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Recommendations on backup software for Win2012 R2 running Exchange 2013

Posted on 2014-01-17
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We've been using Veritas/Symantec Backup Exec to backup Exchange mailboxes for over a decade with a great deal of success (if not without it being a pain at times.) We backup to tapes so they can be taken offsite to protect against fire/theft.

Our latest server is Windows 2012 R2 with Exchange 2013. Backup Exec 2012 has not been compatible with 2012 (9 months working on a beta so far) and is definitely not not compatible with R2. We spoke to support at Symantec and even though they offered us a free copy of System Recovery 2013, that is not compatible with R2 either. Symantec support themselves suggested we return the product back to the vendor.

So with that in mind, we need a new product that we can use. We'd like the ability of restoring individual mailboxes, but ultimately if we have to give up a feature, that would be it. Backing up to tapes is a must because we already have the investment on the hardware. Lastly, we need a solution that does not require buying an extra server (like Dell AppAssure) because we can't justify the expense.

Any brilliant recommendations?

Thanks!
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Question by:omniumnetworking
8 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 501 total points
ID: 39788929
I use BackupAssist with Exchange Granular Restore Add-on (so we can restore individual mailboxes).

It works with 2012 R2 and can backup to tapes (though I don't use tapes, so I can't say how well).

http://www.backupassist.com/BackupAssist/index.html

HTH,
Dan
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39788965
You know that exchange 2013 is not compatible with windows 2012 r2, right?
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Author Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 39788996
Does only the Zip add-on backup to tape that you know of? It says the Zip add-on is for Windows 2008 so I am concerned about compatibility there.

Is anybody using Microsoft System Center Standard Edition with Data Protection Manager (DPM) for this task? Our vendor was unsure whether the DPM was included in the Standard Edition or only in the much more expensive Data Center Edition. It seems to be compatible with all version of the Microsoft servers (as one would hope being a Microsoft product!)

Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 39789101
@CLiff The latest release of Exchange 2013 is compatible with R2, it's just not "officially supported" until SP1 is released "early 2014" (whatever that means.)  We're having no issues with Exchange, though.

Thanks again!
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LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Mahesh
Mahesh earned 498 total points
ID: 39789107
You can try DPM 2012 R2 version to backup MS Exchange 2013 and 2012 \ 2012 R2 servers
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj860400.aspx
But I am not happy with DPM performance with last versions

Alternatively you can try Commvault Simpana 10
http://forum.commvault.com/forums/thread/26495.aspx
Its really good for Exchange Backup and GRT Recovery

Mahesh
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LVL 60

Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 501 total points
ID: 39789130
I can tell you that your information is not accurate. There are known compatibility issues with exchange 2013 CU3 and 2012 R2. Just because you've had some success doesn't mean it is fully compatible, and you are risking data corruption and data loss.
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Expert Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 39789202
Shadow Protect vote here.

Also, we use our VPN lines to batch copy to a small NAS from our local media to the other remote site in the late evening.  So after staff goes home at 5, 6pm the upload starts, it is generally done after 1-6 hours, but since it is technically last night's backup that has already been made, the load is only on the WAN, and the two NAS devices.  We also only send the full backup on Saturday.  The other days the incremental is sent.

This way, we do not run the risk of getting physical tapes lost/stolen which is more likely than a total loss of facility.  There are gaps, but my logic is if the entire place burns down, a week old back up plus incremental and re-creating the missed days if any, will pale in comparison to costs of replacing the furniture, servers, walls, staff if anyone was injured/killed, and misc supplies, as well as the time it will take to move operations to a different location and the logistics of such a feat.

But Shadow protect will work with media tapes (i think their library management is easier than BE's) as well as NAS, USB, etc.  All things considered, they are about the same price.
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Author Closing Comment

by:omniumnetworking
ID: 39789207
Thank you all for responses. We're early enough in the process where we think going back to 2008/2010 might save us some time and headaches.
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