Solved

Exchange 2003 backup question with mailboxes.

Posted on 2006-07-23
21
377 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Since 2003 has the option to keep deleted items and mailboxes do i need to backup the mailboxes and messages in my nightly backups?

I currently use veriats with the exchange agent and backup everything, the stores, mailboxes and mails... but its quite a large backup.

Can i do without the mailboxes and msg's as exchange keeps a copy for however many days i request? would these be in the store?

Thanks,
0
Comment
Question by:lgropper
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2
  • +3
21 Comments
 
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

by:
Microtech earned 84 total points
ID: 17163817
and can you do without all the emails in the whole company if the server fails?
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:glennbrown2
ID: 17163842
I would backup the inforamtion store, and if you have enough space (and time), a message level backup as well.  The "deleted item retention" and "mailbox retention" options MAY come in handy, but as Microtech suggests, if the server fails you need a backup!!!!!!!!!!!  So yes, BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP!!
0
 
LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:prav007
prav007 earned 83 total points
ID: 17163925
Always take an online information store backup .Don't rely on the 30 day retention period for mailboxes and the 7 day retention period for deleted items.
What if the store experiences a crash .If your information store is big you can take a full backup and subsequently take incremental backups

Praveen
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:pbeckford
ID: 17164021
I think what you are referring to is the dumpster, a virtual area of the database where deleted items are stored depending on your retention period. Deleted mailboxes are only marked for deletion until their retention period. These items are in fact stored in the database and thus affect the size.

Although I prefer a full exchange server backup on a daily basis, you can also do an incremental backups during the week which will just backup your log files and purge them when it completed. If you do this, it is absolutely critical you get regular full backups. Again, I think it is safer to ensure you do a full backup as frequently as possible.

Althernatively, you could limit the size of your database and thus regular full backups by lowering the deleted item retention period. Also, you can eliminate the nightly backup of individual mailboxes and messages via Veritas, what is known as a brick level backup, by using a nightly script to exmerge your mailboxes to pst files. You could then capture these file to tape on a regular basis. This means you would rely on Veritas for your full Exchage server backup and recovery but for individual email or mailbox restores you would have individual pst files. This makes individual email restores a snap,  you would simply connect to the pst created by exmerge and move the message back into the mailbox. There is some debate over whether this is a better method than Veritas' brick level backup capability but in my experience, bricks  have not been very dependable anyway.
0
 
LVL 104

Assisted Solution

by:Sembee
Sembee earned 83 total points
ID: 17164193
If you are doing the stores and the mailboxes in Veritas Backup Exec then you are actually duplicating everything. The stores contain the mailboxes.
Furthermore, with Exchange 2003, the value of doing a mailbox backup is further reduced. Exchange 2003 has a feature called Recovery Storage Group. This allows you to restore the entire store to another path, then extract what you need.

Deleted item retention should be used as part of your data protection strategy. It doesn't replace it.

Simon.
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:glennbrown2
ID: 17165813
But if you can backup both without impacting on the backup window and available space, it comes in handy if some wants one message restored...you don't ahve to fiddle with recovery storage groups (which I am not criticsing as this feature is very useful)....I guess it comes down to personal preference :-)  I backup both when i am able to, but if space and time is an issue then yes, only backup the store
0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17167264
I haven't done a mailbox backup in all the years that I have been working with Exchange. Not once have I felt that I needed it, or been in a situation where I would have felt that one would have been useful. Deleted Item Retention has caught most items for me.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:lgropper
ID: 17170747
Simon, that was my thought... I'm just worried if i don't have a backup of the users emails it could pose a problem.  Are you replicating to another exchange server or anything?
0
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:pbeckford
ID: 17173301
There are two types of Exchange admins in this world, those who have experienced disaster recovery... and those who will ;-)

Certainly, backing up the Exchange Databases and logs are critical, this should be your number one priority. Second, enable deleted item retention and use an appropriate retention period. One week, 30 days, depends on your environment.

If you have the time and space, do individual backups of mailboxes and messages, whether via Veritas or a regular exmerge. (personally, I exmerge via a script and purge after my weekly full of the Exchange Server, OS and File structure). Think of it as an extra rider to your backup insurance policy.

Finally, you could always present the need for an upgrade of your backup infrastructure to management. A reliable messaging system and corresponding backup/recovery system is usually considered a critical need and is often easier to obtain funding for than other systems.
0
Do You Know the 4 Main Threat Actor Types?

Do you know the main threat actor types? Most attackers fall into one of four categories, each with their own favored tactics, techniques, and procedures.

 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17177767
I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote. I don't do mailbox backups. I do information store backups. I am still backing up the same information - I just use the best practises which is store only.

If you have the time and tape space, then do a brick level backup in addition to the main backup - not as an alternative. For most of my clients I cannot justify the additional time and tape space.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:lgropper
ID: 17178287
No no, i understand.  I guess my real question is that if i backup the information store only and i recovered from that i would still have everyones mailboxes correct?

I see the benifit of having the ability of recovering each msg from a brick level but i can use the mailbox retention tool to get that.  

I am just noticing that the backups are taking about 8 hours and its about 120 gigs...
0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17178697
If you backup the information store, then you have all email up to the point of the backup.
In the event of a system failure, the idea is that you restore from the last backup, then replay the transaction logs. It is one of the reasons why we suggest having the transaction logs on a different drive.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:lgropper
ID: 17178754
now that makes sense to me.  we are actually doing circular backups (i know they are not a good idea at all, but its due to drive limitations) so we have nightly full backups done.  If we were to restore the store we would still have all emails from the last full backup even with circular logging on? correct?
0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17178795
With circular logging you would only have what is in the backups. So if the machine failed at 2am, and the backups started at 3am, then you would lose 23 hours of email.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:lgropper
ID: 17178974
makes sense.  ok great, so one confirmation to see if i understand this 100%

We currently are doing full backups nightly for the information store and a brick level backup.  This brick level enables me to recover a mailbox or a msg without having to restore the whole information store.  But with 2000/2003 you can set the deleted item retention for however many days you would like so the brick level backup doesn't really make sense to use.

If i completely backup the information store everynight without the brick level backup then i would be able to restore to where i was when the backup started. this is with circular logging on.

If that is right, i'm a little lost on the logs... how would i create a scenario where i could be up to date within the hour?  take off circular logging and i will be able to restore to the point of the logs?

Thanks,
0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17179321
If you take off circular logging, then the logs basically fill the gap between the backup and the system failure. That is why transaction logs are flushed when the backup is complete.

That only applies if you can get to the transaction logs. If you have experience a total failure then you will be stuffed. However I work on the theory that if you experience a total failure of a system you will have more pressing things to worry about. Most server failures are something like motherboard OR hard disks OR RAID card, very unusual to have all fail at the same time. A total system failure would probably have an external cause - hurricane, fire, flood etc.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:lgropper
ID: 17179359
simon, thanks again for all the answers.  you seem to know this best.

you are an asset to this site.

thanks
0
 

Author Comment

by:lgropper
ID: 17179364
so just to confirm! sorry... the information store has all the users emails in it so if i restore without the bricklevel backup being done, i still get the boxes back from when the backup took place.

Chad
0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17179397
That is what I said.

Simon.
0

Featured Post

What Should I Do With This Threat Intelligence?

Are you wondering if you actually need threat intelligence? The answer is yes. We explain the basics for creating useful threat intelligence.

Join & Write a Comment

Utilizing an array to gracefully append to a list of EmailAddresses
Marketers need statistics and metrics like everybody else needs oxygen. In this article we explain how to enable marketing campaign statistics for Microsoft Exchange mail.
In this video we show how to create a mailbox database 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 Servers >> Data…
To show how to create a transport rule 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 >> Rules tab.:  To cr…

746 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

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

11 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now