Why Commvault for Office 365?

  • 18 March 2021
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

This a common topic that comes up with prospects and even Commvault customers, so posting by “Why” response here.

Start here: http://commvault.com/office-365 and on Microsoft’s website: https://www.microsoft.com/commvault

In a single sentence: “You don’t depend on the Recycle Bin for data protection on your servers, do you? This is basically what Microsoft offers with Office/Microsoft 365.”


While the “Recycle Bin” can be used to recover items, for Exchange Online (EXO) it requires 30+ steps and OneDrive & SharePoint Online (SPO) only provides easy recovery of mass unexpected changes for the last 30 days. Furthermore, the max retention for EXO is 30 days and OneDrive & SharePoint is 93 days. In all three, recovering involves many steps and folder structure is normally lost. With Commvault, a few clicks can restore data quickly with folder structure kept intact.

Furthermore, the data can be retained in Commvault for any retention required and data recover can easily be delegated to non-senior staff. The most important fact is that if an item is not put on retention hold or retention hold is released items are purged with no way to recovery them.


Office\Microsoft 365 key points on why Commvault is needed

Microsoft does not offer traditional backup and recovery of Microsoft 365 data.  Microsoft is focused on providing a highly available service and they achieve that through real-time replication.  Microsoft has left backup and recovery up to trusted ISV/Partners like Commvault to provide solutions.

  1. Microsoft does in place only data protection, not backup & recovery
  1. Fills the gap in OneDrive & SharePoint Recycle Bin, which has the following shortcomings
    • Shows data in chorological order based on when it was deleted, by file without folder structure
    • No search, only browsing of list of deleted items in OneDrive
    • Rollback "File Restore" of changes only supported for the last 30 days and is limited to Site owners
    • Bulk recovery from it is not available, which is critical in a ransomware scenario
  2. Cross premises search of Exchange, SharePoint, Files, Microsoft 365, and other data from a single console
    • CV provides a single data management solution across applications, business data, and servers/VMs with support for data intelligence, deduplication, redundancy, DR, archiving, long term retention, and with a hardware & storage agnostic solution
  3. All data managed, archived and backed up by CV can be stored in any cloud and\or on-premises, or by Commvault’s SaaS offering Metallic
    • CV is an Azure certified solution, so in addition to store data in Azure, CV can also run 100% in Azure or setup Azure as DR location and CV supports many other cloud storage and compute vendors.
  4. Easy end-user search and availability to all their protected data and quick and easy recover of items
  5. Can speed up migrations to M365 by reducing the data to migrate
    • CV can be used to archive and remove older and larger items and non-active mailboxes from Exchange before the migration. It can also be used to backup files and SharePoint data that is no longer active.
    • Users and admins can access the non-migrated data and\or restore it back to M365 at a later time if needed
    • Messages backed up from any version of Exchange or EXO can also be restored back to any version of Exchange or EXO
  6. All data is available even if M365 is unavailable
    • CV’s data access is independent from M365


To shorten this to only one bullet point: We offer better recovery for single items, folders, sites, and mailboxes than using native retention hold in Office\Microsoft 365.

2 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +8

@Jason Sherry : thanks for this, I was just looking for this :)

Are there any “field” documents with best practices/instructions/etc for on premise cv with o365?

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

We don’t currently in a single document, but it’s something that is being discussed across Professional Services, Product Management, and my team. PS has the real-world experience vs my theoretical architecture experience, so they have the most knowledge around best practices.

We are also working to build best practices into the wizards used for Office 365, that check multiple things and then setup multiple accounts and\or Azure AD Apps. At backup time too more intelligence is being built into to add more accounts and Apps if needed, and this option is enabled.


As for on-premises, most client want to keep their cloud data in the cloud and the vast majority go with Azure to run Commvault servers to protect O365 data. I’ve seen VERY few bring O365 data back on-premises, since this requires pulling the data across the Internet and if data needs to be restored it has to go back across the Internet. There is also a strong push for less on-prem infrastructure too, so Azure, AWS, and Metallic really eliminate almost all on-prem deployments for O365 data protection. I talk to 20-30 clients a month and in the last several years have only had a couple want to bring O365 data back on-prem and one of those is using Azure as the primary and then replicate the ContentStore on-prem.


Here are some related links in our documentation: 


Support for Office 365


Compute & Storage Recommendations