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Backup solution advice

Created: 27 Jan 2010 • Updated: 01 Jan 2013 | 5 comments
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We are going to setup a hosting environment at our site.
Customers will be able to choose which sollution the would like.
I am new in the hosting scenario, for backup normal servers we use BE with various options.

Below i speciefied the different sollutions/options for customers.

customer servers can rackmounted or normal , but it also can be dedicated blade servers wich wil be using our  SAN storage
Standard clientnetwork will exitst of an windows SBS server ( exchange, sql ) and a windows terminal server, or multiple terminalservers
maybe also an application server SQL envirionment .
In this envirionment the servers will be deticated for one customer.
our  internal netwerk, , currently all fysical servers.
All servers are currently being backupped through a seperate backupserver
ISA/forefront server
SQL server
Exchange2007 server
Windows2008 domain ad server controller virtual
Terminal server 2003
Fysical fax server 2003
2 virtual windows2003 servers video software
2 virtual terminal servers windows2008 , on a blade server microsft hyper-V
also several AD servers
Hosting domain.
Probably combination of fysical and virtual ( hyper-V)servers
In this environment there will be a exchange cluster and several windows terminalservers and several application servers.
Servers above will be connected to our Fiberchannel SAN.
San exitst of a HP storageworks diskenclosure and a 4048 tapelibrary.

Is it possible to explain to me what software i need to perform backups, and in case of email restore how it works in a SAN to restore a single mail or mailbox from a user ?

Thanks in advance 
Jacco Dominicus 


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CraigV's picture

Hi Jacco,

Well, I would suggest looking into SAN SSO. This allows you to share the tape library amongst many servers, and utilise the speed of your SAN, rather than your LAN.
I have used this, and it really works like a charm! It is a licensable application, so just be aware of that. Also remember that for the first drive in your library, BEWS's internal FREE drive license covers this, but for additional drives you need additional licensing.

Restoring Exchange would be done to your SAN first, and then to the Exchange IS. I always duplicate to disk first, as I have suffered a lot of bother when trying to restore directly from tape.
I wrote an article on how to do that here:

For the software, you can currently use Backup Exec 12.5 (SP3 is the latest service pack), and then upgrade down the line to BEWS 2010 (released next month 1st February 2010). If you have Exchange 2010 in your environment, I would wait the next couple of days till BEWS 2010 is out. This gives newer features like data deduplication, and support for Exchange 2010 and newer OSs amongst others. You will need licenses for Exchange, SQL, and a license to backup entire VMs if you go that route.

Hope this helps, shout if you need more information...


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Jacco Dominicus's picture

Hello Craig,

Thanks for your reply.

If i understand corectly, you first do a backup to disk on de SAN storage.
Are your stores on de servers fysical disks or olso on de SAN ?

For the requered software/hardware.

To backup th ecomplete environments

1 server SAN SSO
hosting domain 1 backup exec server and several agents
internal domain, 1 backup exec server and several agents
customer network , also 1 backup exec server and several agents

Am i correct ?
Does the SAN SSO server require authentication or is that not relevant

thanks in advance
jacco Dominicus

CraigV's picture

Hi Jacco,

To use SAN SSO, you need a full installation of BEWS on every server you want to back up via the SAN. So, if you had a file server with 600GB of data, an Exchange server with 500GB of data, and an SQL server with 800GB of data, it would be beneficial to back those up via SAN SSO, rather than a LAN. 4Gbps is going to be far faster than 1GB on a LAN. That is the only downside. The MAJOR benefit is the speed you get when using it, and sharing 1 library amongst many servers.

The authentication you would use is as per the normal authentication in BEWS. However, here is where it might get tricky: have 3 different domains with no trusts. THat is something I haven't played around with, but I do know you can back up a server in another domain by adding in that particular domain's service account for Backup Exec.

To do your backups, you can do them to disk, or to tape...if you can do it to tape, and do it quickly, then I would use that route, especially with SAN SSO. However, if you chose not to license that option, and had a lot of data to back up, then backing up to disk is going to be a bit quicker. From there you could create a job to duplicate to tape during the day with no impact on production systems.

Not quite sure what you mean about the stores on the servers...? Can you clear that up for me?

Your setup would be 1 of 2 ways:

SAN SSO licensed and used!
hosting domain 1 backup exec server (with SAN SSO acting as primary); all other servers needing SAN SSO with full installations of Backup Exec and the necessary license; all other remote servers needing RAWS only.
internal domain, As above
customer network , As above

Backing up via the LAN:
hosting domain 1 backup exec server and several agents (load the necessary licenses like SQL/Exchange etc)
internal domain, As above!
customer network , As above!


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Jacco Dominicus's picture

Hello Graig,

With stores on servers, i mean the exchange information stores.
The location of the database files, are the on the local disk of the exchange server(s) or are they stored on connected SAN storage ?

Thanks for explanign the situation for me, i have asked the same question to our dealer, they gave me this link

But i did'nt quite understand it because this is completely new for our company, thats why i asked the same on this forum.

When i read your comment and sollution advice, i think that we should go for the SAN SSO sollution.


Jacco Dominicus

CraigV's picture

Don't forget SAN SSO is a licensed option, and only really valid when you have a SAN-attached library. If you can do it, it is worth it =)

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