Exchange Backup Methods

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Exchange Backup
In organizations of 500 users or more, is it common for there to be a backup system in place that allows for individual messages to be restored? Thank you, John

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Yes, it is important to have a backup for Exchange mail boxes in any size of an organization. I would suggest you to buy Symantec Veritas Backup Exec where it has a good feature of backup and restore of users mailboxes which price depends on number of users.

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  • AndyGER
    Hi. You are running Exchange 2003? Depending on the size of your information store a brick level backup can take a long time. The bakup software uses the MAPI interface for this task. You can count with a bakup speed between 30 and 60 MB per minute, up to 100 MB if your are lucky. This can cause several problems: - backup window at night is to small - modern tape devices can't stream with the low data rate and a high wearout and early damage of device and media is the result. A backup to disk staging becomes necessary. If you are running exchange 2003 you can use the "recovery storage group" to restore single mailboxes or mailbox content. The disadvantage of this method is the need of restore the whole mailbox store what contains the affected mailbox. You need the space on your servers hard disk and the time for the restore. When you are running the enterprise edition of exchange 2003 a splitting of the information store into several, small mailbox stores can help to minimize this disadvantage. You have to choose by the number of restore requests by your users. You can reduce this request if you increase the time deleted objects are kept in the dumpster, for example. Most medium and large companies I know don't use brick level backup any more. P.S.: The new version 11 of Backup Exec is able to restore single mailboxes and content from a normal IS backup. I don't tested this feature so far. I think they are using the recovery storage group as well. But I'm not sure at the moment. Andy
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  • KMSITPRO
    hi There! You need to have a backup of your exchange database. If you don't have any proper backup software(or media), you can use builtin ntbackup to do scheduled backups and you can store the data to another server. (the best is to different location)
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  • LGerritse
    To answer your question. Yes there is software that will backup the Entire Exchange server allowing restore of individual messages. I do not work too often with Exchange requiring restores, but I have found that it takes a long time to perform a backup of Exchange in a small organization when performing a full backup. I manage a 50 +/- user Exchange system and it take 14 +/- hours to perform a full backup of a 10 GB information store because the MAPI interface slows the process down. I do have much experience in the Lotus Domino arena. I can run a full backup of my Domino environment within 10 hours where the size of data is closer to 500 GB. The restore process is not what it is for Exchange since each user has an individual file for their mail. Exchange uses a single file for multiple users which increases the size of the files. It is also important to understand which transaction log method you want to utilize within your environment. I recommend the non-circular logging which will allow quicker backups during the week if you do not want to run a full backup every day. HTH - Lou
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  • WayneG
    Our oganization is over 6000 mailboxes. While we do use tools such as array level replication and NetBackup to backup the data, we rarely perform single message recovery. We have the tools and the capability to do so, but only do so for extreme cases.
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  • Elmagoal
    This question is more depending on your enviroment. If you find yourself doing a lot of restores of individual people then a Brick-level backup (a backup of the store that allows a granular restore to the message level in a mailbox)is a most. That would be the diferrence between spending 10 hours doing a restore of the entire store or 10 min to do a restore of a single mailbox or any component in a mailbox. In the other hand if this restore are once in a long time then there is no need to waste time and tape doing it. The other option is (if you have the space) do a brick level backup to disk at an interval that is convinient for you. Most enterprise backup software have a brick-level option.
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  • Nickmac
    There are a number of backup software systems on the market that will do brick level backups of mailboxes; common ones would be Backup Exec and CommVault Galaxy. One thing that you can do to speed up the backups of mailboxes is to run full level backups on the weekend, where you have a little activity on the system and then incrementals or differentials of the mailboxes during the week, that way the backups during the week will be short/quick.
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