does recovery look like?

AvePoint has implemented powerful recovery capabilities, while also emphasizing user-friendly and intuitive operation. This further reduces the burden on the IT team.

In addition to the backup options listed, there are the following recovery options, according to AvePoint:

Granular on-demand recovery ensures the most relevant copy is restored in the event of conflicts.

Restore content even directly to another cloud site, mailbox, group, or OneDrive to retain and restructure data elsewhere.

Restore ZIP and PST files to local storage to have access to them at any time. Export OneDrive, SharePoint and Outlook data, including files, mailboxes or email items, and chat histories.

Perform full security rollbacks to undo changes to Microsoft 365 permissions.

Search for Microsoft 365 teams, files, emails, or other items using full-text search to quickly find and recover items.

Restore content to a specific point in time using a simple calendar interface.

AvePoint's Chat Bot (AVA) allows users to recover content from Microsoft Teams, always keeping security in mind.

Delegate restores to trusted users based on roles or security restrictions by AD properties, such as location, department, or role.

Fast document search: Teams self-service AVA.

AVA is AvePoint's virtual assistant that can be used to search for documents and is written directly to Teams. AvePoint thus provides users with a self-service to find and recover lost or moved items from Outlook, Teams and OneDrive.

This saves time for the user as well as the helpdesk. Of course, users can only have data recovered that they already had access to.


Watch the AvePoint video about AVA in action

Backup according to GDPR, CCPA, Governance and Compliance in Mind


With cloud backup, you can easily meet compliance requirements by protecting data in encrypted storage based on your retention policies, such as BYOS (Bring Your Own Storage) or some other combination.


AvePoint offers the Privacy Dashboard: according to AvePoint, it searches secured emails, calendars and OneDrives to satisfy "Right to Be Forgotten" and data access requests, regardless of where the data is stored. This can help support external requests or internal audits and other compliance tasks - any request for which you need to find, report, and delete.


Compliance with AvePoint - watch the video

Right to be forgotten

Search Exchange mailboxes as well as OneDrives and remove data of one or more users from backups.

DSAR processing

Export all current information to OneDrive or a specific user's mailbox in accordance with EU GDPR Article 15.

Admin auditing

Tracking not only restore operations, but also all administrative activities, including changes to backup scope or report downloads.

Maintain accountability

Logging consent for data cleanup and deletion. Account for deletion of content using evidence management.

Data security with delegated management

Control who has access to view and manage backups and restores. Security customizations based on AD properties, manual configuration, or Microsoft 365 permissions enable role-based access.

Status monitoring

Monitor and report on backup status in Microsoft 365 Exchange mailboxes, calendars, Groups, Teams, SharePoint, and others.

Granular content deletion.

Search and delete content from Microsoft 365 backups across the organization. Security customizations and role-based access prevent unauthorized deletions.

Backup data sovereignty

With multi-geo support and granular storage control, backup data is always stored and processed where needed. Choice of built-in Azure storage or BYOS by company, unit, or even department.

Dynamic 365 & Salesforce Backup

Dynamics & Salesforce scenarios are similar, such as Exchange Online. Both platforms keep deleted items in the trash for a maximum of 30 days. To backup data beyond this time frame, custom ways and solutions must be found and implemented.


Dynamics: Backup and restore environments

Salesforce: Enable Extended Recycle Bin Retention


AvePoint also offers similar features tailored to its products, such as multiple backups per day, or granular restores down to individual values of a field.

“Comparison views" can be used to assess before restoring, whether the data set is the desired one and at the desired time.


AvePoint, as a cloud-based SaaS backup solution in line with SaaS solutions such as Microsoft 365, offers approaches to backup and recovery that can significantly free up an IT team to focus on other tasks. The range of solutions that can be backed up via AvePoint, such as Azure, Dynamics, Salesforce or Google Workspace, also speaks for the benefits of the solution. 


In addition, the support of compliance requirements plays an essential role in everyday IT, so AvePoint appears to be a recommendable solution for IT teams. Of course, it must be examined in the respective context of the IT architecture which backup solution - which models and architectures - make sense to use or implement.


As consultants and managed service provider, we include various manufacturers and operators of SaaS solutions in our architectures. If you have any questions on the subject, we at Empalis will be happy to help.