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Disaster Recovery Options in Exchange Server 2013

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Sandeep Kumar
Experts in Data Recovery, Email Recovery, and Email & Cloud Migration Tools.

Exchange administrators are always vigilant about Exchange crashes and disasters that are possible any time. It is quite essential to identify the symptoms of a possible Exchange issue and be prepared with a proper recovery plan. There are multiple methods which can be used to avoid Exchange data losses. However, Exchange administrators must plan for these methods. We discuss the some of the recovery options available in Exchange 2013:


  1. Exchange 2013 recovery features
  2. Exchange native data protection
  3. Exchange 2013 VSS Writer
  4. Exchange Server recovery in AD
  5. Third-party Exchange Recovery tools


Exchange 2013 recovery features


The recovery features in Exchange 2013 have reduced the dependence of Exchange administrators on backups for the retrieval of lost data. These features are useful for different purposes such as disaster recovery, long-term data retention, deleted item recovery, and point-in-time recovery. We will see how these Exchange 2013 features help in dealing with disasters:


  • Deleted item recovery - Due to the Hold Policy in Exchange 2013, it is possible to retain all the deleted items in Recoverable Items folder up to a specific period so that end users can recover. This makes deleted item recovery, simpler, faster, and less expensive.
  • Long-term data retention - In Exchange 2013, the features like In-Place Hold, Litigation Hold, In-Place Archiving, and In-Place eDiscovery help in the long-term retention and retrieval of data. Whenever a need (like legal requirement) occurs, the required data can be searched and retrieved. These features shorten the recovery procedure and eliminate the need of costly recovery tapes.
  • Disaster recovery - Exchange 2013 continues to have Database Availability Groups (DAGs) to ensure the high availability of mailbox servers and to facilitate quick disaster recovery. The benefit of having multiple database copies in the Database Availability Groups is that at least one copy is always unaffected by other’s corruption. This feature acts as a perfect guarantee against data loss in case of hardware, software, network, and server failures.
  • Point-in-time snapshot recovery - Exchange 2013 allows to create a point-in-time database copy in the Database Availability Groups. The copy in DAG can be used to restore to a previous point of time. This feature is helpful in the events like deletion of user mailbox data, replication of logical corruption to all database copies in the DAGs, etc.


Exchange Native Data Protection


Exchange Native Data Protection works as an alternative to traditional backups.  The benefit of Exchange. And the concept is to use the inbuilt Exchange 2013 features to avoid Exchange data loss. Native Data Protection is that it does not require scheduling the manual backups regularly. The core idea behind Native Data Protection is the combined use of Exchange 2013 high availability features and features like Litigation Hold, In-Place Hold, In-Place eDiscovery and In-Place Archiving to ensure complete protection of data.


Exchange 2013 VSS Writer


Exchange 2013 VSS Writer is the functionality used by backup applications to backup and restore Exchange data. VSS Writer actually facilitates Exchange backup/restore operations.


Exchange Server recovery in Active Directory


Active Directory stores all the configuration settings for Mailbox and Client Access servers. Exchange 2013 has an option /m:RecoverServer which can re-create a lost server with the help of configuration settings in Active Directory. Here is the complete method of recovering the lost exchange server using the Active Directory


  1. First of all, reset the lost server’s computer account.
  2. Install OS again and name it again (with the same name).
  3. Add the server to its original domain.
  4. Install the system requirements & prerequisites for Exchange Server 2013
  5. Open the command prompt in the server.
  6. In the Exchange 2013 installation files, run-
    Setup /m:RecoverServer /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
  7. Check the custom settings and reconfigure them as per the previous settings.
  8. To check whether the procedure worked on not, go to Windows Services tool (services.msc) and check if the Exchange services are running or not.


Third-party Exchange Recovery tools


Many professional tools help you recover Exchange data. They restore mailboxes and public folders from offline Exchange database file to PST files or destinations like Exchange Server or Office 365.  One excellent tool you can try is Kernel for Exchange Server. This Exchange Recovery tool supports recovery from EDB files created in all the versions of Exchange. And it is one of the easiest methods for Exchange database recovery.


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by:Marshal Hubs
It is always be a pain to recover exchange database. But you can easily recover exchange database by using Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery Software. The software recovers database even the database is in dirty shutdown state or the log files are missing. Trial version is available here: https://www.stellarinfo.com/edb-exchange-server-recovery.htm
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