This blog post is the first in a series of four about using NetApp® Cloud Control. The series gives an overview and discusses getting started with Cloud Control.


During Microsoft Ignite and NetApp Insight™ events last month, I had great discussions with many customers about the need for protecting their Office 365 data, and there was great traction in our booth about Cloud Control. The outcome was more theater presentations about Cloud Control in the NetApp booth. You can find a quick clip posted from our booth at the Microsoft Ignite presentation. The important point here is that every customer highlighted their pressing need to make sure they have a “safety net” in place to protect their users’ data. With a NetApp solution, Office 365 customers don’t have to risk data loss because of an unexpected purge or other cause of software-as-a-service (SaaS) data loss, such as human error, sync errors, malicious insiders, or external hackers.


From e-mail to end-user files, data loss has become an everyday occurrence for organizations. Figure 1 shows the most common causes of business data loss.


Figure 1) Most common causes of business data loss.

In this series, we do a deep dive into Cloud Control and focus on the key workflows such as signing up, managing backups, managing restores, viewing data, managing services, managing role-based account access, following rules, and so on. Although Cloud Control is a completely orchestrated service designed to meet all the demands of a customer, this series should help you to understand the service and answer questions, if any.


Cloud Control only requires you to sign in and choose the service you want to back up (Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, or Office 365 groups), choose your backup target (on the premises or in the cloud), and then start protecting the data. The entire configuration can be completed in less than three minutes. It’s a very simple and easy to use “set up and forget it” solution. The entire data flow includes the four phases shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2) Data flow phases.

To set up Cloud Control, follow these five simple steps:

  1. Like with an on-premises backup solution, decide what type of storage you want to use as the repository to store the backup data. Cloud Control provides Amazon S3 storage as an option for backup. Cloud Control also enables you to bring your own storage (BYOS) to back up the data. If you choose to use the Amazon S3 storage provided by Cloud Control, you do not need to gather any information before signing up. If you choose the BYOS option, you must gather pertinent information about your storage such as bucket name, region, access/secret key, port, and host address before signing up.
  2. Create a Microsoft Office 365 service account with global administrator permissions.
  3. Assign necessary permissions for app services to the assigned Microsoft Office 365 service account.
  4. Sign up for Cloud Control using your Microsoft Office 365 service account or your NetApp single sign-on (SSO) account.
  5. Manage the licenses by moving the unprotected data to a protected state. When each user is moved to a pending state, a license is counted against it.

Want to test out NetApp Cloud Control for Microsoft 365 for yourself? Start your free trial today!


Niyaz Mohamed

Niyaz Mohamed aka Nimo is the Senior Solutions Architect in the Cloud Business Unit at NetApp. He has over 11 years of experience in the IT industry and joined NetApp in 2011 from Microsoft. He helps drive the product design, roadmap, strategy and customer experience for Cloud Control, NetApp’s SaaS Data management service.