Microsoft Exchange 2003 Disaster Recovery Plan (Restore Mail Boxes to alternative Server)

Posted on 2009-04-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi All,

I have two sites in the same domain. Both sites have Domain Controller (2003) and an Exchange Server(2003). I am reviewing our Disaster recovery plan and I need some info /help.

Our users are split 50/50 between the two exchange servers. We backup using granular technology only for the past 4 weeks. If I lost the server in site A and wanted to restore the mailboxes on to the mail server in site B how can i achieve this. Backup exec is installed on both sites.

One concern is that if the users in site A are pointed in AD to the Exchange Server how do I point them to Exchange Server in Site B and then restore the mail boxes. Or do i restore the mail boxes and then adjust the AD info.

Maybe Backup exec handles this automatically.

Thanks in Advance
Question by:steel_admin

Expert Comment

ID: 24223648
You cannot restore Databases regarding to server A and restore them in server B. Thats not possible.
If Server A chrashes for some reason, you have to re install the server with /disasterrecovery swicht and the same configuration (IP Adress , Name ect). The Server gets all attributes from AD for recover all information. After that you´re able to restore the databases in this server.

Expert Comment

ID: 24224143
Agree with tompi68 - just had to do  this last week.
Took me 6 hrs to get everything back up - MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD BACKUP OF THE STORE - sorry to shout that but very important.  If you think it is a good backup - check it.  I thought we had a good one but it was a corrupted backup and we had to restore from an older backup.

the /disasterrecovery switch works really well.  as long as the the OS has been updated to the same servicepack level as the machine was at before the crash.  The only other thing to make sure you have backed up is the OWA website settings - if you use it that is.

Author Comment

ID: 24224312
Hi I do not think that this is correct. All documentation i have read suggests if the servers are in the same domain/ou/administrative group then it is possible with a redirected restore.

Even using a recovery storgage group will allow a restore of emails to a different server.

Can you explain where you got this answer from

Thanks tompi68 and cmorffew
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Assisted Solution

cmorffew earned 180 total points
ID: 24224853
Sorry - I was totally wrong in my agreement, that will teach me not to answer without reading. My situation was a single server not a multi server environment.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996155(EXCHG.65).aspx  states that to achieve your goal you will need to use the Recovery Storage group.   I am unsure of what will happen with the AD permissions, i would assume that as you moved the mailboxes from the RSG to the production server that the AD settings for the user associated with the mailbox would be updated.
LVL 65

Assisted Solution

Mestha earned 180 total points
ID: 24225690
With Exchange 2003, you can restore the database to another server, but only in to an RSG, which will allow data to be extracted to PST files.
You would then need to move the users to the new server, and move the data across.

As already stated, the ideal way to recover a dead Exchange server is to reinstall Exchange using the dr options and then restore the database. That will get you to a point at the last backup. If the storage is intact then you could replay the transaction logs to get the database back up to speed.


Accepted Solution

steel_admin earned 0 total points
ID: 24240609
My Thanks to cmorffew and Mestha. I must say however that your answers where are acceptable in suggestin gthe RSG from Microsft they do not at all reference the capabilities of Backup Exec and its ability to restore to another server via redirected restore of Exchange Server.

I have successfully restored a single mailbox from one server to another using this technology and it works. I di not use RSG. I achieved this in a lab by moving a mail box from a server and bringing the server down. I then restored froma backup of the down server to the new server via Redirect Exchange Restore and GRT Technology in Backup exec 12.5. My question has now changed to :

"If the exchange server is Site A goes Down what is the best way to create a mailbox on Site B (Empty Mail Box) so that I can restore the original mail from my backup in to it".

Do i remove all exchange attributes and then create the mailbox on the new server and then restore?

Thanks Again

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