Backup/Archival/Site Management Options in SharePoint Online

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Date: January 1, 2016 at 10:46 pm

With SharePoint Online, there are few OOB options for managing archives or backups.  Below are a few options to consider when developing a backup, archival or site management strategy within SharePoint Online.


Site Closure Policies

Even with good governance, SharePoint sites can proliferate and grow out of control.  Site Policies can be used to help control site proliferation as it defines the lifecycle of a site by specifying when the site will be closed and when it will be deleted.


Site Policies can be configured by going to Site Settings -> Site Policies.


There are 3 options:


  1. Do not close or delete the site automatically – if this option is selected, it will be up to the site owner to manually delete the site. Manually closing or deleting a site can be completed by going to Site Settings -> Site Closure and Deletion
  2. Delete the site automatically – A site can be scheduled for deletion based on the site closed or creation date
  3. Close and delete site automatically – this closes the site first and then deletes it based as well


In addition, for all options, you have the ability to make a site read only once closed.



Change Site Settings

A relatively simple option to archiving is to change the permissions of the site to be read only or to limit access to a subset of users.  This is typically completed as follows:


  1. Change search settings so that the site is no longer available in search results
  2. Change the title or look/feel so users are aware that the site has been archived
  3. Turning off version control
  4. Limiting permissions to the site


This could be a manual process or automated using powershell.


Service Request in Office 365 Admin Portal

A service request can be made within the Admin Panel of Office 365 to restore site collection.  Backups are maintained for 14 days.  However, this would be a full site collection restore and Microsoft is required to assist.



Third Party Options

There are multiple 3rd party options for Backup/Archival within SharePoint Online.  Each is briefly detailed below.  Focal Point would recommend AvePoint as the primary tool of choice and Metalogix the secondary option as the backup solution for Motoman based on industry experience and product capabilities.


It should be noted that the CURRENT backup and restore capabilities available in Office 365 are dependent on the 14-day backup window Microsoft offers for all customers.  In order to remove this limitation, a 3rd party tool is needed.



AvePoint offers a robust platform for managing SharePoint Online.  The backup and restore option offers a comprehensive suite of capabilities for SharePoint Online.


Notes on feature capabilities can be found here:


Notes on technical capabilities can be found here:




Metalogix offers a comprehensive solution to managing Office 365 including comprehensive backups for content across Office 365 servers including SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.


Notes on feature capabilities can be found here:




CloudAlly is a solution Focal Point does not have experience with.  It can meet the backup/archive needs based on information presented on this site.




LEAP, like CloudAlly, is a solution Focal Point does not have experience with.  Backups are stored in Windows Azure Storage where only Motoman has access.


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