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Backup Exec 2012 vs Exchange Servers + DAG

Created: 06 Dec 2013 • Updated: 10 Dec 2013 | 3 comments
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I need to know what is the best practice for backing-up an Exchange Structure that is using DAG.  Here is how we are setup and need to know what should be done vs what we are actually doing.   thanks in advance for your help.

This config should be quite basic and should be common to most config so i won't go in details.  The people who are used to it will understand.

We have 2 Exchange servers.   1 primary server and 1 secondary server that are configured with the DAG feature.

We have the following backup jobs configured:

friday = DAG full backup to disk + copy to tape

            Exchange1 server full backup (every partitions) to disk + copy to tape

            Exchange2 server full backup (every partitions) to disk + copy to tape

monday to thursday = DAG Incremental backup to disk + differential to tape

                                 Exchange1 server incremental backup (every partitions) to disk + differential to tape

                                 Exchange2 server incremental backup (every partitions) to disk + differential to tape

I may be wrong but I consider the DAG as the "content"  (the data)   and the Exchange servers as the "container"  (the Database structure)

My concern is that I think I am backing-up that "data" on each backup job.   Am I right ?   and is it the right way to do it.

If I have to restore the servers, following a disaster,  I the "container" to be present in order to be able to restore the "content"  (the data).    

but on a daily basis, If I only need to restore data, why backing up the whole thing each time.

I am a bit confused about the best practice, backing-up Exchange structure.

Can someone help me please ?


Operating Systems:

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Jaydeep S's picture

Ideally you should be backing up both 2 Exchange Servers and Information Store under DAG. There is no real point in backing up all the disk volumes only as the Exchange database and logs can only be backed up from the Information Store Option.

What I suggest here is setting up 2 backup jobs -

1. Backup both the Exchange Servers without DAG / Information Store.

2. Backup the Exchange Information Store from under the DAG option.

The first job should help you in case of DR situation for bringing the servers online using SDR option. Followed by the restore of Exchange data from the 2nd job.

Typeroon's picture

ok but like I said in my initial post,   I still need to backup the Database itself in order to be able to restore the data into it, in case of disaster recovery.    container must be prensent if we want to restore the content into it.    isn't it ?

My 2 Exchange servers are configured like this.

C: Windows system files (60Gb partition)

E: Windows PageFile (10Gb partition)

F: Exchange Files (40Gb partition)

G; Transaction Logs (300Gb partition)

H: Database (2Tb partition)

Do you mean that I only have to backup C: + E: + F + system state on a daily basis and don't need to backup G; and H: ?     And need to backup DAG every day ?

From my understanding, this is ok if I only need to restore data in case of regular data restore.

but if I need to restore the whole servers,  What will happen if I never backed-up the G: and H:    where willI restore the data from the DAG if the database does not exists ?

this is where I am confused.


MusSeth's picture

Hello Tyeproon,

when you select a partition which has exchange data on it i.e G: and H: backup exec will not backup the database files they will be skipped this happens because of active file exclusion in backup exec.

backup exec uses its Exchange agent in order to backup exchange database thus exchange database will be backed up only when you select it under DAG resource however folder structure will still be needed for DR hence when you backup partitions it only backs up folder structure for exchange database eg. C:\program files\Microsoftexchange\......

as per the above information you are not backing up same data i.e exchange data in two seprate job i.e data and dag backup

hope this answers your question.