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Exchange Disaster Recovery

By James A Bailey ·
I spent a few days pouring over Microsoft documentation and watching a couple of presentations about disaster recovery and exchange. After deciding what would be best for our company I went to the boss for permission to buy the Exchange plug in for Backup Exec 8.0. I was turned down because it was to expensive(imagine that). If only they new.. anyway I have been afraid of what would happen when the exchange service wouldn't start because we aren't prepared, or so I thought. It happened yeseterday morning. I ran ESUtil to try and fix it, which didn't work. My only option was to try and restor from my lastest Differential and normal backup. I was convinced after reading all this material that it wouldn't work. When it did I was suprised. Whyshould I spend hundreds on a disaster recovery plan (like the way MS seems to think) when regular backups do the job? Am I missing something here?

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You got lucky but what if you want to

by radiic In reply to Exchange Disaster Recover ...

restore just one individual mailbox. With the backkup exec option you can do that, and after one of your users mailboxes get corrupted you will find that out. Just passing on my own experience. I once spent 32 hours straight trying to recover from exchange disaster after some of the info on the tape was corupt. Even had all the exchange guru's at M$ stumpped, try this and call us back. Yea well i finnaly got it but would never want to experience that again.

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My exchange backup scheme.

by LordInfidel In reply to Exchange Disaster Recover ...

I use a two prong approach to backing up exchange 5.5 running on w2k srvr.
I will explain the method first then the reasoning.

I too use backup exec. But only to backup the mailboxes. This is done as a full/daily.

The next step is using M$'s native w2k backup. As long as exchange is on that server, you will be able to back it up.

I use it to back up the entire kit and kaboodle. 3 times a week it is backed up as a full. (mon/wed/fri/)

Next I set up backup exec to backup that backup, setting it as an incremental. This goes off every tue/thur/sat. That way only 1 backup is backed up to tape.

Next the native backup is set to only keep 2 sets of backups.

Why and what does this accomplish.

Well backup exec is great, when you need to restore indiviual mailboxes or a piece of mail. But I would not trust it to restore the IS and MailStore.

My feeling here is based on the assumtion that 3rd party products that are intrusive to the way M$ database operate is bad. And this is due to the "Truncate on CheckPoint" feature that is akin to SQL and exchange.
It is essential to the health of these 2 db's that the truncate on checkpoint feature be allowed to function. Backup Exec must have that turned off.

Having a full native backup of exchange on harddisk allows for a faster recovery then if restoring from tape. Plus you can be assured that the M$ native backup of exch will be correct.

I am glad that you were able to restore your exch server. You may want to explain to your execs what having the ability to restore individual pieces of mail means.

Restoring 1 piece of e-mail without backup exec will mean restoring the entire database back in time. Which loses new e-mail and wastes time.

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