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Backup Exchange User Mailboxes

Posted on 2014-01-24
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
What to best way to backup exchange user mailboxes?

In case one day a mailbox gets corrupted and I have to restore that users mailbox?

Thanks
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Question by:IT_Fanatic
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher Martinez
ID: 39807973
Are you looking to have a user level solution? Or are you looking for a backend/server solution?
From a user level something as simple as backing up to .PST's work fairly well.
And depending on the exchange server you have several options. If you could get me some more information to go on i will try to help you out!
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Expert Comment

by:EEhotline
ID: 39808052
Are you looking for a backup solution for your exchange servers? There are quite a few good ones out there

-Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM)
-Netbackup
-http://www.symantec.com/backup-exec
-Veeam
etc....

They are not free of course, you need to do some researches and find out what suites you most (budget wise)

Hope it helps,
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39808059
I use windows backup and acronis to backup the server.  But my question is when a mailbox gets corrupted. How can I restore that mailbox?
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Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 333 total points
ID: 39808555
Mailbox corruption is pretty rare, it would usually be at the database level.
If you are doing an Exchange aware backup then you have everything that you need - no need to use any other tool. Just restore the database to a recovery database and restore what you need.

Exchange 2010 and higher has a mailbox repair request, which can resolve issues with mailboxes, but in over 10 years of working with Exchange, I don't think I have seen a corrupt mailbox - it has always been at the database level.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39812727
I am running Windows Server Backup on the exchange server. I run full backups.

What does this backup actually restore?

The full server?
Individual mailboxes?
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39812749
It will only restore the database. You restore the database to a recovery database. Then extract what you need from there.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39812761
So that backup doesnt even backup the entire server? Its only the mailbox database?

Ok lets say that its like what you just said. How can I restore a damaged-corrupted mailbox from that backup?
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39814378
As I have already said, mailbox level corruption is very rare.
However you would restore the database to a Recovery Database, then recover the mailbox from there. Simple as that.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39814706
And this can all be done with just the simple windows server backup running a full bqckup?

Do you have instructions on how to do that type of restore
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Accepted Solution

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EEhotline earned 167 total points
ID: 39816368
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39830297
Do you know of anything maybe like GFI, metalogix etc...

That can backup exchange. So If one user mailbox gets corrupted it can be re uploaded quick and the same for a deleted email.

The trick here is when it backs up the data that it also removes it from the exchange server so the DB shrinks and the performance gets better.
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39831018
The performance of Exchange doesn't change with smaller databases. Furthermore the Exchange database doesn't shrink on its own.
Plenty of the archiving products are able to remove the content from the database for you, then store it in another database. However you would then need to backup that database  as well.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39831035
We are currently backing up the entire server with acronis and windows server backup. what archiving software would you recommend that removes the data from the db?
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39832130
I have used GFI myself, which works well. It uses SQL server as its storage location. However there are quite a few on the market so you should evaluate the products for yourself.

However an archiving solution should not be confused with a backup solution.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39832162
What's the difference and which one will shrink the user mailboxes?
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Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 333 total points
ID: 39832843
I cannot really comment on the products, you need to do some research yourself. Most of the archiving products will remove content from Exchange, but other than that you need to evaluate them for your own needs.

If you are referring to the difference between an archive and a backup product, a backup product is designed to backup the data for recovery of the data to a point in time. An archive product is really designed to allow individual messages to be found and read - usually for regulatory reasons.

Simon.
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Author Closing Comment

by:IT_Fanatic
ID: 39840342
Thank you for all the info and heads up. We are going to move this client to Office 365.
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