Want to win a PS4? Go Premium and enter to win our High-Tech Treats giveaway. Enter to Win

x
?
Solved

Backup and disaster planning for exchange

Posted on 2006-06-18
3
Medium Priority
?
309 Views
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
I am fairly new to Exchange/Windows server systems and would like to be led in the right direction regarding data protection on Exchange 2003.  Specifically I am looking at all options with regard to restoring a failed server.  What data absolutely must be backed up for a succesful restore.  The message store(s) I assume are required but I am also hearing that the transaction logs should be backed up as well.  What else should be protected? It is also recommended to house the transaction files on a redundant storage system such as RAID 1 or better.  How often are transaction logs updated and why cant they just be maintained with the backup of the message stores?
At a minimum what we be required for a succesful restore?  Assuming I have a failover site, can you recommend an economical way to cluster/load balance scenario.  Lastly, does clustering require both servers to be of the same hardware specs?
Any recommended reading on clustering/load balancing other than from Microsoft?
Lots of questions so I will award 500 for the best information in the areas concerned.
0
Comment
Question by:Duratek
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
3 Comments
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
smeek earned 1200 total points
ID: 16932226
I found this webcast pretty informative.  http://msevents.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032262250&EventCategory=5&culture=en-us&CountryCode=US

Usually, you would want a backup of the mail server (for configuration of the server) and your message stores.  Use a backup software like Backup Exec to help you along (using the Exchange Agent).
http://support.veritas.com/docs/266074.  When you run a backup, it usually purges the transaction logs.  You would deselect the files associated with the stores and just use the Agent to select your stores.

There are software solutions like DoubleTake, GeoCluster, Avail and NeverFail to do failover, but I don't know if they really qualify for economical.  Microsoft Clustering does not require the hardware to be exactly identical like old solutions such as SFTIII did, but similar specs is typical.

Check out DoubleTake's and VEritas sites for additional cluster, highly available reading.

Microsoft has a guide, but I found it hard reading.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/E2k3HighAvGuide/161d472d-7f13-4584-83c2-7e4420fa48a0.mspx?mfr=true

Steve
0
 
LVL 29

Assisted Solution

by:mass2612
mass2612 earned 800 total points
ID: 16932542
Hi,

The location and backup of the transaction log files is important due to the fact that these log files store the data that has not been committed or written to the database. This data is stored in the transaction logs to allow for increased performance of the Exchange database. As a result the transaction logs hold critical information required to bring the ssytem back to a consistant and up to date status.

If the database suddenly stops due to a hardware error, software error or similar the transaction log files are used in recovery of this data. For example if you backup the database each night at 1 AM any transaction log files that have not been committed to the database are committed at this time and then deleted from the system. The current transaction log file which is named E00.log for the first database is not committed or deleted. From 1 AM onwards all changes to the database are stored in subsequent transaction logs. Each log file is 5MB in size as the E00.log file reaches 5 MB it is renamed to an incremental number i.e. E000001.log, etc.

Therefore if the disk system that holds the database fails at 1 PM the next day you can restore the database from the previous nights backup at 1AM. However if the disk subsystem that fails also stored all the transaction log files then you would not be able to recover any changes to the database that occured from between 1 AM and 1 PM. These changes including mail sent and recieved would be lost.

If the logs were stored on a independant set of disks then you would be able to restore the database form the backup at 1 AM and then re-play the log files that were created and stored between 1 AM and the time of the failure in order to commit the changes and have the data available to the users on the database.

This can get pretty complicated but I would suggest you look at the following article. Quite frankly I may have only confused you further.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/guides/UseE2k3RecStorGrps/d42ef860-170b-44fe-94c3-ec68e3b0e0ff.mspx?mfr=true

0
 

Author Comment

by:Duratek
ID: 16933712
Thank you both...excellent information pls allow me to review the links you have provided and I will check back with you.
0

Featured Post

What’s Wrong with Your Cloud Strategy ?

Even as many CIOs are embracing a cloud-first strategy, the reality is that moving to the cloud is a lengthy process and the end-state is likely to be a blend of multiple clouds—public and private. Learn why multicloud solutions matter in this webinar by Nimble Storage.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

I don't pretend to be an expert at this, but I have found a few things that are useful. I hope that sharing them here will help others, so they will not have to face some rather hard choices. Since I felt this to be a topic of enough importance and…
Here in this article, you will get a step by step guidance on how to restore an Exchange database to a recovery database. Get a brief on Recovery Database and how it can be used to restore Exchange database in this section!
In this video we show how to create an email address policy in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.:  First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Mail Flow…
This video shows how to quickly and easily add an email signature for all users on Exchange 2016. The resulting signature is applied on a server level by Exchange Online. The email signature template has been downloaded from: www.mail-signatures…
Suggested Courses

650 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question