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How to do incremental backups of Exchange 2003 with Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R3

I'm not familiar with Exchange backups, i've tried reading some "best practices" and such on the process but am not finding an answer. We have an Exchange 2003 cluster, full backups are about 215 GB. I have a server dedicated to backups, of which I have about 1.7 TB of space available for use in Exchange backups. I started using Microsoft's volume shadow copy service (VSS) which was working okay until it decided it was too much data and deleting all the shadow copies.

So I figured I would try incremental backups using the Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R3 software to handle retention. I turned it on and it is backing up about 1.5 to 2 GB of changes per day. I want to do a full backup every Sunday, with incrementals following every day up to Saturday, then start over. However when I go to restore data, select the day that was an incremental, all it shows is "Log Files".

Is this right? Shouldn't there be more than just log files? I need the ability to restore specific mailboxes, down to a single email if needed. So far i'm not seeing this ability. What am I missing? Does Exchange 2003 not support this? Or the Backup Exec software?
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LittleJohn101
Asked:
LittleJohn101
1 Solution
 
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
Incremental backups will be just the logs.

In the event of a restore, you would restore the last full backup, then replay the logs in to the database.

If you want to restore to single item level, then you have two options.
1. Turn on brick level backup, or whatever Backup Exec calls it these days.
2. The preferred method though would be to do a full backup every day, then turn up deleted item retention. I have never used nor needed brick level backup in order to recover what I need to. Backup every day, increased DIR and then if a user needs something past the DIR time, use a recovery storage group.

If you can't backup every day, then backup a different storage group each day. If you have everything in a single storage group then your platform is nowhere near optimum for data delivery. Although still being on an Exchange 2003 cluster many would say you have bigger problems...

Simon.
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Gareth GudgerCommented:
Is this right? Shouldn't there be more than just log files? I need the ability to restore specific mailboxes, down to a single email if needed. So far i'm not seeing this ability. What am I missing? Does Exchange 2003 not support this? Or the Backup Exec software?

Simon is correct. An incremental in Exchange is just a log file backup. If memory serves Backup Exec can only do item level restores from full backups of Exchange. Brick-level or single item recovery should be enabled by default in Backup Exec 2010 R3. But it has to be from a full backup.
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LittleJohn101Author Commented:
Thanks for the information. I was afraid that was the case though.
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