Altaro’s range of products have been a mainstay of our backup offering, with Stem Systems being one of Ireland’s earliest adopters of the Altaro suite for virtual server backup and replication, and more recently their cloud-to-cloud backup platform for Microsoft 365.

Customers benefit from:

  • Rolling backups of their server infrastructure, taking snapshots of their systems hourly or even as frequent as 15 minutes depending on backup needs and performance
  • Cloud-based monitoring and control of the backups, with pro-active alerting. This forms part of our managed backup offering to customers but is also offered to in-house IT as a self-managed solution if required.
  • Best-in-breed data compression and deduplication, saving on data storage needs – this offers improved backup/restore times and significant savings on cloud storage costs.
  • GFS (Grandfather-Father-Son) archiving technology, allowing data retention of several months and even years, with only moderate storage requirements in doing so – maximising your Recovery Point Objective (RTO).
  • The ability to run scheduled auto-verification checks of backup media. No need to perform scheduled test restores – have Altaro run full test restores on your media automatically and be alerted in the event of any issues.
  • Being able to boot a virtual server directly from the backup media, bringing users online almost immediately, while the server completes its restore process in the background – all while merging users’ ongoing file changes during the operation. This minimises your Recovery Time Objective (RTO); the alternatives usually require waiting several hours for the restore to complete before systems become available.
  • Data replication with full graphical monitoring and alerting. Replicate to another server on-site or utilise Altaro Off-site Backup to replicate to a standby server in a branch office or other hosted location.
  • A range of supported off-site storage options, e.g. Amazon AWS, Wasabi, Microsoft Azure, or swappable local media, all with industry-grade encryption of your data.

To customers with workloads heavily orientated around the Microsoft 365 suite we utilise Altaro’s backup for Sharepoint, Onedrive and Exchange within 365.

Why backup for Microsoft 365?

As part of the shared responsibility model of Microsoft 365, Microsoft provide guarantees on data availability e.g. geo-redundancy and replication between datacentres, uptime guarantees of all 365-related services, and security at infrastructure level (i.e. physical datacentre security, cloud authentication services). Assuming all these are in check, the end user of 365 services is responsible for security of their data at consumer level. There remain risks to end user data at this level including accidental deletion, ransomware, abuse by rogue users internal or external to the company.

Microsoft do provide basic measures for end users to recover data e.g. Recover Deleted Items in Outlook, or the Onedrive/Sharepoint Recycle bin. These work fine for end users wanting to recover individual items or folders, but functionality and data retention is limited by design. If you have any of the following requirements:

  • A tangible, off-site copy of your mailboxes, Onedrive stores and Sharepoint sites
  • Mass restore of a Sharepoint library/libraries after accidental deletion, or infection by ransomware
  • Restore content with no limit to data retention
  • Retain an employee’s data after leaving your organisation without paying for a full 365 monthly subscription
  • Extended recovery options –
    • restore a mailbox to another user
    • restore an entire mailbox to a previous point in time after mailbox ransomware attack
    • export a mailbox to a compressed zip or PST file
    • restore a Sharepoint site out to a compressed zip file
    • search and restore individual mailbox items by text search
    • retrieve your Sharepoint content during a Microsoft 365 outage
  • Proof of data backup strategy for auditing and compliance purposes with logging of all confirmed backup operations

These requirements are all satisfied through Altaro’s simple cloud-based management interface. This is made available on a monthly, per-user basis through Stem Systems’ simplified billing model, with no minimum purchase quantities or subscription terms.