As most organizations begin to adopt Office 365 which includes Exchange Online, it’s even more important than ever to protect your data. As Theresa Miller stated, it’s a shared responsibility that includes risks in the event of an emergency that involves data management, security and recovery.
Exchange Online is a cloud native application and the data including the email the customer has placed in the cloud is a two-fold shared responsibility that applies to the customer and the SaaS provider. We’ve all come up through the ranks in our IT careers and the customer can be our largest challenge. Some of them are commonly referred to as ‘User Error’ which tends to be a innocent mistake while on the other hand, the issue can be considered malicious intent and is a form of insider threat. Online identity threat has surged recently and examples include Ransomware, Phishing, and Viruses. Each of these threats has been on the rise throughout the country but the state of Texas has experienced an enormous amount of attacks recently. IT administrators also have a responsibility to enforce how the application is used (rules\restrictions).
SaaS providers ultimately ensure any failures and\or disasters are addressed on the back-end without having the customer involved. They are required to provide high availability to limit any downtime for the customer.
Limitations by Office 365 are also enforced to limit data retention. While customers assume data can be held forever, Exchange Online retains data for limited periods, in most cases a minimum of 14 days but no more than 30 days. As most would agree, the retention limits are typically higher than this.
Additional features available for compliance reasons include litigation holds by converting an active mailbox to an inactive mailbox. In my experience, we’ve retained a mailbox that belonged to a former employee for no more than 30 days (unless the former manager has requested additional time). In this example, the active mailbox is converted to a Shared mailbox and the Office 365 license is revoked to cut down on licensing costs. Retention policies provide more flexibility because it includes the ability to choose which folders to retain as opposed to retaining the entire mailbox. By doing so, this reduces the amount of space needed for retention and less is equals money saved but eDiscovery is required to accomplish this task.
Cohesity offers the following solutions, one in the cloud and the other is on-prem. Customers can backup their Exchange Online data to either option including 10,000+ mailboxes with the ability to process searches in a quick manner with the ability to restore mailboxes or individual items. Deduplication is enforced regardless of which option the customers chooses and the pricing is based on storage and not the amount of mailboxes in the environment.
Now onto the demo! In the Cohesity dashboard, select Protection then Sources to add Office 365 to the Cohesity platform. In order to add a new Office 365 account in the dashboard, please select Register from the upper-right hand corner and then sign into the interface using a Global Administrator account.
A Policy is then required and this can be accomplished by using one of the default policies provided by Cohesity in the Policy Manager window. A customer can also create a custom policy with the required retention rules in place by selecting a Protection Job (Protection\Protection Jobs).
Once the steps above are configured, a Recovery (Protection\Recovery) in the Cohesity Dashboard can be initiated. In this scenario, Theresa created a mailbox recovery (Recover\Office 365) with a redirect so that Jon Hildebrand’s mailbox is placed in her mailbox.
Then select the Recover Mailboxes to an alternate location option and then specify the receiver’s mailbox (in this example, it was Theresa) and click Start Recovery.
Once the recovery is complete, Jon’s mailbox appears in Theresa’s Outlook client.
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Please take a moment to subscribe to the YouTube channel which also includes watching the various videos that were posted throughout the day. Kudos to PrimeImage Media for recording the live sessions.
I’ve included the names for each of the YouTube videos recorded during Cohesity’s presentation and they are listed below with a hyperlink for your convenience:
- Cohesity Protecting Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online
- Cohesity Deep Dive – CloudSpin for Disaster Recovery
- Cohesity: Achieve Disaster Recovery With Cloud
- Cohesity: Introducing Cloud Backup Service for Google Cloud
- Cohesity: Under the Hood – Cloud Native Data Protection for Virtual Workloads
- Cohesity Vision for a Hybrid Cloud World
Thanks again to our sponsor Veeam for hosting a wonderful event and I can’t thank Ken Nalbone, Stephen Foskett, Ben T. Gage and the wonderful people at Tech Field Day and Gestalt enough for allowing me to join them.