Forum Discussion

Philip_Horan's avatar
18 years ago

Backup Exchange 2003 to enable full restore?

Hi Guys. I have inherited a network to manage. I have searched Hi and low for a definitive answer to best backup practices to enable full restore should exchange fall over.

Here is my scenario:
Exchange 2003 Enterprise is installed on Windows 2003 Server (upgraded from 2000).
PDC Emulator Windows 2003 Standard (upgraded from NT)
Veritas 9.1 installed on PDC with all necessary agents.

Exchange has been configured with 4 Storage Groups & several mailbox stores. The DB files are stored on multiple drives (i.e. Storage Group1 Drive E, Storage Group2 Drive S etc...)

Currently a full backup occurs each evening.
Selected items include:
1) Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes
2) Microsoft Exchange Public Folders
3) Microsoft Exchange Information Store

As stated above, there are various exchange folders that are scattered on multiple drives containing .mdb / edb /log files etc.....Should the priv1.edb / priv1.stm directory folders be included in the backup or are points 1,2,3 above sufficient?

So to sum up: If for any reason the exchange server fails I need to be confident my back-up will allow for a full restore!!

Hope I have made some sense!!
Answers on a postcard please.
Many Thanks,

5 Replies

  • Hi Philip,

    First of, I would query whether you are backing up too much. The Information Store automatically grabs everything Exchange related, so backing up Exchange Mailboxes actually means you are backing this up twice.

    As to why Veritas offer this option in the first place, it's because prior to Exchange 2003's recovery storage groups, deleted item retention, etc etc, this was the only way you could restore an actually deleted email.

    The Information Store is all you need to restore an Exchange database.

    That said, you are likely to want to restore the server itself, so you should find backing up C: and System State additionally useful.

    You seem to indicate you are happy to take our word for it that your backups are sucessful. That is the surest way to be wrong.

    I would strongly advise performing some test disaster recoveries, and proving to yourself that you are backing up everything necessary.
  • Thanks for the reply.
    So I can ignore the mailboxes then (will save bags of space!!).

    I would love to prove the back up works.
    Could I simply build a spare machine, install OS./ install exchange / Tape Drive / Veritas then restore (or is it easier than that!!!).

    Having never had the misfortune of having to restore (fingers crossed) how would it affect the network if I resore? By that I mean the system I would be restoring has yet to fail!!

    Also would I need to back up all C:?? Even program files etc......? I was under the impression programs would need re-installing? (so I was told).
    Many Thanks,

    PS: Any ideas why my daily backup has been failing for months regards 5 files. Log states they were skipped. All have a .sis extension? Not sure what they are. Did a search on the drive referenced (advanced, show hidden) drew a blank?
  • HI Philip,

    You are certainly welcome to build a new server and reinstall all prgorams in the event of a disaster, if you feel the need to.

    My advise however is that you will find it considerably faster to backup all C: (yes, including Program Files) and System State, then restore that in an emergency.

    As for your network, I would take a spare machine NOT ON your network, and perform a test restore there. If it's on a different network, you have no cause for concern about what the test will do to the live system.

    As for your backups, I would suggest starting a new thread and posting the error in your log files.