What is the biggest problem in managing an exchange environment today? It is the lack of backups, disaster recovery (DR) plan, testing of the DR plan or believing that it won’t happen to us.
In the end, things happen, for example, the physical server hosting your Exchange information or virtual machine crashes and you now have to recover. After you try recover the backups from tapes or 3rd party software you find that the backups never took place or are corrupted and what do you do now?
Basically, your entire environment comes to a standstill and as email is now a business-critical application you are stuck. You try and bring exchange online but it fails because of inconsistency within the log files or the database is actually corrupt.
There is that 1% where you have the most resilient backups and recovery plan and you perform daily tests but when D-Days comes along, well it all fails. You can then always rely on Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery software to come to your aid and ensure that mails are recovered.
You can then get your Exchange Server back online again knowing that you are able to get the data back.
Let’s expand on the above with the challenges IT admins face today especially when managing Exchange.
Challenge 1: Old/outdated or no backup technology:
With every version of Exchange, it has a certain requirement when backing up an Exchange database. If you do not take note of this, you will be backing up empty space or the backups will be corrupt.
Moving log files to another directory is not backing up your data. Many technologies like Data Protection Manager (DPM), Symantec Backup, etc. even windows backup can ensure that your data is protected, many of them have the option to back up to the cloud. Be sure to be on the latest versions of your backup software as they include new fixes and improvements constantly.
If you do not have a backup solution in place, it is time to start investing in one.
You should also take note of how backups should be run with these technologies. For example, let the software truncate your log files vs a person going and deleting all the files and putting the backups into an inconsistent state.
Secondly, you need to invest in a proper backup solution. It all boils down to budget and many CIO’s/IT Managers fail to invest in this area because they feel that IT does not need to be fully equipped like a finance department etc. That approach has to be stopped and re-looked at. You go and ensure that. Your financial system is fully backed up and you have a replica to Azure for example but you need to ensure you have the same consistency with your Exchange backups.
There is nothing more frustrating when you are trying to recover data but you cannot. Sometimes you hit that roadblock due to inconsistent backups and hence there is no recovery.
Challenge 2: No testing of your recovery plan.
As backups, even the restores play an important part in getting the Exchange recovery. Many Exchange Admins think that their Data is backed up and safe and hence they overlook the procedure to restore, but data restoration is equally essential.
This is the most critical part, you need to perform daily restores of your data to ensure you can read the information and that the data is actually there and not corrupt. Imagine you think because you can see a 300GB database, for example that all mailboxes are fine however, when you try and recover it then you have a failure you find out that the DB is corrupt or most of the mail is not there or you end up doing a recovery using the built-in tools like Eseutil and it fails 75% of the way.
Think of it like this, you test your personal data each day, your own data is in the cloud or backed up and you check that you can access it and all is functioning, well the same rule should apply to your Exchange backups.
Another reason why IT admins do not do restores is because they do not have the adequate amount of free space to mount an Exchange database, this should not be used as an excuse, you need to ensure you have a server with space where you can mount the database and test its validity so when the day comes and you have to restore you know it should all work.
Challenge 3: Time
In any organization, many IT admins are extremely busy, this can be with projects, implementations etc. and don’t have the time to focus on the softer side of things like restores. This is where delegation comes into play. A more senior resource should delegate this task to a junior person who technically should have more time on their hands.
Lastly, with all of this being said, you do have a brilliant piece of software called Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery.
When all else fails and it seem like your job is on the line because business has lost 100% of their emails and currently down, you can jump to the aid of Stellar Phoenix and have them come to your aid.
You load the software on your server and point to the .EDB file that is corrupt and export all mail to where you need it to go. They have a number of options for your use.
All Exchange Admins should try this software and familiarize with it, you can download it from the website and do a small test within the free product and just take note of how easy it is to use.
Take the time and invest in this software, you cannot go wrong. Make sure that you push the point with business to ensure that backups and restores are done and tested and also have this tool – Stellar Phoenix Mailbox Exchange Recovery by your side as your Plan B so that you know, in any event, you will get your data back!!