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What is the best and recommended way to backup the Exchange 2013 VM using windows image backup

Posted on 2014-12-16
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Last Modified: 2015-03-30
We have an exchange 2013 installed as a Virtual Machine on Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter Host Server. We want to know the best & recommended way to use the windowsimage backup to backup the exhange server.
We found that our logs were getting truncated when we backup the exhange server from the host server while they got truncated when we ran the backup from within the exchange server.
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Question by:ewp-admin
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40503055
Short answer? Don't.

Use an Exchange aware backup application to backup the databases only. You do not need the entire server to be backed up - that is a waste of time and disk space.

As long as the domain is alive, it is trivial to restore Exchange 2013 by just building a replacement machine then installing Exchange from the command line with the recovery switches. Then replay the database. I can usually turn around a recovery of Exchange in less than 90 minutes.

Simon.
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by:ewp-admin
ID: 40505326
Just a clarification. If we have full exchange VM backup using an exchange aware backup application like Microsoft WIndows Image Backup, Can we not restore the Exchange VM fully in case of a problem?
Will it create problems?
Other words is the only possible way to restore exchange is to create a new VM, Install exchange with recovery switches & then restore the databases.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40509731
I refer to Exchange as a "living" product. It is constantly changing.

Therefore image based backups aren't really suitable, because they are out of date as soon as the backup is taken. Exchange is not standalone - it is heavily integrated with Active Directory. Therefore you need to use the latest information that you can to do the restore, which means using AD and the recovery methods outlined.

You asked for recommended - the method I have outlined is the recommend approach. Image based backups are not recommended.

Simon.
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