Backup and Archiving Solution for Exchange 2003

     The Backup on my Exchange 2003 Server is growing very fast and i'm not sure what solution should I apply to fix this problem.
   the size of my backup 115gb and take me whole day to finish it. I'm heard of Virtual Tape to tape, i'm not sure how does it function. Another thing, is there any better archiving software that can be integrates with Outlook? if so how will I be able to backup both?

  I'm looking for Archivng and Backup solution.
  And after archiving i would like to backup the archives as well.

Thank you.
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115GB?  Those are pretty hefty information stores.  What do you currently use to backup Exchange (software and hardware)?

You might want to look into doing a separate backup for your Exchange server.  A directly-attached LTO-2 or LTO-3 (I'd probably recommend LTO-3 if you think that your information store will grow a fair amount more) can natively backup between 80 and 200 Gigabytes per hour... so at least the backup device won't be the limiting factor.

Also how are you doing your Backups?  If you're also doing brick-level (individual mailbox and public folder) backups, that takes a WHOLE lot more time.  You might want to stick with just backing-up the Information Stores.

As for archiving, you can do that through Outlook using the Autoarchive function.  You should probably set the user to archive at at least some of their email (like old "Sent Items") to location (like a personal directory/share) on a server, which you can backup (with the regular server backup, not the Exchange backup).

The only thing with archiving information is that if the users use something like Outlook Web Access to access the system remotely, they won't have access to the archived emails (they'd only be able to see those at work, in Outlook).

BaaziAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your reply,
    Yah! i'm backing up the individual mailbox and info store which total up to 115gb, hmm i'll take a look at LTO. and for archiving, i've gone though  Autoarchive function, doesn't seem to work well for me.... I don't wanna go around the office and manage 150 people's outlook client.

That's Y i'm looking for something that will archive emails as soon as the come in or go out. There is this new Tech... by EMC which archive all of the email and leave the the content in the outlook client. but now, once my emails are being archive i wanna back up that as well.
RE: Your Backup Strategy

If it was me I would revise your backup strategy.
With a properly configured Exchange 2003 server you do not need to backup the mailboxes. Only backup the information store.
Backups of the mailboxes (Brick Level Backups- BLB's) are pretty much useless in a disaster recovery scenario.
What you need to do is to configure your Deleted Item Retention on your Exchange server to an acceptable value. Then you will be able to recover deleted items, that are within this time window, from the Outlook client.
If a deleted item has surpassed this deleted item retention time then you will need to use the Recovery Storage Group feature of Exchange 2003 to recover the messages.
See this article:
How to use Recovery Storage Groups in Exchange Server 2003

As for your archiving solution, there are many products that will do this. One I have seen will archive data from the mailbox into another database, but it leaves a pointer in the mailbox for the archived data. Then if the user needs this data they just click on it like a normal message and it opens up.
This product was KVS Enterprise Vault.

Also look at this link:

Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

As you are running Exchange 2003 you don't need to backup the mailboxes. The recovery storage group option would do the job for you in the event of a recovery of a mailbox being required.

The market leader is Commvault - that will extract the emails and store them in an SQL Server. You can then backup the SQL server in the usual way. However products like Commvault are very expensive. If you cut out the mailbox backup, then you will be down to less than 60gb, which is peanuts for an Exchange server. LTO will give the capacity that you need to backup the store.

BaaziAuthor Commented:
thanks guyz
   But i'm not sure how to configure recovery storage group. i glance though the article that exchange admin provided me but it's still not clear.

can someone share their experience of what you did to setup the recovery storage group and how would it automatically update itself from the orginal mailbox store.
The RSG is setup on demand. You don't leave it configured all the time.
You simply backup the information stores in the regular way. When you need to recovery, you recover into the newly created RSG. Once the data is there, extract it with exmerge and then import or copy the data in to the live mailbox.

BaaziAuthor Commented:
   for example i want to restore some emails from a specific mailbox- How would i do that without backing up the individual mailbox... can you give me the steps on how to restore from RSG -:

Thanks a lot
These links explain more on how the RSG works and how to use it:

NTBACKUP instructions (which have already been provided by Exchange_Admin above)

Veritas Backup Exec Instructions:

This article at shows how to use exmerge once you have the data in the RSG:

BaaziAuthor Commented:
   That makes lots of sense- One last question; Can i delete the database which is in the RSG once i have restore what i want ? just to save the space on the HD.

You cannot leave the RSG in place - it should be removed once you have got what you need. You will get errors in the event log if you leave the RSG alone - so simply remove it.


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BaaziAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot Sembee
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