Maintain control of your Microsoft Office 365 email data
Post Reply
alex.talmage
Lurker
Posts: 2
Liked: never
Joined: May 09, 2018 4:05 pm
Contact:

Help understanding retention policies?

Post by alex.talmage » May 09, 2018 4:15 pm

Hi Guys,

I need some assistance understanding rentention policies in Veeam for Office 365. We've just set up Exchange Hybrid and are about to begin migrating mailboxes.

Our current VBR backup for Exchange On-Premises retains 45 restore points, which with our full/inc strategy gives us around 7 weeks on disk. If a user deleted an email, and then wanted us to restore it 8 weeks later, in theory that email is not in any backups and is lost, simplifying a lot of things here.

Trying to translate this into Veeam O365. The retention options are a lot different. So my understanding is, if I set the retention policy on a repositry to 45 days, Veeam O365 will only backup and download emails that are 45 days or younger? And Once an email in the repository gets older than 45 days, it will also delete it from the backup? Is that correct?
And likewise, if I set the retention to keep everything, literally every email, in everyone's mailbox will be backed up and kept forever. And if the user deletes that email, it still won't be deleted from the backup repository?

If my understanding above is correct, is there a way that I can translate my on-premise retention period into something similar within VO365?

Any help getting my head around this would be much appreciated!

Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
Posts: 4825
Liked: 509 times
Joined: Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Full Name: Mike Resseler
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Mike Resseler » May 11, 2018 5:22 am

Hi Alex,

First: Welcome to the forums!

You are correct in your understanding. Retention works on modified date of the item (mail/ contact/ ...).
To translate, that won't be that easy. However, some people prefer to do a backup with a retention of 1 year or similar, and then use VBR to backup the VBO server with a retention of x restore points. Maybe look into that direction?

alex.talmage
Lurker
Posts: 2
Liked: never
Joined: May 09, 2018 4:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by alex.talmage » May 14, 2018 8:12 am

Mike,

Thanks for your response. Glad I've got the correct understanding. So does the very first backup of a mailbox backup everything, or only that which fits the retention period?

Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
Posts: 4825
Liked: 509 times
Joined: Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Full Name: Mike Resseler
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Mike Resseler » May 14, 2018 10:45 am

Only what fits the retention period. So if you start with a retention of 5 years, every object in the mailbox which has a modified date older than 5 years will be ignored

Cheers
M/

dimaslan
Service Provider
Posts: 31
Liked: 3 times
Joined: Jul 01, 2017 8:02 pm
Full Name: Dimitris Aslanidis
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by dimaslan » May 21, 2018 5:29 pm

Can I ask, how does one do archival backups with Office 365? Some organizations require for monthly and yearly backups to be kep for everything, including emails. So let's say you have this setup on a separate server on on the same as your B&R. Can you setup a file copy job to go to a GFS respository? I am guessing ReFS will work as well?

Thank you.

Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
Posts: 4825
Liked: 509 times
Joined: Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Full Name: Mike Resseler
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Mike Resseler » May 22, 2018 7:40 am

Hey Dimitris,

In that case I would advice you to run VBO and/or its proxies on a VM. Then you can use VBR to protect the VM to a VBR repository (note: VBR and VBO repository are two different things). VBR does recognize it as a VBO server so you can still do item-level recovery from the VBR server

Hope it helps
Mike

Gseehomie
Novice
Posts: 7
Liked: never
Joined: Jul 05, 2018 12:34 pm
Full Name: Tizian Moog
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Gseehomie » Sep 11, 2018 1:21 pm

Hi There

I got some troubles understanding the Retention Policy in VBO 365 v2 and hope to get some clarification here. I've read the "Understanding Retention Policy" chapter from the user guide. Now in this forum thread it's stated, that:
Mike Resseler wrote:Only what fits the retention period. So if you start with a retention of 5 years, every object in the mailbox which has a modified date older than 5 years will be ignored

Cheers
M/
Now for test reasons i've set the retention policy to 7 days. When i start the new job for the first time it does create a full backup though and does backup everything, it doesnt matter how old the object is. Now i assume in my case it will work as the following and please correct me if i'm wrong:

The initial backup is always a full backup of the whole organization (if you choose the whole organization in the job creation menu) and the retention policy doesn't matter. After my fullbackup is complete it will check daily for changes (if i set it to backup daily) and after 7 days it will start checking if any data from the initial full backup changed since the first sync. Anything that changed will stay in the backup and anything that did not change will be deleted from the backup repository. Is my understanding correct?

In another example if my retention policy is 3 years and i create a backup weekly:
initially all files of the organization will be in the backup, for 3 years every week the incremental will sync the changes but won't delete anything from the backup during this time. After 3 years it will check again if something from the initial backup did change in the meantime, if not --> data will be deleted from the backup / if yes --> data is still in the backup.

Best regards and many thanks in advance!
Tizian

Polina
Veeam Software
Posts: 192
Liked: 17 times
Joined: Oct 21, 2011 11:22 am
Full Name: Polina Vasilyeva
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Polina » Sep 11, 2018 5:07 pm 1 person likes this post

Hi Tizian,

Retention does matter even on the first job run. When performing a "full" backup, only those items which have modified date lower than your retention policy will be backed up. In your first case, you'll get a backup of all organization items, which modified date is up to 7 days.
After my fullbackup is complete it will check daily for changes (if i set it to backup daily)
Correct.
after 7 days it will start checking if any data from the initial full backup changed since the first sync. Anything that changed will stay in the backup and anything that did not change will be deleted from the backup repository.
Not exactly. There're repository cleanup jobs, which run automatically on schedule and remove obsolete (according to your retention) items from a repository. In your case, every item that is older than 7 days will be removed by a cleanup job.
for 3 years every week the incremental will sync the changes but won't delete anything from the backup during this time
You're mixing backup jobs and cleanup jobs here. Every week a backup job will sync changes - this's correct. At the same time, starting from your first, initial backup job run, a cleanup job (on the background) will maintain your retention policy by removing outdated items from your repository.

Hope my explanation hasn't added just more confusion to you :)

Gseehomie
Novice
Posts: 7
Liked: never
Joined: Jul 05, 2018 12:34 pm
Full Name: Tizian Moog
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Gseehomie » Sep 12, 2018 4:05 pm

Hi Polina

Thank you very much for your answer and your time!

This cleaned some of the confusion I had for the retention policy, but now I have a couple follow up questions ;-)

1. I've created a new backup job, a new backup repository and deleted the old ones. I've set the retention policy to 7 days. After the inital backup i tried to restore the documents of ODFB and expected to see only documents of the last 7 days, BUT i see documents that go back to the 10.th of August (the document wasn't modified since then). How is that possible? On the other hand i can't see a document from april. I'm a bit confused there.

Edit: if i complete a backup with the "keep forever" retention policy the document from april is included

2. If the backup performs daily, how many point in time restore points do i have? infinite or is there a hidden number? I ask this for the following reason. Normally the customer wants an initial backup of everything (doesn't matter what the last modified date is) --> this would be the "keep forever" option to include all the files. After that the customer probably wants the last 2 weeks safed daily, then per week a weekly backup and after a month a monthly backup for 12 months (I'm just describing a casual backup strategy here). I wonder how i can do something similar in Veeam O365? If i set the keep forever option and there are infinite point in time restore points the storage will be filled with data in no time because nothing will be ever deleted... --> i hope you get what troubles me here.

4. Lets say have a backup retention policy of 3 years. I created a file on August 2017. The file will obviously be in the backup because it is in the range of the 3 years. But now lets assume we have 2022 now and we made Backups with O365 since today (2018). Now the document is not in the 3 years range anymore. Will i still be able to restore the file (because the last time it was in the backup was in August 2020) or will the file be deleted even from older backups after it breached the retention policy?

Phew, sorry for the big texts :D And many thanks again in advance!
Tizian

Polina
Veeam Software
Posts: 192
Liked: 17 times
Joined: Oct 21, 2011 11:22 am
Full Name: Polina Vasilyeva
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Polina » Sep 12, 2018 5:14 pm 1 person likes this post

Tizian,

1. Sometimes the modified date of an ODFB item can be changed after you simply open a file and close it without making any real modifications or saving. I didn't dig into this deeper, but it seems to be some issue for files in Compatibility Mode.

2. You'll get as many restore points, as many backups jobs have been successfully completed (and as many days have passed, in this case). VBO currently doesn't support GFS retention; however, if your VBO server/proxies are installed on a VM, you can achieve this scenario by using Veeam Backup & Replication (see Mike's message above). And if your retention is set to "keep forever", then you might want to plan for a bigger repository indeed :)

3. It depends on whether it had been modified between 2017-2020 or not. If it had been modified, say, in July 2020, it'd be in the backup for the next 3 years, and you'd be able to restore it in 2022. If it's modification date had not been changed before Aug 2020, it'd have been cleaned up from the repository.

ausip
Novice
Posts: 5
Liked: never
Joined: Oct 02, 2012 10:48 am
Full Name: Paul Mitchener
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by ausip » Oct 08, 2018 11:13 pm

Mike Resseler wrote:
May 14, 2018 10:45 am
Only what fits the retention period. So if you start with a retention of 5 years, every object in the mailbox which has a modified date older than 5 years will be ignored

Cheers
M/
I feel that this methodology is flawed. Take a user's contacts for instance. They have been an Exchange / Office 365 user for 5 years and 6 months. Their email data was migrated in from a previous mail system. Majority of their contacts will have a modification date of 5 years and 6 months (ie: the migration date). Therefore, none of these contacts will ever be backed up if a retention period of 5 years is used.

I feel that this Office 365 backup needs some more retention options.

There should be an option for keeping an entire snapshot of a Mailbox, ODFB or Sharepoint for a specific period. Similar to the retention policies in VBR. I understand that I can backup Veeam for Office 365 using VBR, but a restore of an entire mailbox, ODFB repository or Sharepoint repository would be a huge task, as the backups are in effect Differential.

I refer back to documents and emails over many years. 3, 5, even 10 years. We had a customer just the other day, where his Office 365 credentials were compromised. The hacker went in, sent a heap of emails and deleted his entire Inbox, Sent Items and Contacts. We restored majority of his data from the Office 365 dumpster, but there was still plenty of missing data that is lost forever. He had emails and contacts with modification dates going back many years. If he was using Veeam for Office 365, the retention policy options available would not have ensured the protection of all his data.

Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
Posts: 4825
Liked: 509 times
Joined: Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Full Name: Mike Resseler
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Mike Resseler » Oct 09, 2018 4:40 am

Paul,

We are working on 2 roads to solve this:

1. With the current retention system, we are thinking of protecting contacts (and maybe others, let us know what you think) forever instead of following that retention
2. We also consider (and are testing) a retention system that is similar to Veeam Backup & Replication

One note: Restoring an entire mailbox/ sharepoint and so on is not that difficult if you have protected the VBO server with VBR. In VBR, when you right-click on the VM it will recognize it as a VBO server and the Veeam Explorers for OneDrive, SharePoint and Exchange will become usable straight on that backup, without the need to restore entire repositories.

Cheers
Mike

ausip
Novice
Posts: 5
Liked: never
Joined: Oct 02, 2012 10:48 am
Full Name: Paul Mitchener
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by ausip » Oct 15, 2018 3:30 am

Thanks for the feedback Mike.

The restoring from VBR trick is handy to know.

With regards to Retention, both options mentioned have their benefits. Some more information on the "Protection Contract"philosophy would be handy.

Thanks
Paul

ausip
Novice
Posts: 5
Liked: never
Joined: Oct 02, 2012 10:48 am
Full Name: Paul Mitchener
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by ausip » Oct 15, 2018 4:51 am

Hi Mike,

I just read your post correctly, "protecting contacts" not "Protection Contracts"

The VBR retentions style seems to be the best result. I still can't really grasp the thought process behind the current retention methodology.

The Office 365 backup needs to be able to provide a full DR type restore from a single restore point. i.e.: the latest restore point / backup image. Especially when restoring OneDrive and Sharepoint. With the current methodology I can see some validity from the Jet DB functionality, but it seems really odd from a backup and DR standpoint.

Thanks
Paul

Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
Posts: 4825
Liked: 509 times
Joined: Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Full Name: Mike Resseler
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Re: Help understanding retention policies?

Post by Mike Resseler » Oct 15, 2018 8:39 am

Paul,

As said already, both methods have their advantages/ disadvantages. Many organizations only have the requirement to keep data for a set period of time (e.g. X years). When it ages out, they are not required to keep it legally anymore, and doing so will save on costs.
On the other hand, the other method allows you to restore to a point in time exactly as it was at that point in time, which many of us have been doing for decades. The disadvantage is that it comes with more resource requirements, and from a legal point of view it is not always accepted (I've met with quite some lawyers that love to remove everything older than the necessary legal age ;-))

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest