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Exchange 2003 Real Time Backup

Posted on 2011-03-04
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We are running Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2 on Windows Server 2003 on our network. I came to this organization within the past year and everything with email/backup was already in place. On our Exchange server, there is a drive M: that seems to contain a real-time backup of our Information Store. Each user has a folder that houses the contents of the mailboxes as individual .eml files. Can someone give me some ideas as to how this might be working? I can't see any scheduled tasks, nothing in Exchange System Manager and we don't have anything like Symantec CPS running. I'm at a loss to figure this out. We are planning a move to Exchange 2010 in the near future, so I'm trying to get a grasp on all the inner workings of the email system. Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks
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Question by:leatherleaf
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IamTheMorsa earned 2000 total points
ID: 35037573
The M drive is for Installable File System (IFS) and you don't backup this directory.  So you don't have anything to worry about when you do your move to 2010 (as you will be doing migrations with mailboxes, not the M drive).  

IFS has given Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 a lot of advantages: we maintain content parity for MIME and make MIME message handling faster and more efficient as well as increasing the performance of such messages retrieved via internet protocols. But there can be problems if IFS is misused via the M: drive. In Exchange 2003 we have disabled the M: drive by default to hopefully help reduce the likelihood that customers will encounter any of the issues described above.
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by:jrwarren
ID: 35037600

this sounds like Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2006 or 2007.

Technet for DPM 2007

MS Exchange . Org article on DPM 2007
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by:jrwarren
ID: 35037638
@imtheMorsa :
   That is neat stuff, I did not realize.
Does the M drive always hide as the M drive or could it possibly be in the standard folder structure?
  I should read more on this topic.  Thanks for the info!

  Also I am not an expert on the DPM2007, but from what I recall reading on it, it sounds like you may have it running somewhere.

   
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by:IamTheMorsa
ID: 35037658
I think somebody un-hid the M drive, so that is why you see it.  Its always the M drive, unless you change it in the registry.  I would avoid looking, touching this folder.  Any changes or mistakes could cause major issues...
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by:leatherleaf
ID: 35037844
@iamthemorsa:

You are correct, it is IFS. I wasn't even aware that this was an option after exch2000. It looks like someone turned on the M: drive via the registry as described in msft kb 821836. There have been way too many fingers in the pot of this network.... I'm trying to slowly figure everything out, document and get it all back on track.

Thanks for your help and quick response!
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Author Comment

by:leatherleaf
ID: 35037863
@jrwarren:
I thought of DPM at first, but we definitely don't have it running anywhere. Managing something like that is also outside the scope of what current and recent IT staff could manage. (oops! did I say that out loud!! :) )
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