Can the Server Edition Agent be used to back up Microsoft Exchange?
Yes, SE can backup Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010. Older versions of Exchange are no longer supported.
How do backups work?
SE uses two types of plugins to facilitate Exchange backups: full recovery and item/mailbox recovery. The Exchange server should always be backed up using a full recovery plugin, with an item/mailbox plugin only as an optional extra. It is not possible to recover an Exchange environment using an item/mailbox plugin only.
What are the options for full recovery of Exchange and how should I choose between these?
The two full recovery plugins are the Exchange plugin and the VSS plugin.
The Exchange plugin calls an Exchange API and writes the Exchange database out to disk (a dump copy), which is then added to the backup selection and sent to the Storage Platform. The dump copy of Exchange takes up space on the local disk but can be used for recovering the Exchange database. The Exchange plugin operates with Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007. Exchange 2010 is not supported.
The VSS plugin uses Microsoft's VSS technology to snapshot the running Exchange databases. It does not write a dump copy to the local disk, so takes up less disk space, but does not leave a database copy that can be restored from locally. The VSS plugin operates with Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010.
The VSS snapshot process is considerably quicker than the dump process of the Exchange plugin and is therefore preferable for larger databases.
- The VSS plugin is the only supported Exchange database backup method in Backup Pro V7.0 and above.
- In V7.0, Streaming Backup is introduced, which removes the need for local temporary disk space and faster compression techniques.
Why would I want to restore at item or mailbox level?
Although it is possible to recover individual items and mailboxes using the full recovery plugins (via either a Recovery Storage Group or a database, as appropriate), item and mailbox level recovery allows the user to restore the items directly in the most timely fashion.
Exchange uses transaction logs. Does Redstor Pro truncate these?
If using the Exchange or VSS plugins, yes. The VSS plugin only truncates logs if set to Full. It will not truncate if Copy is set. The Exchange plugin truncates the logs when the dump process completes. The VSS plugin truncates the logs when the transfer completes.
Are there any other options that I should set when backing up Microsoft Exchange?
Unless your database is very small, or your bandwidth very constrained, delta blocking should be enabled for Exchange database files (either by size or *.edb extension). Delta blocking sends larger patches, but processes changes approximately seven times faster than binary patching. The Large File Count options described in Article 498 may also be of use as they prevent Exchange transaction logs being added to the cache and then purged on the next backup.
Note: In Backup Pro V7, enable the Streaming Backup option to remove the need for local temporary disk space.