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Brick Level Backup

Posted on 2004-04-07
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How do I do a brick level backup? I'd like to restore email for one of my users. I'm on Exchange Server using Veritas Backup. I'm entirely new to networking, but consider myself to be a fast learner so ANYTHING helps!!!
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Question by:Kolina28
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OneHump earned 900 total points
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How many mailboxes on your server?  You cannot restore a brick level backup unless you are already running a brick level backup.  It is usually discouraged because it is really slow.  The limit is usually about 50 mailboxes.  Here is a FAQ on the topic:

http://support.ca.com/techbases/as2000/as2k-1401.html

Most people restore the Exchange server offline and export the affected mailbox.  Exchange 2003 has the ability to create a restore storage group which makes the task easier.  What version of Exchange are you running?

OneHump
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by:ErikKvK
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For bricklevel backup with Veritas you need to acquire a license for the Veritas Exchange Agent. This will allow you to enable bricklevel back ups. You should have this already if you are backing up Exchange. Basically you will not only need to select the storage groups, but also the individual mailboxes in the backup selection window. Brick level is nothing else than extracting individual mailboxes and messages.

Most large organisations do not use bricklevel any more for a number of reasons:
- Increased backup time window needed. Brick levels are very processor and time consuming.
- Increased wear of backup unit. Since the brick level does not present a conituous stream of data, the unit needs to start, write, stop, rewind an d start again. This wears the unit and tapes. With one customer we had to replace units every 3 months because of this.
- Exchange 2000/2003 offers mailbox and message retension. After removing a mail or mailbox, you can force Exchange to keep the mailbox in the store for a number of days. If you set this to the retension time for your tapes (normal would be 30 days), this would allow the enduser to recover messages themselves, and you could do instant mailbox restores within the timeframe. Everything older than 30 days that is still worth restoring will allow for the effort to use a recovery server.
- A number of tools allow you to mount information stores without exchange running (http://www.ontrack.com). This allows you to restore a database without mounting it and then extracting the email with such tools.
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