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anyone using Avamar for backups

Im implementing Avamar for backups and trying to determine the best solution for backing up windows servers
all my servers are virtual so im trying to decide if its best to use vmdk backups or vss & windows file system
Avamar allows the vmdk method and file system method
im thinking of backing up servers like exchange and sql via the following
vmdk backup so i can restore complete image or individual files
and also a exchange aware database level backup so i can restore dataabaes to a consistant state.
also when using windows file system backups is it possible to exclude files using a wildcard
eg exclude all *.ldf *.mdf *.edb etc
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dougdog
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dougdog
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
I have used it for about 4 years. I use a combination of processes. For a lot of the critical VM, I perform image level backups. For other file servers, I use standard file level backups. For Exchange, I use the VSS Exchange plug in so I have the ability to perform GLR's.

Yes, you can include wildcards. My SQL administrators do not way to use agents and prefer to run maintenance plans that dump to a flat file I pick up. Therefore, I exclude all of the extensions you mention above.

I do not perform image level backups of my SQL or Exchange. As far as Exchange, we have multiple mailbox servers running DAG replication. Therefore, the lose of one box causes those databases to fail over to one of the other servers. I strictly use it for GLR restores, or in the event we would have a corrupt database and need to restore an entire DB.

I actually have an EE article I wrote about Avamar after I had it up and running for a while:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Backup_Restore/A_3427-Review-AVAMAR-Backup-and-Recovery-System.html
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dougdogAuthor Commented:
so for my sql servers can i have the following

a dataset that backups all sql databases containing all my sql servers
a dataset that backups up vss and windows file system containing all my sql servers and add the following exclusions *.mdf *.ldf

also what would be better to go alongside my exchange dataabse backups a

c drive vss and fiel system or

a vmdk image of the c drive
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
You could try to do an image level of the C: drive on Exchange. I have never done that since I have a load balanced environment. Also, you will need to backup the "active" database in order for the transaction logs to clear. I found this out after working with support because I thought doing the passive was better, but my logs were never clearing.

Yes, they can be part of the same policy, unless you are only going to point to specific drive letters and those are not the same on every server.

Yes, I have attached a dataset of mine with exclusions.
Data selections and exclusions
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dougdogAuthor Commented:
No I think its safer to have it backup all windows drives then I dont run the risk of a new drive which was added being missed by the backup.
Ill maybe test a image backup of exchange then restore the exchange database over the top.
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