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Exchange 2010 DAG and Backup config

Posted on 2011-09-05
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What is Microsoft Best practice in regards DAG with active and passive Database copies and backups? Scenario # 1
I have three mailbox servers (MBX) and three databases.(DB)
1-MBX1 contains DB1-Active, DB2-Passive, DB3-Passive
2-MBX2 contains DB2-Active, DB1-Passive, DB3-Passive
3-MBX3 contains DB3-Active, DB2-Passive, DB1-Passvie
Would this set up be best? Or scenario # 2
1-MBX1 contains DB1-Active, DB2-Active, DB3-Active
2-MBX 2 contatins DB1-Passive, DB2-Passive, DB3-Passive
3 MBX 3 contains DB1-Passive, DB2-Passive, DB3-Passive

Finally, in using a high end Exchange-aware Backup application, and using scenario # 1, if I simply select MBX 1 to backup, would the app backup both active and passive DB's or just the Active? Would it automatically know which one to backup? Which is preferred?

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Question by:K Anthony O365
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Expert Comment

by:Nagarajb
ID: 36486413
Scenario #1 is the best approach and you have to use Exchange aware VSS software to backup the passive database.

For more information, refer the below link
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876874.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876874.aspx
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Author Comment

by:K Anthony O365
ID: 36486447
Question:
Why would the passive copies be choosen for backup and not the Active copy? Note the comment from the Microsoft Technet article you referenced:

Exchange 2010 includes a plug-in for Windows Server Backup that enables you to make VSS-based backups of Exchange data. You can use Windows Server Backup to back up and restore your Exchange databases. To back up and restore Exchange 2010, you must use an Exchange-aware application that supports the VSS writer for Exchange 2010, such as Windows Server Backup (with the VSS plug-in), Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager, or a third-party Exchange-aware VSS-based application. Be aware of these limitations when using VSS for backup and restore of Exchange data:
 The VSS plug-in that ships with Exchange 2010 can be used to back up volumes containing active mailbox database copies or standalone (non-replicated) mailbox databases only. It can't be used to back up volumes containing passive mailbox database copies. To back up passive mailbox database copies, you need either Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager or a third-party Exchange-aware VSS-based application.
 
Passive mailbox database copies are backed up using a separate VSS writer in the Microsoft Exchange Replication service. The Microsoft Exchange Replication service VSS Writer doesn't support restores. Although you can back up a passive mailbox database copy using Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager or a third-party Exchange-aware VSS-based application, you can't perform a VSS restore directly to a passive mailbox database copy. However, you can perform a VSS restore to an alternate location, suspend replication to the passive copy, and then copy the database and log files from the alternate location to the location of the passive database copy in the file system.


Thank you for your input!
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Accepted Solution

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Nagarajb earned 500 total points
ID: 36486808
The VSS plug-in that ships with Exchange 2010 can be used to back up volumes containing active mailbox database copies

To Backup Passive database you have to use VSS based Backup software.
When you are using VSS based backup, you can backup both Active and Passive database

Let me know if you  have any further questions.
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Author Closing Comment

by:K Anthony O365
ID: 36489091
Thank you for your input. It has been helpful!
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