Exchange 2003 and Snap Shots

My mail server is Exchange 2003 Enterprise running on Windows 2003 Enterprise.  My information store is in the neighborhood of 400GB and my tape backup takes 4hours to process the backup with a transfer rate of over 2,100 MB/Min.

I was wondering if it would make sense to take snap shots.  Restoring exchange data from tapes is quite time consuming.  Has anyone ever done this?  How would I take the snap shots?  Can snap shots be backed up?
deklinmAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
What typeof snapshots are you talking about?  Imaging software, SAN snapshots, vmware/virtualization software..

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We use SAN Snapshots, with a NetApp filer, and use NetApp Exchange Snapmanager for backups.
Glen KnightCommented:
My suggestion would be to breakup the stores in to smaller DB's this will make the stores much easier to manage and quicker to backup.


Presumably whenyou are talking about snapshot you are talking about using a VSS agent to backup the server rather than an Exchange Backup agent?  If so, this method you will be required to create a new AD forest and install Exchange with the same organisation name to allow you to restore the data.

So, if that's what you are referring to, I would suggest it's not the best way to go.
Simplify Active Directory Administration

Administration of Active Directory does not have to be hard.  Too often what should be a simple task is made more difficult than it needs to be.The solution?  Hyena from SystemTools Software.  With ease-of-use as well as powerful importing and bulk updating capabilities.

lucid8Commented:
There are Exchange aware backup products that utilize VSS, however VSS support for Exchange started with 2003 and while it works its not as robust as with 2007/2010.  Also you may want to consider upgrading your Exchange system before purchasing a VSS 2003 capable agent, since they may not be supported for much longer and also you may have to buy a new agent when you update.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@lucid8: We've never had any issues or our clients using NetApp Snapmanager for Exchange on NetApp filers for Recovery. (with Exchange 2003 and later with VSS). It's an excellent product as is  GoExchange!
lucid8Commented:
Sorry, perhaps I was misunderstood;

1. Wasn't meaning to slam any VSS based product that currently supports Exchange 2003 at all, just saying that VSS for Exchange was first introduced with 2003 and as such it has certain limitations when compared with later VSS releases for Exchange 2007 and 2010.   For Example Exchange 2003 prevents more than one VSS backup process from running at the same time therefore you and or your application need to queue this else you will get failures vs 2007 and 2010 do not have this issue.  

2. If you are thinking of updating Exchange it would be better IMO to do that now rather then spending money on a VSS 2003 compliant agent that you very well  may have to re-purchase once you do upgrade to a newer version of Exchange.

P.S. I agree that  NetApp makes some very fine products
lucid8Commented:
Thansk for the points!
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Exchange

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.