Same old question...just need to have a clear understanding of Exchange backups

Hello Experts.

I have an Exchange 2k running on a W2k Server and a separate W2k DC.  I need a clearer understanding of what I should be backing up for the following situations:

1.  Daily Backup - If I need to restore a single mailbox or a database corruption.
2.  Weekly Backup - Full backup of what?  Just the information store and system state?  What about the database files (*.stm and *.edb)?
3.  Server lost due to fire/tornado - What is required to be backup to restore to another server.

Right now I do a full backup everynight on a separate tape.  I keep one month of tapes off site and rotate the following month.  The end of the month tape is pulled out of the monthly rotation.  

One other question...

I have a hot spare server off-site with totally different hardware config.  Am I going to have problems restoring E2K on that hot spare with different hardware?  Also, the spare has W3K loaded.  I know I can't run E2K on a W3K machine, so I believe I will have to upgrade my current Exchange to E3K.  Right?

Thanks.

Matt
braman1Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
SembeeCommented:
If you want to use the spare machine then you either have to downgrade it to Windows 2000 so that you can install Exchange 2000 on the machine, or upgrade Exchange to 2003 so that the versions match.

I only do full backups of the entire information store, plus the system state. You also need to have the system state of a global catalog domain controller. You do not need any of the physical files of Exchange - the database files etc.

With Exchange 2000, to restore a single mailbox using the information store only backup would require a recovery server. If you upgrade to Exchange 2003 then you can use the recovery storage group.

Simon.
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braman1Author Commented:
Simon, thanks for the response.

What do you backup daily on your exchange server?  Do you do full backups of the information store and system state nightly?

Also, should I be backing up anything on the Exchange server during business hours?  I've heard of backing up the transaction logs like every three hours.  Do you backup anything during normal business hours?

Thanks again.

Matt
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George SasIT EngineerCommented:
I'm not the backup expert here but I know we backup every server every night.
No backup every 3 hours or so.
We had a few disaster cases and all I needed to restore my exchange was the databases.

You might want to take a look here :
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/insider/exch2000drc.mspx
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SembeeCommented:
I backup the entire information store and system state every night. Single tape for restores.
The server is then configured correctly, with the transaction logs and databases on separate disks. In the event of a failure of the drive holding the databases I can restore then replay the transaction logs. I don't backup during the day.

Exchange 2007 changes all of that, as it has log shipping which allows you to keep a copy of the the transaction logs off site live, so you can have a backup tape and the logs elsewhere and restore, even in the event of a total failure of the server.

Simon.
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