Office 365 productivity tools have become fundamentally critical to business operations for organizations of all sizes. Gartner research* has found that SharePoint Online is one of the top three drivers for Office 365 adoption, along with Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business. Customers who are currently using Druva inSync to protect their Office 365 services like Exchange Online, Calendar, Contacts, and OneDrive have helped us drive the growth of our product offering for these environments, enabling Druva to better extend that same support to SharePoint Online. We’ve learned a lot from our customers about how they’re using SharePoint Online within their organizations, and I wanted to share some of those insights into the business challenges and how those challenges have been addressed using a cloud data-protection solution.
Cloud Adoption for SharePoint Online
The majority of our customers who are using SharePoint are either in the process of migrating from an on-premises SharePoint repository to the cloud or in the early phases of a SharePoint Online rollout. Regardless of what stage they are at, organizations do not get very deep into the process before discussing their requirements for ensuring that the data is protected and available for recovery.
What’s Driving SharePoint Online Backup and Archival Needs?
Customers expressed these core business challenges with SharePoint Online data:
- Concerns about permanent data loss due to malicious acts like ransomware or actions taken by disgruntled employees
- Accidental deletions through individual user error or during the process of offboarding employees and contractors
- Data migration issues leading to corrupted folder contents
Office 365 Recovery Gaps
Microsoft Service Level Agreements (SLAs) guarantee a 99.9% uptime with a good track record. While uptime is an essential requirement, Gartner has highlighted that uptime alone does not provide the business with the capability to fully meet its operational needs. Ultimately, there are significant gaps in the backup, recovery, and data management capabilities of these purpose-built productivity tools.
Customers agree with Gartner’s perspective and have highlighted the following challenges:
- The Microsoft native SharePoint Online backups are performed once every 12 hours and retained for 14 days, a schedule that does not meet the retention requirements or recovery needs of most organizations.
- The recovery process uses the same SharePoint Online URL as the original repository, so anytime you recover data, you are forced to replace the entire collection hosted at that URL.
- The only restore option is a full-site collection restore—there’s no ability to recover an individual list, library, item, or document.
- Backup copies with old data always contain duplicate files with a number 1 at the end, making it time-consuming for admins to recover the right data.
- Backup data isn’t available on demand—it has to be requested from Microsoft using a process that can take up to several weeks, and even after waiting, the data may not even be recovered successfully.
- Microsoft native file-versioning and recycle bin only address minimal recovery needs, without critical management option like time-indexed snapshots.
What Were Customers Looking For?
Customers consistently expressed the need for a seamless self-service experience with granular data recovery options and assurances that their organization’s data was successfully backed up and secured. With these requirements in mind, we set out to extend our inSync SharePoint Online support with the same ease of use, flexibility, security, and privacy capabilities that our customers expect.
Ease of use
- inSync uses the same common configuration for all Office 365 services. There are no additional configurations required for SharePoint Online
- Auto-discovery of all site collections within a tenant.
- Automatic backup of an entire site collection’s data.
- Customizable backup frequency and retention, along with unlimited scalable storage