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Using Corso to Build a Self-Hosted Multi-Tenant Office 365 Backup Solution

· 4 min read
meuchels

A woman engineer holding a laptop in front of a data center

This community-contributed blog post shows how MSPs in the community are using Corso to build out a multi-tenant backup solution for their Microsoft 365 customers. If you have questions, come find the author (or us) on the Corso Discord.

First of all, I offer a fully managed backup solution. My clients have no access to the backup software or the data. I require them to request recovery in a ticket. For my use case I have a self-hosted instance of MinIO that I won't be going over but there is another blog post on it. I will show the layout and an example of how to backup emails using the exchange option in Corso.

Organizing the file structure on your storage

I wanted my S3 bucket to be laid out in the following fashion utilizing 1 bucket with prefixes for the tenants. For now, all I did is create a bucket with access to a user for corso. While it's possible to use a single bucket and use prefix paths per tenant within it, I didn't do that in my setup. The will be generated later with the backup initialization.

BUCKET
tenant1-exchange
tenant1-onedrive
tenant1-sharepoint
tenant2-exchange
tenant2-onedrive
tenant2-sharepoint

If I don’t backup a particular service for a client, it will be clear by looking at whether the bucket exists or not.

I have a short name for each tenant to differentiate them.

The backup compute server layout

I utilize Ubuntu Server for this task. In my setup, everything is done as the root user. I have put the corso executable in /opt/corso/ and will be building everything under there. Here is the folder layout before I go into usage.

# For logs
/opt/corso/logs
# For config files
/opt/corso/toml
# Root of the scripts folder
/opt/corso/scripts
# For building out the environment loaders
/opt/corso/scripts/environments
# For building out the backup scripts
/opt/corso/scripts/back-available
# For adding a link to the backups that will be run
/opt/corso/scripts/back-active

The environment files

For configuration, create an environment file /opt/corso/scripts/environments/blank-exchange with the following content for a template. You can copy this template to <tenantshortname>-exchange in the same folder to setup your client exchange backup environment.

#####################################
#EDIT THIS SECTION TO MEET YOUR NEEDS
#####################################

# this is a shortname for your tenant to setup storage
export tenantshortname=""

# this is your tenant info from the app setup on O365
export AZURE_TENANT_ID=""
export AZURE_CLIENT_ID=""
export AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET=""

# this is your credentials for your s3 storage
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID="<S3-STORAGE-USERNAME>"
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY="<S3-STORAGE-PASSWORD"

# this sets your encryption key for your backups
export CORSO_PASSPHRASE="<ENCRYPTION-PASSWORD>"

# this is your s3 storage endpoint
export s3endpoint="<YOUR-S3-STORAGE-SERVER>"
export bucket="<YOUR-BUCKET>"

####################################
#END EDIT
####################################

export configfile=/opt/corso/toml/${tenantshortname}-exchange.toml

The backup scripts

Create a backup script /opt/corso/scripts/back-available/blank-exchange with the following content for an exchange backup template. This can be copied to tenantshortname-exchange in the same directory for creating the backup script.

#!/bin/bash

##############Begin Edit###

# change blank to tenant short name
source /opt/corso/scripts/environments/blank-exchange

##############End Edit###

# create runtime variables
logfilename="/opt/corso/log/${tenantshortname}-exchange/$(date +'%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S').log" runcorso="/opt/corso/corso"

# init bucket
$runcorso repo init s3 --bucket $bucket --prefix ${tenantshortname}_exchange --endpoint $s3endpoint \
--log-file $logfilename --config-file $configfile --hide-progress
$runcorso repo connect s3 --bucket $bucket --log-file $logfilename --config-file $configfile --hide- progress

# run Backup
$runcorso backup create exchange --mailbox '*' --log-file $logfilename --config-file $configfile --hide- progress

Use this folder for a working directory and create a symbolic link to the scripts that you want to activate in /opt/corso/scripts/back-active/.

The backup runner

To fire it all off, I have a backuprunner.sh script that cycles through the /opt/corso/scripts/back-active folder and is scheduled with a cron job to run at your interval. You can put it wherever you want but I put it in the scripts folder as well so I know where everything is. Add your email address. This relies on the Linux mail package, you will have to accept the email from it.

#!/bin/bash

# Directory containing the scripts
script_directory="/opt/corso/scripts/back-active"

# Email configuration
recipient="<YOUR-EMAIL-ADDRESS>"
subject_prefix="Backup Job: "

# Iterate over all scripts in the directory
for script_file in "$script_directory"/*; do
# Run the script and capture the output
output=$("$script_file")

# Prepare email subject
script_name=$(basename "$script_file")
subject="$subject_prefix$script_name"

# Send an email with the script output
echo "$output" | mail -s "$subject" "$recipient"
done

Once your backups have completed, you can load the environments using the command source /opt/corso/scripts/environments/tenant-exchange to load the variables and access the backups of that tenant. Be sure to specify the –config-file flag.

source /opt/corso/scripts/environments/tenant-exchange
/opt/corso/corso backup list exchange --config-file $configfile

Don’t forget to backup your /opt/corso folder once in a while to save your scripts!