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What do I need to backup in MS Exchange

Posted on 2007-10-08
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I have Backup Exec with the Exchange agent.

Do I need to backup both the Information store AND each mailbox, or can I just backup each mailbox?

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Question by:Shawnspi
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by:redseatechnologies
ID: 20033016
You dont need, or want, to backup each mailbox.

Just back up the information store and system state - that is all you need.

-red
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by:Shawnspi
ID: 20033022
But doing each mailbox allows be to individually restore someone mailbox, or e-mail messages.......
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by:Exchange_Admin
Exchange_Admin earned 80 total points
ID: 20033025
Personally I would just back up the information store. Backing up the mailboxes is also called Brick Level Backups (BLB). BLB are pretty much useless in a disaster recovery scenario. Plus the time it takes to perform a BLB is too long.

You can greatly reduce the chances of having to recover an individual mailbox or messages by correctly configuring the Deleted Item Retention time on your mailbox store.
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by:redseatechnologies
redseatechnologies earned 80 total points
ID: 20033256
>>But doing each mailbox allows be to individually restore someone mailbox, or e-mail messages.......

And?  You can do the same thing with an information store backup, using the RSG.

I, like Exchange_Admin, prefer a low/zero restore option.  A well configured server will rarely ever need you to go to tape - even if someone deletes a mailbox, or a folder, or whatever - you can get it back without the tape.

I don't want to daily manage a brick level backup system, when I will only need it maybe once a month - or better yet, only in an emergency.  BLBs are hard work - avoid them.
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Network_Data_Support earned 340 total points
ID: 20033345
what backup exec version do you have?

you first want to backup the infomation store as stated above just backing up mailboxes will not help you if the server dies.

in backup exec you can backup the infomation store and enable "restore of indivdual messages" in the exchange settings of the backup.

if you are going to use the handy RSG make sure you have a good backup or you do not delete mailboxes after full backup
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by:Shawnspi
ID: 20033430
Network Data Suppot:

I think you are on the same page with me...

In Backup Exec.. I had the option to backup the Information Store (and choose the enable individual messages) and I also had the option to backup the Mailboxes seperately.

Why would it give me the option to backup seperately if you get the same result doing the information store?

Thanks.
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by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20033459
becausey ou can just backup indiviidual mailboxes if you like.  say that your CEO wanted a brick level backup so you could restore messages for him quickly. you would maybe use it on important people or people that are always deleting their mail without reading it and then phone you up all the time.

you must backup the infomation store tho so you can recover the the server if it crashes. just the mailboxes alone will not help you in a disaster.
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by:Shawnspi
ID: 20033478
Right, I had the information store.

I was doing both.. so I has .. doubling the backup size.

If I go the information store with the individual messages.. I will be able to restore individual mailboxes/messages, the only differnce is, it would have to pull off the entire information store and then get it from that.. so we are only talking about the amount of time it would take?

Thanks.
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by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20033517
it only takes me about 1 hour to backup my exchange server it is only 36Gb and i have the restore messages enabled. it took me about 45 mins to perfom a disaster recovery to another server so not too bad.

when you use this option you go to restore and you just drill down the users and select to retore what ever you want, messages , calander , tasks its all there.

1 thing i will say is that you have to delete the IMG folders manually as the backup doesnt overwrite but not to much of a pain. there is ways around it by setting your backup to disk size a little over the size of the backup but yopu have to be carefull the backup dose not grow bigger then the size you have set. so i just manually delete them
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by:Shawnspi
ID: 20033545
That works for me!

I was just kind of thinking about it... and was thinking.. why am I backing up their mailboxes twice, it is time consuming and space consuming...

I apprecaite your help.
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by:Network_Data_Support
ID: 20033551
no problem but remember to disaster recovery test and thet will make you confident and certain things are working fine
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by:redseatechnologies
ID: 20036765
My point was, and still is, why are you needing to go to tape at all?  Configure the system right, and it is unnecessary.
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