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Exchange 2007, what is required to backup?

Created: 19 May 2010 | 7 comments

I noticed there are 3 selections to backup for Netbackup 7.0 for the Exchange Policy. The information store, the Mailbox, and public folders. I'm curious why there are 3 selections now compared to Netbackup 6 which only had 1 selection which is the important Information Store. Would I need to back up all 3? I thought the mailbox and public folder data was all inside the information store? Any thoughts?

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Kenneth Hansen's picture

Guess the reason for the new options is for NBU to be easier to configure.
Some would like to use "information store" that backup everything, This depends a bit on how your exchange server is set up and if you backup Exchange 2003, 2007 or 2110.

As far as I know you must specify Public Folder in backup selection to backup Public Folders.
Difference in Information Store and Mailbox is, Information store backup up the whole Information Store, Mailbox backup backup each mailbox. 
Information Store backups are faster, but slower restore.
Mailbox backup are slower, but faster recovery.

Changes has been made to NBU in relase 7.0 as well as support for 2010 so look at the  Exchange Admin guide for more information.

emcee0's picture

So you mean I would only need to backup either the Information Store or the Mailbox and not both as doing so will backup 2 of the same thing. What about Information Store with granular? Would that make things much easier as it will backup everything faster and give you the option to restore a single mailbox if need be?

Marianne's picture

As Kenneth pointed out - the NBU for Exchange Guide is your friend...
Granular backup/restore is covered in detail in this manual, as well as the requirements.

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

rjrumfelt's picture

Are your exchange servers clustered?  That will provide a slightly more complicated setup?  Are you using CCR?  If so you'll need to make a few minor policy modifications.

emcee0's picture

Marianne, I understand I must read the manual before asking questions. I've read the entire guide and no where does it state which backup is needed for certain circumstances and the difference between each method of backup. It only guides the user on how to perform the backup. Please if you must make such comments read the guide yourself and show me what page the answer lies. Simply stating I must read the guide is not helpful.

rjumfetl, my exchange is not running a cluster. If it is I would have mentioned it.

Andy Welburn's picture

"...if it is I would've mentioned it." does not always hold true for all posts. Sometimes these questions have to be asked as even the most basic, yet crucial, information can, & often is, omitted from posts. We can spend a lot of our time trying to resolve another users issues only to be told at some later date a further piece of info that could've ended up resolving said issue much sooner.

As far as the guides are concerned, again, sometimes these sources are not utilised as much as they should be. In all honesty, some are not even aware of their existence!

Marianne's picture

Emcee0, please have a look at page 61 of the manual under the topic:

Policy recommendations for Exchange Server 2007 ...
Create a policy that backs up the Information Store, a storage group, or an individual database. This policy supports full, incremental, and user-directed backups.
To perform the backup with Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) select the Enable granular recovery option. Then you can restore databases and individual mailbox and public folder items. You cannot restore these individual items from any incremental backups that use GRT.

The above, IMHO, answers your question...

If you do not want to configure GRT due to the requirements, you can still backup the Information Store, and if you really want to be able to restore individual items, configure a separate policy to backup Mailboxes and/or Public Folders (p.103). Care should be taken to not run these policies at the same time. Most customers prefer to only backup IS and use Recovery Storage Group to restore certain components.

Extract from page 105:
MAPI mailbox and public folder backups allow for mailbox or public folder recovery, but are not adequate for disaster recovery. Exchange database
backups are required for disaster recovery.

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links