Local Continuous Replication is a cost effective and quick way of backing up Exchange server data. The following article describes the steps required to configure Local Continuous Replication. Also, the article tells you how to restore from a backup created using LCR.
Microsoft recommends using mount points when configuring LCR. Two disk volumes will be used below to hold a. the active mailbox database and b. the LCR copy-passive database. First, you need to format the drives and set them up as mount points for the database and the copy.
Active Database - Prepare Mount Point 1
Right-click My Computer
and choose Manage
. Go to Disk Management
, right click the volume and choose New Partition
, Primary Partition
(if you have a Dynamic Disk
), and allocate space. Finally, when asked to assign drive letter or path choose Mount in the following empty NTFS folder
to the folder that will hold the database (if you have not created an empty folder earlier you can create it in the wizard). As you will see the requirement is that the drive you are connecting the mount point to is formatted in NTFS and that the folder is empty. By choosing the mount point option you are allocating the full size of the disk for a folder that will hold the active database. In order to easily tell the two drives apart, give the volumes distinguished names e.g. Active Database and LCR Copy.
Fig.1. Mount the disks to empty folders located on NTFS drive.
LCR Copy - Prepare Mount Point 2
Now you need to set up the folder for the LCR copy. This folder is created in a similar way to the active database with the exception that the you are using the next volume and mount it to a new folder that will hold the LCR copy.
Fig.2. The disk become the mount points inside partition C:
Direct the database files to the mount points
Now you can move the existing storage to the newly created mount point 1. To do that open the Exchange Management Console
and right click the current Storage Group
to choose Move Database Path
. Click Browse
to find the folder – mount point 1 and click Move
. Next, move the mailbox database inside that Storage Group.
Fig.3. Move the location of the Storage Group and the mailbox database.
Enable Local Continuous Replication
In the Console right-click your storage to choose Enable Local Continuous Replication
. Point all paths in the wizard to the LCR Copy – mount point 2 location - this is going to be the location of the passive database. The result settings is as follows:
Fig.4. Enable Local Continuous Replication.
is partitioned into C:\ drive that holds Microsoft Exchange Program Files
acts as mount point and is mounted to C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Mailbox\1st Storage Group
acts as mount point and is mounted to C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Mailbox\LCR Copy
Now we try to simulate a drive or server failure. For test purposes you can simply Dismount
the current mailbox database in Exchange Management Console. Now to restore the database you will use a simple trick in which you swap the Drives so that Disk 2 will become the active database (formerly LCR copy).
Step 1 - Prepare the LCR copy of the database for a restore
Your initial steps will now depend on whether the old database files are still available or not (e.g. if the drive is damaged or not).
If the files are available...
disable the current LCR and go to the location of the old database to copy E00.log file over to the LCR location. Of course the number of the file may be greater than 00.
If the drive is history...
you need to make the database copy restorable first. In order to do that, go to Exchange Management Shell and type:
Restore-StorageGroupCopy -Identity "First Storage Group"
where "First Storage Group" is the name of the storage group that needs to be restored. Approve the messages that appear if the restore is initially unsuccessful to force the restore.
Fig.5. Use Restore-StorageGroupCopy in the Shell cmdlet.
Step 2 - Redirect the path of the active database to point to the LCR copy
Your LCR copy is ready to be redirected in place of the old database that has failed. To do that, go again to Disk Management
by right-clicking My Computer
. Right click Disk 1
(if available) and choose Change Drive Letter and Path
, remove the current path and exit. Then go to Disk 2
(LCR Copy), choose Change Drive Letter and Path
to remove the old path and again to click Add
to define the location that was defined for Disk 1. By doing this, the LCR copy becomes the active database. You should be able to mount the database after changing the path.
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