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Backing up your SaaS data to on-premises storage: How to do it and why it's worth it

Backing up your SaaS data to on-premises storage: How to do it and why it's worth it

Most cloud computing services are young but they’re quickly becoming an integral part of many businesses.

Most cloud computing services are young but they’re quickly becoming an integral part of many businesses. Companies communicate, collaborate, schedule meetings, and share files using the cloud, sometimes obligately when working with their clients. Microsoft’s Office 365, one of the major market players, has already reached over 120 million users (as reported in this article) and saw 41% revenue growth in the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report.

Unfortunately, and as always, these new platform and services often arrive coupled with their own challenges. While the conveniences these services offer have already drawn many businesses to rely on SaaS for their everyday operations, the responsibility of end-users for their data shouldn’t be forgotten or discounted. Those short on reminders for why this is important need only look at the headlines.

 Few weeks ago, a report on ARN warned that unexpected downtime of either of Microsoft, Google or AWS could result in a $19 billion US dollar (approximately $25 billion Australian dollars) loss for the businesses involved.

Putting unexpected service outages or downtime aside, accidental or malicious deletion is another possibility that can result in devastating losses for businesses. According to this report, the most common reason for data loss on SaaS is end user deletion, even when it requires multiple confirmation steps.

The simplest solution isn’t always the best

Although data protection of the SaaS could be done natively on the same cloud in the form of supplemented subscription, such a solution may not be ideal. You don’t want to put all eggs in one basket, and it’s often the case that your backup will be stored on the same physical location as your primary cloud storage.

No matter how you approach it, managing backups of different SaaS solutions on different platforms is going to come at the cost (of either time and effort) to business IT professionals. It might initially seem counterintuitive, but an on-premises solution that integrates SaaS backup on a single platform is a helpful way to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of data backup practices.

Taking responsibility for your cloud data

Last year, Synology officially launched two IT-admin-friendly backup packages dedicated for two of the most popular SaaS platforms– Office 365 and G Suite.

With Active Backup for Office 365 and Active Backup for G Suite, businesses can easily create and manage backup tasks from Microsoft OneDrive and My Drives or Team Drives on Google with their Synology NAS.

There are three different modes available across both packages, including continuous backup, manual backup, and scheduled backup. In addition, the ‘Account Discovery’ feature automatically updates user list for IT admins, so as to reduce the chances of any valuable assets being overlooked or left behind.

With block-level deduplication and single instancing technologies, businesses can make the most of their storage even by embracing the backup data from their SaaS. Both packages also come with portals that allow users to restore data safely by themselves, reducing the management time and efforts of IT administrators.

Now, Synology has taken the next step by extending these powerful backup solutions to several of the other services included in Office 365. Currently in beta (available for download on the DSM), the new version of Active Backup for Office 365 supports backing up from Outlook, Calendar and Contacts. 

What’s involved?

Creating a backup task on Active Backup for Office 365 is just a matter of a few clicks. 

After downloading the beta version of the package, you will be directed to log into your Office 365 account.

Once logged in, start a backup task and select items from Office 365 to protect your data. Don’t forget to enable Active Backup for Office 365 Portal for self-service restoration by the account users.

Backup tasks come with three different modes. Users can also choose to preserve all modifications, or only certain number of historic versions.

After setting up a backup task, you will be presented with a dashboard in the overview that summarises the backup status.

When data loss happens, for example via an accidentally deleted email sent and left in the trash folder, users can easily restore the data on Active Backup for Office 365 Portal.

Every backed up mail can either be previewed by double click, then either exported to an .eml file, or restored outright. If you opt for the latter option, a dedicated folder will be created in your Outlook mailbox to help you quickly locate it.

Ultimately, backing up your SaaS data is not only what you should do but what you must do. New technologies come with new risks but that’s no excuse for being unprepared.

The beta version of Active Backup for Office 365 is currently available on DSM 6.2 beta for user testing. In addition, a beta version of the new Active Backup for G Suite, offering similar backup service extensions for mailbox, calendar, and contacts, is due to launch in several weeks.

To learn more about the beta program of Synology products, please visit:

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