What to backup in order to flush/commit Exchange 2010 transaction logs

Posted on 2014-04-02
Last Modified: 2014-04-03

I had a previous question on EE regarding getting Exchange 2010 to flush/commit/remove 1000's of transaction logs on my email server. The advice was to carry out a Full backup which appeared to do the job.

I have been carrying out the backup weekly using Veeam as I already use that elsewhere but it seems to have a large footprint and causes so much activity that vCentre Server thinks the VSA object the email server sits on has gone offline!

I just want to know if a Full backup of the server is needed in order to commit/flush those transaction logs or if I can do a partial backup of the email server? If the latter is OK could someone tell me which files/directories I need to back up?

Question by:funasset
  • 3
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 39971988
You cannot backup files/folders to do a backup to flush the logs, Exchange doesn't work that way.

You need to do an Exchange aware backup. If Veeam is doing too much, then look at doing an Exchange database only backup using either Windows Backup or something like Backup Assist. They all use the VSS writers, but just backup what you need.

A complete server backup using something like Veeam, for an Exchange server is a waste of time anyway. You only need the databases, everything else is stored in the domain and can be recovered very quickly.


Author Comment

ID: 39972090

Thanks for that.  I've had a dig around for info on Windows Backup but am a little confused by this article as to whether the whole server needs to be backed up or just the folders containing Exchange data -

It's the 1st and 4th bullet points that seem to contradict each other. Perhaps I'm not reading it correctly.

Looking at the Backup software itself it seems that if you want to schedule a job then it will only let you do it on a daily basis or multiple times during a 24 hour period? That seems like a bit of an overhead when all I want is a weekly job.

Any suggestions?
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 39972134
To flush the logs, a full backup is mandatory. But you can also do differential backups and then change the settings of Exchange so that it does circular logging. That will automatically delete old logs that have exceeded the age you set for circular logging.

For example with StorageCraft's shadowprotect backup utility you normally only do one full backup, and after that incremental backups, which can be be timed to run every 10 minutes. This reduces the time each backup job takes, and your backups are as current as possible. The incremental backups can later be consolidated into the full backup so things stay manageable. But of course that way the logs aren't purged, so with such a backup strategy you need to use circular logging. As far as I know veeam works in a similar way to shadowprotect...

Author Comment

ID: 39972747
I tried the Windows Backup route just to test and it completed a backup of the Exchange server much quicker than Veeam - and I was directing it to a USB disk attached to my workstation as that was the only option I had at the time. However, the backup completed with an error regarding a failed consistency check. As I understand it from the warning and Event Log, this means it didn't touch the transaction logs. The Event ID was 9782.

One problem solved, another one created it seems!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39974619
Thanks - this gave me some new things to think about.

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