Backup in the age of Cloud


GBM Executive

The explosive growth of ransomware and other cyber threats today is forcing IT professionals to consider their data protection and disaster recovery strategies. Software-as-aservice (SaaS) workloads such as Microsoft 365 and Salesforce are a particular concern, because they’ve become essential collaboration and management tools, especially in the current age of working smart and remote. Keeping in line with this trend SaaS type of workloads seems to rise as companies of all size try to gain competitive advantage by leveraging digital tools to work faster and smarter.

One such provider is Microsoft with their collaboration suite of Microsoft 365. But the service come with a warning to customers that, “In the event of an outage, customer may not be able to retrieve their content or data that have been stored. They should mitigate the problem by taking regular backup using Third-Party Apps and Services.”

What Microsoft actually mean is that it provides protection against loss of service due to hardware failure or natural disaster and short-term protection against user and admin error (for example Outlook does not backup emails older than 30 days that have been deleted from the bin) based on a standard one-week Microsoft backup schedule, you as a customer must make sure to provide protection against data loss due to accidental deletion, hackers, ransomware, malicious insiders or departing employees as compliance with regulations and requirements for data access goes well beyond typical backup methods.

That’s why a comprehensive strategy for data resilience must ensure that the contents of SaaS workloads are protected alongside other data in the event of malware attack, human error, natural disaster, or other threats.

One such solution offering by IBM is Spectrum Protect Plus Online Services which cater to the recommendation advised by Microsoft for the day-to-day backup of Microsoft 365 data. Currently SPPOS offering is available for M365 with the add-on protection of backing up of SalesForce data at an additional cost.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus Online Services is a data protection backup-as-a-service solution. It empowers clients with the capability to back up and restore cloud resident data for Microsoft 365. Centralized management with tracking, management, and reporting of all Microsoft 365 backup and restore processes from one console. Built-in storage encryption ensures Microsoft 365 app data is secure

IBM clients can take advantage of IBM backup and restore capabilities in the cloud. Data protection for Microsoft 365, including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Project Online, OneDrive, Groups, Teams, and Public Folders. Backup can be full or incremental with granular restore. Restore can be done to alternate location, to another mailbox or OneDrive. One of the salient features of SPPOS is that the backup can be exports to local file system in different file formats.

The product is available in subscription model of 1/2/3 years for Microsoft 365 – a) IBM SPPOS for M365 with unlimited storage (IBM provided) b) IBM SPPOS for M365 without storage (BYOS).

First option, client can use the storage that is provided from IBM. The impact is that the backup data will be stored in the IBM used data center. Alternatively, the client can use the BYOS option to use storage in a different data center or on-prem storage.

The BYOS licensing option allows a customer to bring their own storage license, or can buy the Azure blog storage from IBM or through Microsoft. If you have storage you want to use as a repository for backup, you can use it. Other options available are Azure, S3 (AWS or compatible, on-prem or off-prem), (S)FTP and DropBox.

You can also use Spectrum Protect server S3 (on-prem or off-prem). The S3 connector can be used to protect the date to a back-end device. So, if you want to move it to tape for long term retention, you can do that.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus for Office 365 licensing is based on per user per month, which allows for an easy consumption of the data protection capability flexible aligned with the client licensing demand and with Microsoft licensing model.

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