Veritas Exchange Exclude What Directories?

I have not been able to find a clear answer to this question. Maybe I can force it out into the open. My question is what directories should be excluded during an Exchange Server backup (I am running exchange 2003) with Veritas when the Exchange agent is installed (hot backup). I have heard some say that the entire \Exchsrvr directory should be excluded from backup. I have not seen any Veritas documentation supporting this. I have also read where some people are saying to exclude just the \Exchsrvr\MDBDATA folder only.

Thanks
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DMS-XAsked:
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SembeeCommented:
Don't bother with backing up any of the Exchange directories. In the event of a restore they are useless to you.
Same goes for the Windows and Program files directories - both of those are close to useless and a waste of space.

Backup your data, the information stores and the system state. Applications etc can be ignored.

Simon.
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DMS-XAuthor Commented:
>Don't bother with backing up any of the Exchange directories.
Can this be backed up with some documentation from Veritas? Is this what Veritas recommends?

I just noticed that with Veritas 10.0 I cannot even select the \exchsrvr\MDBDATA contents. All the files within this folder are grayed out.

Lets say the sever exchange is running on dies, and I need to do a complete disaster recovery. What happens if I do not have the \exchsrvr directory backed up? I am guessing that after I restore my information store I will need to reinstall exchange to get all of my program files back, correct? If so this is wasted time and may cause me even more problems.

>Same goes for the Windows and Program files directories - both of those are close to useless and a waste of space.
I disagree, I have restored files from the "program files directory" and also the windows directory before. It has saved my @$$.

Thanks
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SembeeCommented:
No idea whether it can be backed up by Veritas documentation. I doubt it as that would be commercial suicide.
I go by my experience. I have been using Backup Exec since version 7 and have followed the same principles above.

I don't know what you have done to require a restore of files from Program Files/Windows directory - it isn't anything I have ever had to do. Program files is not where data should be stored. I have backed up individual directories in the Program Files folder before, but I don't do the entire directory. Waste of time and space on the tape.

In the event that Exchange dies, to do a restore you have to reinstall Exchange. You cannot simply restore the Exchange files because Exchange is a database. There is a special disaster recovery switch that you can use on the Exchange setup that pulls a lot of the information out of the active directory.
Once Exchange is installed, you can then restore the databases from the backup tape.

You should probably read the disaster recovery white papers at Microsoft.com - they will explain exactly what needs to be backed up and how to go about the restore.

Simon.
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DMS-XAuthor Commented:
I have actually done some disaster restores of exchange on the old exchange 5.5

>You cannot simply restore the Exchange files because Exchange is a database.
Notice I said "I am guessing that after I restore my information store I will need to reinstall exchange"
The exchange agent does the backup and restore of the database files (information store). But if I had the program files backed up also it might save me alot of work, or perhaps I will need to reinstall exchange anyways, I am unsure?

>There is a special disaster recovery switch that you can use on the Exchange setup that pulls a lot of the information out of the active directory.
Good information thanks : )

>You should probably read the disaster recovery white papers at Microsoft.com - they will explain exactly what needs to be backed up and how to go about the restore.
Agreed, thanks.
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SembeeCommented:
You will be unable to restore the information store until Exchange is installed.

Furthermore, the Exchange program files don't actually contain any configuration information. All of that information is kept in the stores, the system state and in the AD. Therefore backing up the /exchsrvr directory is pointless. You will need to install Exchange to get the registry entries, services etc, so you will not be saving yourself any time - in fact you will be wasting it by restoring files that will be overwritten by the restore.

Exchange 5.5 restores are totally different to Exchange 200x restores, you cannot compare the two techniques.

Simon.
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