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Exchange 2003 DR

Created: 30 Oct 2013 | 3 comments


Currently we have Exchange 2003 which we need to backup with BE 2012 and System Recovery. As per Microsoft "MDBDATA" folder should be excluded when windows server backup is combined with Exchange. My question is how will disaster recovery or P2V work if we exclude this folder and what is the proper way to backup Exchange 2003?


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Jaydeep S's picture

When you are backing up using Backup Exec (Exchange Agent) you would backup the Exchange Information Store to backup the Exchange database. SSR also is Exchange application aware and can backup Exec databases correctly.

For DR using Backup Exec, it would be a 2 step process, restore of OS followed by restore of data drives and Applications (Exchange / SSQL etc). Here is a link for the DR procedures

As for the mdbdata folder - it contains the Exchange database and log files. Unless you have dismounted the databases, you can't backup these files directly.

CraigV's picture

I've recovered 2 Exchange servers just with the Information Store that was backed up. Exchange 2003 was reinstalled (same server name, organization name etc), and I then restored via Backup Exec 2010 R3. No hassles...those Exchange servers came up and ran properly.


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Colin Weaver's picture

As you mentioned System Recovery (a separate product) as well as Backup Exec then please be aware that System Recovery does a block level backup of the volume so will backup the MDBDATA folder, whereas Backup Exec is a file level backup (unless virtual agants are involved) which excludes the Exchange data from the file system backup, but then backs it up via a specific Exchange Agent.

The DR capability of SSR with relation to Exchange is therefore also different if you need more info on this maybe you should post in the Symantec System Recovery forum 

Also within Backup Exec itself, P2V is a different process from SDR and P2V can recover database data in a single pass s long as you did an SDR enable backup that includes the agent backup for the database and not just the file system. (Admittedly I have actually done this with SQL as a P2V into VMware and not tried it with Exchange yet). The reason this is possible one way and not the other is to do with what is supported in a WinPE environment (the SDR bootable DVD) vs what can be done from a full Windows (64 bit) media server, possibly with Exchange tools installed on it.