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Exchange VM backup

DPSafelite
Level 4

I have an unusal scenario:

We've fully retired our old Exchange 2010 environment and the admin wants an archive of the VMs that ran this stuff.

Looking at the VM's, I notice that all the data drives aren't mounted/drive lettered like a 'normal' drive would be in Windows.

Question is:  how will NBU handle those drives?  Will they be included in a Vmware/snapshot type policy backup job?  If so, will they be recoverable if needed?  (the VMs are currently powered off, so no application level interference should occur)

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Accepted Solutions

sdo
Moderator
Moderator
Partner    VIP    Certified

Before deleting the original VMs, then as long as you retain your original VMs undisturbed, then you could try this:

1) restore the VMs to alternate location

2) compare restored config to original config - is it the same?

3) strip off or disable or re-route the virtual networking of the restored VMs

4) boot the restored VMs - and confirm that required old data is viewable

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sdo
Moderator
Moderator
Partner    VIP    Certified

Before deleting the original VMs, then as long as you retain your original VMs undisturbed, then you could try this:

1) restore the VMs to alternate location

2) compare restored config to original config - is it the same?

3) strip off or disable or re-route the virtual networking of the restored VMs

4) boot the restored VMs - and confirm that required old data is viewable

Lowell_Palecek
Level 6
Employee

A VMware backup policy has an "Application Protection" option to "Enable Exchange Recovery." This option requires the VM to be powered up and the Exchange databases to be mounted. Therefore, you won't be able to browse your backups using the "MS Exchange Server" policy type.

However, the VMware policy does back up the Exchange data files provided they are on a volume that is included in the VM snapshot. That is your question.

You can test whether the data files are backed up without restoring the whole VM, in fact without restoring anything. The proof is in the browse. Can you see the files when you browse the backup using the VMware policy type? Check for the paths to the .edb files as well as the paths to the log files.


@Lowell_Palecek wrote:

A VMware backup policy has an "Application Protection" option to "Enable Exchange Recovery." This option requires the VM to be powered up and the Exchange databases to be mounted. Therefore, you won't be able to browse your backups using the "MS Exchange Server" policy type.


Yeah, I was torn on this.  From my experience with VM's, if you grab them in a powered off state, that can be an ideal state, so I went with that option first.  Thankfully these are just "Just In Case"/emergency copies; the Exchange team is 99.99% sure they'll never need these. Short term retention too.

It looks like it grabbed all the disks attached to the VM, so it should be good!

We may also try restoring one of these just for grins to see what it grabbed.

Update:

We tried restoring this backup copy and everything seemed to work just fine; all disks presented as expected.  We didn't let it back on the network or test anything with services, but everything else looked good.

hha_mea
Moderator
Moderator
   VIP   

Hi,

glad that worked for you, can you please mark the solution from early posts?

thanks,