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Though the IT staff takes utmost care to troubleshoot the issue and get the Exchange server Live again yet there may be times when the downtime exceeds its proposed time limit. However, these losses can be minimized with the use of dedicated database management and restoration software that helps in restoring the functionalities of Exchange server and provide faster recovery.
One such incident happened with a large manufacturing company.
What exactly happened?
A series of failures at IT-infrastructure level resulted in an unexpected data loss of the email system. An Exchange server system serving over 1000 employees was configured in a cluster. A local log file storage was also configured with one of the clustered Exchange boxes but due to some technical glitch in local log file storage, one of the servers in the cluster starts facing shortage of disk-space, thus leading to performance issues. Since the system was operating in a cluster, the server load was transferred to the other server in cluster and hence the Exchange services were not affected. But shortly, after that, the second node in the server array also failed and it could not mount the Information store. The Exchange Administrator assisted the team of IT-professionals to configure the server offline, and performed necessary repairs to get the server back online. In the meantime, a backup was taken online as a disaster recovery measure.
The reinstated server started working fine and users were able to access their MS Outlook accounts, however, this situation did not work well for long, as the users started facing issues with their MS Outlook, such as message corruption, unscheduled appointments and more. Then the IT team configured a new Exchange in Cluster, and user mailboxes were migrated to the new server. Setting-up new system and migrating the mailboxes on new Exchange is a long process and hence involved quite a lot of time. During this period, users suffered from intermittent business communications; however after the clustered Exchange system was established, the communication was stabilized.
The newly configured Exchange server cluster system crashed in its nascent stage. IT team tried to setup yet another temporary messaging server so that the users could continue to send and receive messages. However, users could not access the archived messages. The only recluse was that the users were able to access and work with their emails. Next, the IT team tried to restore the backup from the original Information store, but the backup was not available as usable data.
The outcome was – a struggling IT team, frustrated users, and confused Exchange Administrator due to a fortnight-long unresolved-email issue.
Executive Management was forced to intervene and IT Director was asked to provide daily updates.
Since backup was not retrievable in usable form, it was decided to call a Backup software vendor who would work onsite. The backup export started examining the backup logs to find out an appropriate solution. Finally, the logs revealed about the faulty tape machine in the backup library system which corrupted the backup, which in turn was corrupting the entire backup available onsite. The only way to restore the archived email messages was from the non-mountable Information store available on the clustered message boxes. Exchange Administrator suggested yet another solution to use the Eseutil-Repair command and retrieve the Exchange data. For this, a sample of Exchange data (100 GB) was selected, but the results were still not fruitful as Eseutil command could not repair the data in the recoverable form.
Finally the Experts’ Consultation
All this while, the organization relied on the Professionals, yet the outcome was that the hardware was failing and the backup restoration was not happening, moreover, the IT team was exhausted. They made a final move of deploying the Stellar Exchange Toolkit which could resolve multiple issues related with Exchange server.
In this case, the IT-team of the manufacturing unit performed every possible task to get their exchange right – they roped-in backup vendors, called-upon Exchange Administrator, involved support services, deployed a new system and most importantly did everything right to keep the business up and to run. However, this situation of long idle business hours, the aggravated Executive Management, the frustrated Outlook users could have been avoided merely by dealing the right way with exchange server failure and deploying the Stellar Exchange Toolkit.