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An open source, reliable, backup system for Exchange Server 2003

I'm looking for a backup solution for Exchange 2003 that is reliable and open source?
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cknoderer
Asked:
cknoderer
1 Solution
 
SembeeCommented:
There is no open source backup solution for Exchange that I am aware of. Very little open source anything for Exchange.
Any reason you don't want to use NTBACKUP?

Simon.
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chingmdCommented:
I use a combination of NTbackup for the exchange data, then I use an open source tool called Bacula to backup the images.   So it's a exchange to disk to tape scenario.

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SysExpertCommented:
Exchange is an MS product and I doubt that you will find anything open source to back it up directly, although you are welcome to check

sourceforge.net

I would look for an open source alternative to Exchange. There are a few being developed.

I hope this helps !
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svsCommented:
You can use just Bacula, without ntbackup, but that will require downtime (you'll have to dismount information store to back it up).  I use ntbackup + bacula (disk to disk to tape), fairly successfully.
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SembeeCommented:
Anything that requires the store to be dismounted is not an Exchange aware backup and will not flush the transaction logs.

Simon.

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svsCommented:
Sure, it's not exchange-aware, but it's a backup.  And the logs do get flushed on clean dismount.
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SembeeCommented:
Logs are only flushed on a backup, not a dismount. If your logs are flushing when you dismount the store then something is wrong with your server.

Simon.

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svsCommented:
Perhaps your definition of 'log flush' is different from mine.  It's not the point really, since if you dismount all your databases and do a file-level backup of them, you get consistent backup which does not require replay of transaction logs.
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SembeeCommented:
The backup is a point in time.
Therefore everything that happens after that backup would not be recoverable. That is the point of the transaction logs - they allow you to fill in the gap between the database failure and the backup.

Also, if you don't do an Exchange aware backup then the logs files are not flushed. They will just build up. Unless of course you are enabling circular logging.

Basically what you are advocating is totally against the best practises of looking after an Exchange server. It not designed to be stopped, backed up using flat file backups.

Simon.

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svsCommented:
Right, but what's stopping you from backing up the logs as well? Anyway, I was just saying that if you absolutely don't want to use ntbackup (which is exchange-aware), you still can do a file-level backup of databases and logs, and it will be recoverable. I used to do this, but switched to ntbackup+bacula (ntbackup produces .bkf, which is then saved by Bacula to tape).
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SembeeCommented:
You don't backup the logs. They aren't designed to be backed up.

Exchange with backups is designed to work in one way only.

Backup the database using an Exchange aware backup application while Exchange is running.
This deletes the logs up to the point of the backup (the committed logs are flushed).

In the event of a database recovery you restore the backup from whatever you backed up and then replay the transaction logs.
You do not backup any files raw.

The use of ntbackup then a file level backup application is very common where people don't want to pay for a third party Exchange backup solution/agent.

Simon.

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svsCommented:
The way it was designed and the ways people actually use it are different. Microsoft knows that -- http://support.microsoft.com/?id=311898.
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