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Exchange Recovery

Just want to firm something up please.

I have been having a dilema this week about my E2k3. I have a backup in place via Symantec Recovery. This does an incremental Backup twice a dayand backs the server up once a week.

Then I had a terrible thought. If the E2K3 server crashed I wouldn't have a clue how to restore it, as when I investigated the files weren't .pst files.

Apparrently investigating this theory, there is a program called Exmerge which converts all the E2k3 mailboxes in .pst files.

So therefore I should be able to find the latest back and the exmerge the file into a .pst mailboxes and then creat anew mailbox store.

Is this correct and the easiest way?

This is just in case. Like cubs 'BE PREPARED'
3 Solutions
When you say backup once week, is it  a full backup. With E2K3 you recovery storage groups. I hope if you read the below article you would get a better understanding


alanheatonAuthor Commented:
I see

So what is the easiest way to do this...

Which files do I need to backup? and How? Is Exmerge the best to restore?
Well there are three type of back up.

1. Online. Using NTBACKUP. This is the recommended and easiest. Take a full backup once a week and do a incremental backup.


2. Offline ( taking back up of the .edb and the .stm files after dismounting the stores gracefully ). The KB makes it look tough but its easy. Basic is a clean shut down database does not require any log files to mount again. And database is clean shut down when you dismount it gracefully.


3.PST ( Exmerge ). Remember that exchange uses SIS ( single instance storage ) and it will break the SIS when you back up in PST format.


Have fun and let me know if it helps.
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I agree with december41991 , these are the most appropriate solutios. You might want to try other third party solutions, which might give you finer settings to work with. I will suggest a full back, every night. It would consume lot of space but that is the best deal. As, you just have to restore one set of database.
You can also check the following article. I would not recommend a brick-level backup. Take an online backup and then incase of a disaster it can be restored to a RSG

Overview of Exchange Server Backup Methods
Your application you are currently using for backup is not doing an "Exchange" backup. Therefore the incremental backups it does are close to useless.

Exmerge requires a live online database to extract content. If you have the database files only, then you cannot use exmerge.

You need to do a full backup using an Exchange aware backup application. This can be ntbackup or something like Backup Exec. This will be an "Exchange" backup which flushes out the logs and marks the data as being backed up.
In the event of a restore, you have a number of options, depending on what the reasons are for the restoration.

If this is for disaster recovery then I would suggest you look at the disaster recovery white papers from Microsoft, which explain how to prepare for the disaster and then what to do in the event of a restore being required.


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