Video Screencast Help
Symantec Appoints Michael A. Brown CEO. Learn more.

Exchange backup to tape 0 Bytes

Created: 12 Sep 2012 • Updated: 12 Sep 2012 | 11 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi,

I'm backup exchange to tape (appended to another file job on the same tape). It all completes with no errors. However when I come to view the backup set for exchange it displays as 0 Bytes. I've attached an image showing the various screens which relate to the specific backup. I believe I read on another post that the '0 Bytes' display is a bug, but I can't find that thread now.

GRT is disabled so I can't expand the store to see what is included and it's tricky for me to do a full restore elsewhere to test it's backed up ok. Exchange manager shows the store as being backed up and all the logs get cleared.

How can I be sure exchange is backed up safely to the tape?

Regards
Adam

 

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

CraigV's picture

Hi,

 

Beyond making sure you're running BE 2012 SP1a and any subsequent patches, you can try duplicating your backup to disk, or restoring mails to a *.pst file (which BE 2012 can do). This will tell you whether or not you're getting good backups.

Any reason for not doing a GRT backup?

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

adamfs's picture

Hi Craig, Thanks, I didn't know about the PST feature, I'll give that a go. We're running 2012 SP1.

As far as GRT goes I was under the impression it wasn't support when backing up to tape? I tried it originally and the job failed a couple of days in a row, googled it and was brought to an answer concluding that. I assume from your comment then that it does work? Ideally I would prefer to use GRT, so if that is the case I'll have another go at using it...

Regards
Adam

CraigV's picture

Adam: Not at all...GRT is supported to disk or tape. The ONLY difference is that when you run a GRT backup to tape, it needs to stage the Information Store to disk first (it does this automatically to C:\Temp which you can change). Running a GRT backup to a B2D/dedupe folder means it is already on disk.

We didn't have disk space to do backups to disk...GRT to tape worked wonders. I also found that staging to disk (I logged a call about an Exchange restore & was directed on how to restore manually!) works very well. Read up about it here:

 

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/restoring-exchange-or-individual-mailboxesitems-using-backup-exec-howto

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

adamfs's picture

 

Great! Last question before I mark your previous response as the solution. I'm still learning BE so not entirely familiar with all the lingo and the process flow...

 The ONLY difference is that when you run a GRT backup to tape, it needs to stage the Information Store to disk first

 

Does this means: The backup job to tape starts, the IS is staged to a disk first then written to the tape,( is it then cleared from the c:\temp location?). I can then restore individual items from the Tape but it needs to stage the IS to c:\temp again first?

Running a GRT backup to a B2D/dedupe folder means it is already on disk.

Sorry, I didn't fully understand what you meant by this? The part "...means it is already on the disk". Do you mean already on the disk from when it gets staged during backup? i.e. it doesn't get cleared from temp? If so does it grow 70GB each with backup.

Fully appreciate your help.

Adam

 

CraigV's picture

So this is how a GRT restore works from tape:

1. Initiate restore

2. ENTIRE Information Store is staged to disk. The default being C:\Temp. You need as much free space as your Information Store is big. So if your IS is 200GB in size, you need 200GB free, otherwise it will fail.

3. Once staged, it restores to the production Information Store.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

VJware's picture

Its a temporary location for staging...Post the GRT backup/restore, this location is cleared up.

adamfs's picture

Ok, Thanks Craig. That’s great. And as you’ve previously said, I guess it’s similar for the backing up also:

(1) Initiate back up
(2) ENTIRE Information Store is staged to disk
(3) Once staged it gets backed up to tape...

Thanks also VJ, that clarifies what I needed to know that C:\temp gets cleared after both backup and restore.

I will give it a go this evening. I think there was only around 40GB on C: last time I tried it. I've got more than enough space now however.

Many thanks
Adam

CraigV's picture

No, it's slightly different Adam.

For a backup, this is what happens:

1. BE uses VSS to quiesce the Information Store database via a snapshot.

2. BE then streams the backup to tape. No disk is used here.

 

You can start getting clever though, and do a disk-to-disk-to-tape backup (D2D2T). Backup to disk first, and then duplicate to tape. It assumes you have enough disk space to backup the IS a couple of times during the week.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

adamfs's picture

Ah ok two parts to this thread indicated to me that it does use the disk for a backup; 1) You mention "when you run a GRT backup to tape, it needs to stage the Information Store to disk first”.  2) Also with VJ "Post the GRT backup/restore, this location is cleared up.” So do I need an equal amount of free space on C:\ as the Information Store to BACKUP to tape with GRT enabled? I know I do for a restore.

I was informed only yesterday to disable all the snapshot settings in BE. Are we are talking about Windows own VSS here? (I neglected to mention I run Exchange 2003 previously)

SOLUTION/WORKAROUND:
----------------------------------
- Found out that the AOFO option was enabled in the Exchange Backup job

- As per technote - http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH170452

- AOFO should be disabled for Exchange 2003 Backups as Exchange 2003 does not work on Snapshot technology

- Imitation of AOFO with Exchange 2003 - http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH44580

I'm not ready for clever yet, maybe once I get more of an understanding. Right now I'd be happy for it to just backup something how I want it... Thanks though, something to consider in the future..

Sorry if I'm going on, but this is the issue I'm finding with BExec since installing it, I just seem to be going round in circles solving one issue by creating two more…

Regards
Adam

CraigV's picture

...sorry, I left out the part there that it stages to disk WHEN RESTORING. Not backing up. If that were the case I'd never have had Exchange backups as most of the time the C:\ drive wasn't big enough to handle site Exchange server backups if it ever ran like that. My bad...I missed out on a part of it.

So no...the space required on C:\Temp (or any other manually designated drive) is for a GRT restore from tape ONLY. Not for backups.

And it doesn't require C:\Temp (or any other manually designated drive) if you are doing a GRT restore from a B2D as it is already on disk.

Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for pointing out my mistake! yes

Now, AOFO...you should turn off AOFO when backing up Exchange or any other DB, and enable it with data backups. You can read my article below on this:

 

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/backing-databases-and-files-same-tape-separate-jobs-using-backup-exec

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

SOLUTION
adamfs's picture

No Problem, Thanks for your help Chris. I'll try a new job with what’s been discussed.

 
N.B this has gone completely off topic from my original issue (although GRT was an issue on my list to get sorted also). Does anybody know if it is just a bug that makes it display 0 Bytes? However provided it’s backed up it doesn’t really worry me. I guess I just need to test it to be sure e.g. with a restore to pst.
 
Regards
Adam