Do you need to back up your Microsoft 365 data?

Right, so your laptop is quite a few years old now and it struggles quite a lot. Even when playing a YouTube video. The cooling fan speeds up to a noticeable hum and everything else feels less responsive. It’s time for a new laptop.

Off to the store you go and spend enough to get a laptop that is as up to date as possible with the latest hardware so it will last a few years. Now, you just need to copy all your data over. Your current setup is ideal, and you don’t fancy having to set it all up again.

You decide to clone your existing setup. A quick backup and restore and you are back up and running. Everything is where it is and the only difference is the hardware. Everything is a lot more reponsive too.

Next, you decide to setup a backup to make sure all your data is protected and decide that it would be a great idea to save a copy elsewhere, so you sign up to a third-party cloud service and get the backups copying there as well. So far so good. All your data is protected, your Operating System is protected. All good!

But wait! What about your emails in Microsoft 365, or Teams chats or your OneDrive data? Surely, if it is in the cloud, it is backed up, right? All those important emails, Teams Chats, OneDrive files. You decide to check how often Microsoft backups them up and how long they store them for. Well, it turns out. Microsoft don’t backup them up at all!

What? No backups? But it’s in the Cloud!

Microsoft use something called a ‘Shared Responsibility Model’ (Shared responsibility in the cloud – Microsoft Azure | Microsoft Learn) which means, in simple terms, that Microsoft is responsible for certain aspects, such as the infrastructure and providing the service but not your data residing in Microsoft 365, which is known as a SaaS (Software as a Service) application. As can be seen in the image below, Microsoft is not responsible for:

  • Information and data
  • Devices (Mobile and PCs)
  • Accounts and identities
  • Some Identity and directory infrastructure

A great article can be found here: The Office 365 Shared Responsibility Model (

Shared Responsibility Model. Credit: Microsoft

For example, all the files that you create in say, Microsoft Word, and save in your Documents folder. Unless they are backed up, the files reside on your computer. If that computer was to fail, there will be data loss. This is similar to Microsoft 365. Microsoft supply the platform to create and work with the data created but it resides in their DC (Data Center). Will you be able to access that data whenever you need it? What is there was an outage in a Microsoft DC where the data resides?

What if you wanted to recover an email that was deleted a while ago? Or retrieve a previous version of a file from OneDrive from over 6 months ago?

Well, this is where something to backup that data in Microsoft 365 would be useful. You have a copy of your Microsoft Teams chats, emails, OneDrive files, etc available at all times without worrying about what would happen if you were no longer able to access your Microsoft 365 account or if there was an outage.

One such great product is Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365. More information here: FREE Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 Community Edition One of the best things about it is that it is free for 10 users and 1TB of SharePoint data! As in pay nothing, zilch, nada, 0!