I am running E 2007 and have a DB that is about 100GB. I use NTBACKUP for backing up each night. I find the follwing:
1. If I backup with NTBACKUP selecting "Microsoft Information Store" (and DO NOT check the files in Exchange\mailbox) in order to back up the E 2007 DB, I cannot restore anything but the complete data base to anywhere but the original location...somewhat limiting if all I want is a single post office. I will used this backup in case of catastrophic failure.
2. Because of 1. (above) I make two backups each night. Once as above and one where I do not check "Microsoft Informaiton Store" and DO check the EDB files under exchange\mailbox. I use this second backup to restore individual post office or other mail files.
Can someone give me a solution using NTBACKUP where I only have to make one backup each night and can recover from a catastrophic failure (i.e. do a bare metal restore) as well as restore individual mail boxes or mail store to someplace besides the production system?
That is how Exchange is designed to be operated. You backup the entire store and then when you need to restore, you restore the entire store. Third party vendors may offer brick level backups, but those are slow and inefficient.
You should not be touching the raw files.
To reduce the recovery time you should split the store up. On Exchange 2007 standard you can have four storage groups. Therefore you could split that store in to four. that will reduce the time take to restore.
However the question I have to ask is why are you restoring data? I haven't had to restore individual user's data for over two years. With deleted item retention in the store most recovery options are not required.