I recently had the opportunity to implement a PoC (Proof-of-Concept) of SkyKick Cloud Backup for a customer. SkyKick Cloud Backup is an online backup service for Office 365. My experience so far; it is an absolute winner! The initial configuration took me no more than 5 minutes. After a backup is made; doing a single item restore is done in seconds!
So if you are looking for a backup solution for your Office 365 subscription; this is one of these online services that I can highly recommend. One more reason for me to share what it has to offer. I will also tell you how to get it, since this service is only available through Microsoft Partners.
SkyKick currently offers three different services:
With SkyKick Migration Suites you can automate migrations to Office 365. You can migrate from Exchange On-premise, Google, IMAP, POP3 and more. And you can also migrate from Office 365 to Office 365, is what they call O2O.
With SkyKick Cloud Manager you can manage cloud customers from multiple SaaS providers more efficiently. You can even manage Office 365 with it.
I am not going to cover those two since this blog is about the SkyKick Cloud Backup service.
SkyKick Cloud Backup:
With SkyKick Cloud Backup you can backup your entire Office 365 subscription. SkyKick Cloud Backup allows you to backup the following data:
- Exchange Online
- OneDrive for Business
- SharePoint Online
SkyKick offers a backup up to 6x daily, with an unlimited retention period and an unlimited data store. It has an easy setup and can be managed with an online dashboard. You can not only restore a full Exchange Mailbox, Public Folder, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Site Collection. It also supports single item restore. You have a search option and it allows you to do a one-click restore. Please refer to the following link for more detailed information:
SkyKick Cloud Backup
Subscription and Storage Account:
Once you own a SkyKick account you can create a so called ‘Subscription‘ with the ‘Cloud Backup Planner‘ for a customer, and start the initial configuration in the following order:
- Configure Office 365 Subscription (connectivity)
- Configure Storage Account (connectivity)
- Configure Backup Policy
SkyKick has a nice Getting Started Guide which explains step-by-step how to configure a subscription. See the following example of the Cloud Backup Planner:
You first have to enter a subscription name and the credentials for your Office 365 subscription (by providing a Global Admin account). Next you have to configure a Cloud Storage Account. SkyKick offers you two options:
- SkyKick Azure Storage
- Azure Storage Account
With SkyKick Azure Storage your backup data is stored on an Azure Storage Account owned by SkyKick. You can select in which region you want to store it. There will be no extra charge, and as mentioned there is no retention- or data store limit. Of course the data is encrypted and never leaves the Microsoft datacenter.
If you want to have more control over your backup data you have the option to use your own Azure Storage Account by providing an storage account name and access key. By using your own Storage Account you can also keep the data when you stop using SkyKick Cloud Backup. But note that you will be charged extra for your own Storage Account. It does not give you a discount on the licenses needed for SkyKick Cloud Backup.
NOTE: Please note that you cannot change this afterwards. If you want to switch between a Storage Account, you have to disable the current subscription, and start a new subscription.
Once you configured those two you are ready to configure the Backup Policy, which is very easy to do. SkyKick makes a difference in two kind of seats:
- Exchange (backup Exchange Mailboxes and Public Folders)
- SharePoint and OneDrive for Business (backup SharePoint Site Collections and OneDrive for Business)
For each seat you pay a monthly license. So for instance, if you want to backup an Exchange mailbox and OneDrive for Business for a single user, you have to buy two seats. And if you want to backup an entire SharePoint Site Collection, you need one seat. I will get back to the seat pricing in the Microsoft Partner section.
The really cool thing about SkyKick Cloud Backup is that it is very easy to configure. You can select which mailbox, OneDrive or SharePoint Site Collection you want to backup. When you add a new mailbox at a later time, SkyKick gives you the option to automatically add the new mailbox to your backup policy. Or if you want, you can just get a notification or do nothing at all.
Restoring is also easy. Just select the mailbox and click restore. Or you can search for an item or file and click restore. At the time of writing you can only restore to the original source. You cannot restore to an alternative location.
SkyKick Cloud Backup is only available through a Microsoft Partner. With other words, customers cannot get their hands on a SkyKick account. So as a customer you have to select a partner and ask them to create a subscription on SkyKick. The partner configures the subscription on SkyKick and when needed the customer has to request a restore.
This also means that the partner is billed monthly for the seats (licenses), and it is up to the them how they bill the customer. It also up the partner which pricing they ask for the seats, depending on the SLA they have and etc. Although SkyKick does provide a recommendation for the list pricing. Please contact an Account Manager from a Microsoft Partner or SkyKick for more information. Also refer to the following link for more information:
Frequently Asked Questions
SkyKick Cloud Backup works very good. Personally I think this service has real value if you are looking for backup solution for Office 365. The setup is easy and the restore couldn’t be easier. SkyKick is a partnership with Microsoft and they continue to improve their online services.
I hope this information was informative to you. Feel free to leave a comment.