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How do large companies handle Exchange backups?

By buschman_007 ·
Hey guys,

I have an Exchange 2K3 server running on a poweredge with Win Server 2K3 standard. I'm using Veritas Backup Exec 9.1 on a Powervault SDLT library to backup all the data on my network. I have two seperate backup jobs just to handle Exchange. One job does a file level backup of anything I might need to restore the server. the second job does a brick level backup of the mail boxes. Maybe a little over kill, but it makes the occational e-mail restore much easier.

I've noticed that my mailbox backup will occationally say it failed(eventhough it didn't) when a user gets a corrupt e-mail on his/her mailbox. I then have to go through the process of getting him/her to delete and completely remove that e-mail from their mailbox. I have about 50 users so this is not an all consuming task.

But I'm wondering how companies with 100s and 1000s of users handle such things? I doubt my method would be very efficient for larger organizations. Can someone clue me in on how those companies handle their e-mail backups and restores?


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How do large companies handle Exchange backups?

by sunny.sharma In reply to How do large companies ha ...


From my experience most large organisations set the deleted mailbox items and deleted mail items settings to a large enough value. This could be 1 month for both. By utilising this method you eliminate the need for brick level backups which are painfully slow. I personally would not use brick level backups.

The users have to understand how to recover their deleted items from within Outlook. If they shift-delete a mail then it does bypass the temp holding area, but then they must have REALLY wanted the mail gone!

Another aspect that has particular focus, is the VSS snapshot capabilities of Ex2k3 and SAN's. This has the ability to take quick backups and very fast restores.

Once you have a good backup then you can use the Recovery Storage Group on your Exchange 2003 Server to help get the deleted and purged mailbox back onto your production mailbox store.

Hope that helps,

Sunny ;-)

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I agree this is the best option

by Clemmy In reply to How do large companies ha ...

We have approx 30 clilents who use backupexec and exchange. This is the way we handle this issue. Standard mailbox backup overnight. And the mail retention is set to 30 days.
All the users, approx 3000+ know how to use the recover deleted items, and not to shift delete.
A simple training issue which can be handled in a one page idiots guide.

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No Backups for Exch

by spcjunkmail3 In reply to How do large companies ha ...

We used to use Legato Networker and Veritas NetBackup. Then due to legal liability we stopped performing Exchange backups altogether. The last worked like a champ!

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What about deleted mailboxes?

by duper508 In reply to How do large companies ha ...

Increasing Deleted mail retention is fine if you are restoring a mailbox to retrieve a mail message but doesn't eliminate the need to restore a mailbox that was deleted by mistake. I delete mailboxes with batch operations and never know if someone will come back after a couple weeks asking for their mailbox back. Brick level backups prior to the deletion is the only thing that protect against losing the mail in this scenerio.

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Brick level is completely unnecessary

by brasslet In reply to What about deleted mailbo ...

You can build a recovery server to recover older mailboxes when/if necessary. Also, as previously suggested, you use a recovery storage group to recover mailboxes. Brick level backup/restore is not needed to perform these tasks.

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Also, title says "large companies"...

by brasslet In reply to Brick level is completely ...

I have yet to meet anyone that manages a large (1000+) environment that uses brick levels, except perhaps to backup a couple of VIP mailboxes or in specific disaster recovery scenarios.

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"large companies"

by drink7up In reply to Also, title says "large c ...

This is little late ....
I work at 1200+ user environment as 1 of 2 E2K Admin.
There is no need for Brick-Level backup for E2K or E03!!!
Messages and Mailboxes are best handled by Delete Retention.
Just plan backups of your IS and config files for disaster recovery.

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Exchange Backup

by e.benzoni In reply to How do large companies ha ...

I've the same problem with the same version of backup exec. I've not a solution for you but probably I undestood why it was hoppen. It start to happen when users installed on its pc chapura drivers to syncronyze palm pilot to their outlook.

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Best backup software

by jon.marra In reply to Exchange Backup

I have used, Bakchup Exec, Atempo, Sonasoft, and a few others. Currently I administrate a E2K3 Cluster environment and by far the best backup software is by CA, Brightstor ver.11. Deleted item retension is good, but i also do a brick level on the execs. Always good to cover them.

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Finaly someone that has the same problem

by shmaltz In reply to Best backup software

First, thanks for bringing up this issue, Veritas deson't want to acknowledge that there are others that have this problem.
Since we started to use journaling on our stores, and we use an archival process to archive all the messages in the store from the journaling mailbox, we don't need to do any brick level backups. However it used to be a major problem for us like you described. In any case I don't understand why you use 2 jobs for this? we always used just one job to do both.
In Exchange 2k3 (I have not tested this but I believe it works) you can create a recovery store and then move mailboxes to the live store, in which case brick level backups are not needed anymore. I have however seen that if one does not deslect the store files from the file selection in the backup selection window, then Windows uses Volume Shadowing (even if didabled on the schedule) to backup priv1.edb and priv1.stm, in which case one might not be able to do an online store backup with exchange in the same job.

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