The answer is not really, for example, if you have Microsoft Office 365 your companies mailboxes are spread across many data centers, and you will never notice if one of the servers has a hardware issues because your data is replicated. If you were to delete your Outlook data files on your computer you can simply re-download it again, well this is not a backup, it is a redundant copy of your mailbox at the current point in time. There is no way that you can phone up Microsoft and say, hey give me that folder in my inbox from 2 months ago.
Let’s look at an example that has happened a few times in my recent memory. An employee at one of our customers leaves the company, let’s call him Sam Snake. Well, Sam is a hard-charging sales manager and has made up his mind that he would leave, however, about 6 months before he resigns he starts to clean up HIS inbox, after all, it is HIS email, right? Well no it is not! The customer did not realize that Mr. Snake was doing this and about 2 months after he was gone we get the call, so we noticed Sam’s mailbox is missing critical emails about a deal, can you get them from the backup? Well in the old days when Exchange was on the LAN that was common to recover part of an Exchange Mailbox but today if you are not backing up your cloud email system, then you’re out of luck.
At ITlogix part of our disaster avoidance planning is to offer cloud-based email backup and archiving. Daily backups of email are great so you can go back to a particular day to recover emails or an entire mailbox. Email Archiving is another method to ensure the entire email chain is preserved in real time, whether it is deleted within the day, so it would not be in the backup, and it is mostly used in litigation.
The product we use is Barracuda Essentials which is an All-In-One Cloud-Based Email Security, Backup, Archiving and eDiscovery for Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange. Aside from the Backup and Archiving of email it also has the ability to scan all attachments and hyperlinks on inbound emails to ensure you are blocking the harmful items as well as spam filtering.