Backup of Exchange 2003

Posted on 2008-06-19
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I have been backing up my exchange 2003 databases with 11d for a while and it is taking a LONG time.  I do know that I need to do an offline defrag to get rid of some white space but in the past few days backup exec has been stalling on "consistency check".  Also, my exchange server is so tied up you cannot even open outlook on a client.  The system manager on the ex server will not open stores either it is so busy.  One question I do have is when I am selecting things to backup in the selection list I choose to backup the information store on the ex server do I also need to backup the drive where the edb files are located or is this just duplicating my efforts? I guess what I am asking is when I choose to backup the information store through backup exec are the edb already chosen therefore making my selection of the drive  null.  Make sense?
Question by:rhltechie28
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Expert Comment

ID: 21822294
You cannot backup the EDB files without dismounting the databases so even if selected these files should be a factor.

BE11d introduced a feature call GRT which allows the restore of mailboxes directly from the database backup. This alleviates the need to separately backup the mailbox individually. Traditionally, individual mailbox backups are what take a extraordinary amount of time due to the sheer number of items it has to process.

If you are in fact backing up the mailboxes, you can enable the GRT feature and disable the use of the legacy mailbox backup method by going into (tools->option->MS Exchange) then ensuring that the "enable legacy mailbox support" option is not checked. Keep in mind, the only caveat to GRT backups is that to restore any mailbox or mail item, BE needs to restore the entire database to a temporary disk location before it can pull the item out. So a 70GB database, requires 70GB of disk space available of temp space to restore.

Author Comment

ID: 21822353
Ok, thank you for your reply.   I have had the enable legay mailbox support unchecked for some time now but I believe I was still attempting to backup the EBD files on the drive which from what you are saying is a no no, correct?

Expert Comment

ID: 21822676
It should not make a difference if the EDB files are selected or not. For good measure I typically excluded the exchsrvr directory from the backup altogether.

I don't know if this is already the case, however I would recommend you backup the exchange database with its own job and ensure that the job does not have AOFO enabled and no system state object selected. I have seen AOFO suddenly stop perfectly working exchange jobs in the past and that is usually he first thing I do. I usually have the Exchange job run first and the data job run second appending to the media.
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Author Comment

ID: 21822749
So you are saying not to use AOFO altogether??  What happens to the backup when this is not selected?  Also, you are saying I should do the backup of the exchange machine separately from the backup of the exchange database correct?

Accepted Solution

raptorjb007 earned 250 total points
ID: 21822853
Yes, it would be best to backup the exchange database with a seperate job from everything else. Specifically the reasoning for this is that AOFO is a job setting, so to disable AOFO for the exchange database only it needs to be a separate job.

Your regular backup job can still use AOFO, just not the job backing up the exchange database.

Author Comment

ID: 21822935
THanks, this was very helpful.

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