Maintain control of your Microsoft Office 365 email data
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lemtargatwing
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Explanation on retention

Post by lemtargatwing » Jul 27, 2018 8:58 pm

The retention settings for 365 backup are a bit confusing to me. I'm most likely making it too difficult in my own head.

Can someone explain it to me like I'm five? If I'm understanding it right, if I'm backing up my one drive account, and a file passes retention (let's say 1 year), then it is not downloaded to the repository. Once the retention runs on the local repository side, then it is removed from my repository completely? Am I getting this correctly?

Mike Resseler
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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Jul 30, 2018 2:38 pm

Hi Kyle,

I like your "five" year style. I am actually a believer of: "If I can explain it so my grandmother understands it, I've done it right" ;-)

Anyway:
Retention is based on the modified date of an item. An item being: an email, a contact, a calendar item, a document, a whatever.

If you choose a retention of 3 years, then VBO (Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365) starts the first backup with downloading ALL items where the modified date is lower than those 3 years. So imagine you have a file that hasn't been modified in 4 years, that will be out of retention.

Now, each time the cleanup runs, it will remove items inside the repository where the modified date is older than those 3 years. Any item with a modified date younger will obviously remain inside the backup.

I hope this makes it a bit more clear
If not, then I failed so let me know ;-)
Mike

lemtargatwing
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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by lemtargatwing » Jul 30, 2018 4:47 pm

Ok, let me see if I'm getting a grasp on this.

Let's say I have a file being backed up from my onedrive. I have four restore points total from this backup set. The file is now over 3 years on modification, so the fifth restore point is when it stops being backed up. Also, repository cleanup has ran that evening. So in the five restore points I have now, that file is not there? Is that correct?

Also, how many restore points will I retain? I'm assuming as many as it has to to maintain that 3 year retention correct? So if I only had 1 file and it dropped out, then I would have no restore points correct?

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Jul 30, 2018 4:51 pm

Correct. The file will be gone.

Restore points should be seen a bit different. It is the state of that OneDrive of that moment, minus the items that are out of retention.

However, one final note, is the possibility of versions. So imagine that versions are enabled, you should consider those as NEW or Modified items which means the retention will be the modified date.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by lemtargatwing » Jul 30, 2018 8:29 pm

Why the change with retention from what we normally see with VBR? Is there plans in the future to add the ability to hold things similar to VBR? That way we can just backup the entire thing, and incremental based off of it?

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by rgreen83 » Jul 30, 2018 9:30 pm

I still need more explanation on this. You say "it is the state of that onedrive of that moment", which would lead one to believe that if the file is in onedrive at the time of a backup that it would be IN the backup, so let me propose a scenario that should hopefully clear this up for me.

I set 90 days retention on VBO365 before taking the first backup. I have a file, File_1, that I created/last modified 6 months ago but it is still present in my onedrive. File_2, I created/last modified last week. Neither have been deleted nor ever will be and will therefore be for this exercise forever present within onedrive.

I run the first backup process, what is the status of File_1 and File_2 in relation to the VBO365 backup and their restorability?

Assuming no other changes except the passage of time and the VBO365 jobs running daily, 6 months go by. What is now the status of File_1 and File_2 in relation to the VBO365 backup and their restorability?

TYIA

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Jul 31, 2018 5:19 am

@Kyle: No actual plans but under discussion. The reason of the different retention is because this is typically done when you are dealing with application data backups and the other is more common for image level backups. I can understand that you would like to do it as VBR but there are downsides. There will be more storage needed and loading the views in the explorers for recovery will be slower.


@Ryan: File_1 will not be in the backup, File_2 will be.
After the passage of time: Both files will not be in the backup anymore.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by lemtargatwing » Jul 31, 2018 1:01 pm

Mike Resseler wrote:I can understand that you would like to do it as VBR but there are downsides. There will be more storage needed and loading the views in the explorers for recovery will be slower.
That trade off would be worth it to me. It'd be easier to keep track of one style of retention. As well, if a file is deleted, I can always guarantee it's in the backup (pending successful backups of course).

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Jul 31, 2018 1:37 pm

Kyle, thanks for letting us know. I will use your response in our discussions internally :-)

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by rgreen83 » Jul 31, 2018 2:26 pm

Mike can you comment on whether the act of deleting a file is seen as a modification by VBO365 and therefore might cause it to be backed up? I know traditionally this would mean that obviously the file would not be there to be backed up upon the next run, but O365 has 30 days retention built in so those files are there somewhere and I don't know if that is something you can reach or not. I'm just trying to wrap my head around how this is being called a backup if I can't restore a deleted file within the VBO365 retention period so thinking there has to be something I'm missing.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Jul 31, 2018 3:36 pm

Ryan,

Yes, deletion is also a modification which means it will be backed up again. You can however exclude the recycle bin as a general setting.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by lemtargatwing » Aug 01, 2018 8:50 pm

I only see in general options that you can exclude deleted items from mailbox folders.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Aug 02, 2018 4:44 am

Sorry Kyle, I sometimes use older terminology... Recycle bin is the deleted items folder

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by pesos » Aug 06, 2018 6:49 am

Like many others I'm still trying to wrap my head around this too. Poor Mike, please be patient with us :-)

We also want to simulate as best we can what we are accustomed to with VBR. Currently we have our VBO repository set to 10 years.

If we have an email that is 5 years old, it will obviously be included in backup on Monday. On Tuesday, user X deletes that email. What happens Tuesday night when the job runs? At what point do we lose the ability to recover that deleted email?

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Aug 06, 2018 6:52 am

Not really. To start with, the email has been "modified" so it will remain another x years in that recycle bin. Now let's use your example. If you open the Veeam explorer for Exchange with the backup of Tuesday night (latest restore point) you will not see the email in the inbox (assuming it was there before the delete) but in the deleted items folder. However, if you open the Veeam explorer for Exchange and choose a restore point from before that deletion, it will still be seen in the original folder.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by billcouper » Aug 07, 2018 1:50 am

It's almost as if we need to backup VBO365 using VBR, to get the 'real' retention of items that people are expecting - including our customers that we are trying to sell the solution to, already had customers pull out and cancel their service with us because of this, and others just not sign up at all. We are finding it hard to show what is the value of this product.

I don't think anybody would be surpised that it will use more storage space, and I for one could put up with a slower Explorer. It'll certainly be a lot quicker than having to first restore VBO365 from a VBR backup!!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Mike Resseler » Aug 07, 2018 4:48 am

Bill,

I heard all of you loud and clear. It still surprises me a bit (as said, image-level versus application-level backup) but we will take this into consideration. Maybe one final question. Would it be OK if we give you the option to choose current retention or VBO retention BUT only at a VBO service level, meaning that you won't be able to mix it inside one installation?

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by mjanssen777 » Dec 19, 2018 3:30 am

That option would be better than not having the option at all. We purchased Veeam for Office 365 and started backing up our data assuming that 1 year retention for instance meant that files were kept for a further 1 year after they were deleted from OneDrive or say a message was deleted from a mailbox etc. like a traditional backup. After discovering the truth, we migrated backups to AvePoint Online. It is too bad as we are Veeam Backup and Recovery users for our VMware environment and we definitely love it. The problem is that all of our retention policies, including backup retention, are based upon that traditional understanding - if the data still exists in the live system it will definitely be in the backup - if deleted it will be gone from the backup in a specified timeframe. Even if we could recraft our policies, I can't imagine anything that would fit within the framework currently offered. Usually people want data gone from the online system before it would be gone from the backup, not the other way around.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Polina » Dec 19, 2018 4:11 pm

Hi Matthew and welcome to the community,

First of all, thank you for the feedback. We're currently working on an alternative retention method that (hopefully) could make you think of moving back to Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by lemtargatwing » Dec 27, 2018 4:32 pm

Polina,

Is it possible to get a beta for this? We are still trying to evaluate products for 365 backup, but would much rather stick with Veeam if at all possible. With the current method of retention, we don't have plans to use this. If we had early access to see new retention methods, that might cause us to reconsider.

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Polina » Dec 28, 2018 10:20 am

Hi Kyle,

There's no beta or preview available yet, as the new functionality is still in development and testing. Please contact your system engineer to get the details on the early access.

Thanks!

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by BrunoNovo » Aug 07, 2019 3:52 pm

CASE ID: 03702750
I want a backup of my whole sharepoint as it is right now.
I can put the retention time to FOREVER, but will this also clean up the backup repository from time to time?
Otherwise the repository will keep growing forever? Even deleted items will remain in the repository forever?

I saw there is an option "snapshot based", but can I restore to a full snapshot of the sharepoint at any given time with this option?
Will the sharepoint be exactly like it was on the day of the backup if I would do a full restore?

Regards,

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Re: Explanation on retention

Post by Polina » Aug 07, 2019 6:05 pm

Bruno,

Please see the response in the new topic that you started.

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