Fully protect Exchange servers

Hello everybody...

New to NetBackup, trying to figure out the use of policys.
Standard Windows file servers are no problems, but I do have some thoughts regarding protecting Exchange-servers.
Setting up a job for the Exchange, I use policy MS-Exchange-Server.
As I understand it, this will take care of the Exchange databases.

But, should I also run a different job for the same server, using the MS-Windows policy?
To protect file system data.
If so, can this be scheduled to run at the same time?
Or do I have to make sure they are not scheduled at the same time?
Or can I combine both policys somehow?
Or, am I (perhaps) misunderstanding it totally?

Trying to find some understandable info about this in the administrator´s manual, but somehow this eludes me.

Thank you.

7 Replies

Re: Fully protect Exchange servers

hey. imho, you only need to do Exchange database backups.

when an Exchange server crashes, it is better to just do a fresh reinstall. the Exchange configurations are stored in Active Directory anyway.

Active Directory and Exchange databases are all you need to backup. my 2cents.

Re: Fully protect Exchange servers

If you have non-Exchange files on the server that you care about, you should have two policies. Your Exchange policy backs up the Exchange databases. Your MS-Windows policy excludes the Exchange data files and backs up everything else. Excluding the Exchange files in your MS-Windows backups is not optional.

Things to consider:

If your Exchange server is part of a DAG, you should have a single Exchange policy to back up the entire DAG (and a separate Windows policy to back up the servers).

If your server is a VMware VM, consider using a VMware policy with the option to protect Exchange. In this case, one backup backs up all the files on the VM, including the Exchange data. There is a job that runs before the VM is backed up called Application State Capture (ASC), which catalogs the Exchange information, and creates metadata files on the VM. You can read about this in the NetBackup for Exchange admin guide.

Restoring an entire Exchange database because one user lost some mail can be a pain. In the short run, Exchange retains "permanently deleted" mail for a period of time, typically two weeks. The user can get that back without NetBackup. Once it's really gone from the database, NetBackup has a feature called Granular Recovery Technology (GRT). It takes a little setup, but if you enable this feature in your policy, you can restore individual mail folders and messages without restoring the whole database.

 

Re: Fully protect Exchange servers


@mad_about_you wrote:

hey. imho, you only need to do Exchange database backups.

when an Exchange server crashes, it is better to just do a fresh reinstall. the Exchange configurations are stored in Active Directory anyway.

Active Directory and Exchange databases are all you need to backup. my 2cents.



Yes, I would normally agree, but this is a (non-supported?) Small Business Server containing lots of other data.

Re: Fully protect Exchange servers


@Lowell_Palecek wrote:

If you have non-Exchange files on the server that you care about, you should have two policies. Your Exchange policy backs up the Exchange databases. Your MS-Windows policy excludes the Exchange data files and backs up everything else. Excluding the Exchange files in your MS-Windows backups is not optional.

Things to consider:

If your Exchange server is part of a DAG, you should have a single Exchange policy to back up the entire DAG (and a separate Windows policy to back up the servers).

If your server is a VMware VM, consider using a VMware policy with the option to protect Exchange. In this case, one backup backs up all the files on the VM, including the Exchange data. There is a job that runs before the VM is backed up called Application State Capture (ASC), which catalogs the Exchange information, and creates metadata files on the VM. You can read about this in the NetBackup for Exchange admin guide.

Restoring an entire Exchange database because one user lost some mail can be a pain. In the short run, Exchange retains "permanently deleted" mail for a period of time, typically two weeks. The user can get that back without NetBackup. Once it's really gone from the database, NetBackup has a feature called Granular Recovery Technology (GRT). It takes a little setup, but if you enable this feature in your policy, you can restore individual mail folders and messages without restoring the whole database.

 



Do I have to enable the GRT in advance (as in the backups would have to run with GRT enable) or is this something I can activate when the situation arises?

Re: Fully protect Exchange servers

GRT is something you enable in the backup policy. There is a GRT phase in the backup.

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Re: Fully protect Exchange servers


@Lowell_Palecek wrote:

If you have non-Exchange files on the server that you care about, you should have two policies. Your Exchange policy backs up the Exchange databases. Your MS-Windows policy excludes the Exchange data files and backs up everything else. Excluding the Exchange files in your MS-Windows backups is not optional.

Things to consider:

If your Exchange server is part of a DAG, you should have a single Exchange policy to back up the entire DAG (and a separate Windows policy to back up the servers).

If your server is a VMware VM, consider using a VMware policy with the option to protect Exchange. In this case, one backup backs up all the files on the VM, including the Exchange data. There is a job that runs before the VM is backed up called Application State Capture (ASC), which catalogs the Exchange information, and creates metadata files on the VM. You can read about this in the NetBackup for Exchange admin guide.

Restoring an entire Exchange database because one user lost some mail can be a pain. In the short run, Exchange retains "permanently deleted" mail for a period of time, typically two weeks. The user can get that back without NetBackup. Once it's really gone from the database, NetBackup has a feature called Granular Recovery Technology (GRT). It takes a little setup, but if you enable this feature in your policy, you can restore individual mail folders and messages without restoring the whole database.

 


I would like to, for a few minutes, point out that this is true. One main reason why we moved all our Exchange machines to Veeam is because it is very easy to restore even a single mail item in Veeam. Unlike in Netbackup.

I hope those in NBU development would pick this up. Please excuse this post. Just want to make NBU better.

Re: Fully protect Exchange servers

You have been able to restore single mail items in NetBackup since 6.5.2 (released in 2008). All you have to do is check a box on your backup policy and do a little bit of set-up that takes less than 5 minutes per Exchange server. You only do this setup once ever. You don't have to do anything else as you upgrade NetBackup versions.