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M365 Exchange Online and Teams Mailbox Groups.

  • 13 April 2021
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Userlevel 2
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  • Commvault Certified Expert
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Hi, 

A customer is running Exchange Online since several months back and after an update late March (currently 11.22.13) some mailboxes type group, started to appear in the backups. This seems to be Teams Group created mailboxes and they are not included in the AD associations for backing up online mailboxes. 

So far 23 of these mailboxes has turned up in the customer environment and I’m not sure they are wanted.

I am wondering if this is a feature coming with the support for Teams backups and if this is normal behaviour. If so, how can it be disabled or excluded from the user mailbox backups? 

If it’s not normal I suppose a fix will be in place shortly. 

/Patrik

 

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Best answer by Jason Sherry 14 April 2021, 16:48

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Userlevel 7
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@Patrik , can you confirm what version they were previously?

There was a big change to Teams online data on the Microsoft end that we addressed, and this may be what you are seeing.  

 

If not, let me know exactly what you are seeing and where.  Teams protection has changed so I suspect this is normal, but new to that environment.

Userlevel 4
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Group mailboxes are used by Teams, but really are created by Office\Microsoft 365 Groups.

 

A Microsoft 365 Group creates a SharePoint site and a group\shared mailbox. A 365 Group can then be Teams enabled, which links the Team to the SharePoint site for documents shared in channels or saved to Files in a channel. The Group mailbox is used for the shared calendar for all members for the 365 Group and a “compliance copy” of messages in channels are also saved to the mailbox.

With the new Teams support in Metallic and FR23, chat messages are backed up directly from Teams using the Teams API and not from Group mailboxes.

 

Note: Private chat messages are saved to the user’s mailbox who posted the message, not to any Group mailboxes. There are not Teams APIs yet to get private chat messages, so we get them from the “compliance copy” of messages stored in user’s mailboxes.

Userlevel 2
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Thanks Jason, 

Do I understand this correct? This is a M365 feature and from Commvault FR22.13 this is normal behaviour for all environments backing up Exchange Online? Even if Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive is not configured for backup?

Is there a way to avoid backing up these Group Mailboxes or is it recommended for Exchange Online environmentsto include these as part of user mailbox data protection?  

/Patrik

Userlevel 4
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This is the way Office\Microsoft 365 and Teams work. Commvault now has “direct” Teams support, using the native Teams APIs, whereas before we had only indirect support, where we got Teams messages from Exchange only and could not restore them back into Teams at all. We also supported getting files directly from SharePoint, whereas now we can get files from a Teams perspective, but they are still stored in SharePoint. We can also backup and restore entire Teams, channels, and chat messages from\to Teams. Team is only a front end\client application, channels & chat messages are actually stored in Azure Cosmo DB, files in SharePoint (which is the backend to OneDrive also, and team membership is based on the M365 group and stored in Azure AD. So there is no Teams application server, but there are APIs that let us and other vendors keep things linked together and restore them back into Teams.

 

I suggest you keep backing up Group mailboxes since they contain any emails sent to the group and the group Calendar, things that are only accessible from Exchange. When you click on Calendar in Teams in queries all the group mailboxes you are a member of and your own mailbox to show you a consolidated calendar. Teams does not show emails sent to Group mailboxes. So backing up Teams will not get these email messages or calendar items.

 

Info on M365 Groups:

Userlevel 7
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Moved the question to its own thread for better tracking:

 

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