Exchange 2003 Backup Best Practices

My company has a single Exhange 2k3 server running on Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition. Our information store is 43GB. Right now we back everything up to tape. I'm wondering if it would be better to backup our exchange server up to disk during the day then backup the disk to tape at night. What are everyone thoughts on this? I know going B2D is not bound by hardware in the event your backup server or tape drive failed.
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compdigit44Asked:
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ryansotoCommented:
I do both.  My store is close in size to yours and I use backup exec 11d.  This allows you to back up the information store as a single unit then restore individual messages or mailboxes.
So I have 2 jobs that run the first is backup email to disk (b2D) and then a second job that duplicates what I just did to tape.  I stagger them so one starts when the other finishes.
with 43gb is runs about 2 hours per job.
I like doing everything at night -
Most email messaging is done for the day so backups contain most data from the days work
Less strain on the systems to do a backup job and daily functions while users are working the system
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GibbsSupportCommented:
I'd hate to defrag your database.

My opinion is that B2D are good with the exception of being able to easily take them off site. For portability tapes are still the best in my opinion.

I normally run differential backups during the day on Tape device A, then at night i run a full backup onto tape device B. your differential back ups are much smaller and you can afford to use a smaller tape capaicty with them. just remember if you have to restore a server you will need all the differential backups from the last full up to the point of failure.

One of the things I would look at if i were you since your .mdb's are so large I am asuming you have alot of users. have you considered clustering the servers as a reliable backup in conjuction with tape/b2d backups?
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compdigit44Author Commented:
It seem to me that B2D would provide a faster restore option and is not hardware specific? Does Symantec have any articel regarding this topic?
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ryansotoCommented:
B2D is very fast for restoring data and is not hardware specific but there are some rules....
The b2d device needs to be formatted ntfs (so that means most inexpensive NAS devices wont work since they have their own filesystem that mimics windows shares)
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compdigit44Author Commented:
Should I breakup may exchange server backups into three different backups? O.S, Information Store & mailboxes or should i place all jobs be placed under one job?
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ryansotoCommented:
Symantec recommends this

b2d email backups should be their own job on their own volume in their own folders(while this is a best practice its not necessary)

So I have 2 jobs

Monday email backups --> F:\email backups\Monday
Tuesday email backups--> F:\email backups\Tuesday
and so on for the days of the week
then I have  another job
Full data backup (which contains system state/network shares/local data/etc)

Monday full data backup-->F:\Backup\Monday
Tuesday full data backup-->F:\backup\Tuesday
And so on for the days of the week.

This is how symantec recommends it if you cant have 2 seperate volumes.  I talked on the phone with upper level support about this so its straight from their engineers (not their 1st level reboot your server and retest monkeys)
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compdigit44Author Commented:
This is great thanks....
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