Guest Opinion: There are many reasons that you may want to back up your Office 365 data. The most common reasons I see are data sovereignty and compliance laws that require data to be stored in-country or customers that want a backup plan for their cloud data.
The latter is something that all businesses should consider – while your data is safe in Office 365, you may or may not know:
- Office 365 doesn’t provide point in time backups (although, OneDrive and SharePoint do provide versioning)
- If a user deletes data, by default after 30-days it will not be recoverable
- If Office 365 went down for a considerable period, you would not have access to your data for the duration
An Office 365 backup solution can help address these points, and one that you physically own can ensure you meet data sovereignty and compliance laws in your region. This is where a Synology NAS can help, and they come in all shapes and sizes to meet your needs. I got my hands on a Synology DS920+ which is a small form factor 4 bay unit. You can check out which models support Office 365 backup here, but as a rule of thumb the Plus, xs/xs+, SA, and FS series should support it.
In this guide, I will take you through the basics to get your backup configured and take you through the management interface including the process to restore and export. I’ll do so using a mixture of video and written content.
Review of the management interface including the process to restore and export your backup data.
Device & Office 365 Backup Setup
Device Setup Basics
Before you power up the device make sure you have installed at least 1 drive. You cannot complete the initial setup wizard without it.
This guide is demonstrated on the Synology DS920+ running firmware DSM 6.2.3-25426 Update 3.
The Synology NAS can be accessed using the following URL on port 5000:
If that does not work for you, you’ll need to discover its IP address e.g. https://192.168.1.50:5000/
Click ‘Set up’:
Click ‘Install Now’ to install the latest updates:
Give the device a name and create an admin account:
Create a Synology account. Amount other things, this gives you access to your NAS remotely without having to configure your network and is required to use Office 365 backup:
Accept the privacy statement:
At this point, you are done. Click ‘Go’ to login to your NAS. This should redirect you to the login page. In my case this did not happen, nor did a page refresh work. However, I was able to use my QuickConnect URL to get there.
Login using the admin account you created:
Once you have logged in you will need to setup your disk. Click the Main Menu button at the top left, then select ‘Storge Manager’:
Select ‘Volume’ then ‘Create’:
I only have 1 disk installed so opted for ‘Quick’:
I chose ‘SHR’ for my RAID type:
Select the drives that you want to include:
Confirm that data will be erased:
I chose the ‘Btrfs’ file system:
Confirm your settings and click ‘apply’ to start building your volume:
Once your first volume is created, you can move on to the next steps:
A preparation step required for Office 365 backup is to create a shared folder for your data. You will use this location later in the article. Go to Main Menu and select ‘Control Panel’. Under the ‘File Sharing’ category select ‘Shared Folder’:
Give the folder a name and description and select the disk/volume:
I chose not to encrypt my data. If you choose to encrypt, keep your key in a VERY safe place!:
I enable ‘checksum’ to validate data integrity:
The default permissions work fine:
Confirm your settings then hit ‘Apply’ to create your shared folder:
Install Active Backup for Microsoft 365 & Configure a Backup Task
Now to the topic of this blog post – backing up your Office 365 data. You’ll need to install a ‘Package’/App to do this. Open ‘Package Centre’ from the desktop:
Search for ‘Active Backup for Microsoft 365’, then select ‘Install’:
Once installed, select ‘Open’:
You will be prompted to run through the activation wizard. Select ‘Activate’:
Accept the privacy statement then select ‘Next’:
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