Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox

Hello,

If you’ve migrated to Office 365, there is a strong possibility that you migrated your Exchange mailbox to Exchange Online also. When you were on-premise, you backed up your Exchange servers and your database, why don’t you do the same in Exchange Online with Office 365 ?

Recoverable Items

Indeed, there is a popular saying that Microsoft performs backup of your mailboxes, this is wrong. Microsoft provide a recycle bin for each mailbox, call the “Deleted Items” folder. A lot of people empty the deleted items folder. Once you deleted items from there, you have one last chance, you can click on “Recover Deleted Items”:

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Recover Deleted Items

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Recover Deleted Items

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Recover Deleted Items Popup

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Recover Deleted Items Popup

If you hit the “Purge” button, everything is lost, for good. Microsoft does not backup any data of you. They won’t be able to help you recover your mails.

You can protect your users from themselves with the legal hold, but it requires some licenses (E1 is not enough, included in E3), and it’s not that straightforward to use.

Mailbox Backup

There is no easy way to export an Exchange Online mailbox, Veeam released a tool named “Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365“. This tool will connect to your tenant, and make a backup of your mailboxes.

The tool does not have so many prerequisites:

  • Impersonation on mailboxes to backup
  • Exchange Administrator

The tool can grant itself the impersonation permission if you tick the case, or you can give the required permission yourself.

You can install Veeam’s tool on a Windows computer, in your datacenter. The computer will connect to each mailbox and create a backup. You’ll require a lot of free disk space depending of the size of your mailboxes. It will also consume a lot of bandwidth and can be pretty slow depending of the quality and performance of your internet connection.

Mailbox Backup from Azure

Another option is to create a VM in Azure IaaS, and use this one to backup your mailboxes. This may be a good solution because this VM will sit next to the Exchange server hosting your online mailboxes. The bandwidth will be pretty high and latency pretty low.

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Backup with Veeam

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Backup with Veeam

Once the mailboxes are backed up, you can export them to a PST:

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Explore Backup with Veeam

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Explore Backup with Veeam

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox Export Mailbox to PST

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox Export Mailbox to PST

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Exporting to PST with Veeam

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Exporting to PST with Veeam

Note: To perform the export to PST, you need to have Outlook (64 bits) 2010 or newer.

Veeam PowerShell Module

You can also use PowerShell to create & schedule your backup jobs and a lot of other stuff:

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Veeam PowerShell Module

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Veeam PowerShell Module

For example, you can quickly see how many mailboxes in your tenant are backed up or not:

Get-VBOOrganization | Get-VBOOrganizationMailbox | Group-Object -Property 'IsBackedUp' -NoElement
Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Backed up Status with PowerShell

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Backed up Status with PowerShell

You can also have a look at your repositories:

Get-VBORepository
Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox - Veeam Repository & PowerShell

Backup Export Office 365 Exchange Online Mailbox – Veeam Repository & PowerShell

Conclusion

Veeam seems to produce a great tool to allow fast & easy backup for Office 365 Exchange online mailboxes. It also allows to perform PST export from the backup, pretty handy for employees who left the company. Export the mailbox and remove the Office 365 license. If he comes back, import the PST back into his mailbox.

This is a great addition of the default Office 365 mail retention possibilities.

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