Backup Exchange 2010 DAG servers for DR RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I'm invesitigating how best to back up our Exchange 2010 servers for a worst case DR scenario.  We have 2 virtual and 1 physical servers in a DAG and the scenario is that our building has burned down and we are at a 3rd party DR site with only our backup tapes.  We have a virtual environment and a SAN at our disposal and we can quickly restore one of our domain controllers.  Now we have to restore the Exchange 2010 servers and the mailbox databases.

    I have tried to build a new Exchange server in the DR environment using the RecoverServer switch but it fails as the DAG is missing.  I think this method is for where one server is missing from the DAG so doesn't apply here.  So I looked at backing up the Exchange servers themselves and restoring them first but Microsoft are very clear about not using snapshot syle backups on Exchange servers which our current technology does.

    I have a few questions:

    1.  Can Data Protection Manager 2012 be used to backup the entire Exchange server i.e the OS, Exchange binaries, databases and log files so that the complete server could be restored?

    2.  I can understand why snapshot style backups can't be used on the databases and log files but does this also apply to the server OS, Exchange program files etc?  I'm wondering if I can restore a server and then restore the mailbox databases.


    Monday, September 3, 2012 7:58 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    you could try the following backup:

    1/ Backup the Exchange Servers BMR

    2/ Backup Exchange Servers application data (using Exchange Protection Group)

    In case of disaster you would do:

    1/ Restore the Exchange Servers BMR

    2/ Restore Exchange data

    Monday, September 3, 2012 8:45 AM
  • Hi

    Thanks for your reply.

    Does BMR allow you to backup for example the server OS on the C: drive, the Exchange binaries on the M: drive and the Page File on the P: drive?

    If it does and then I could restore these drives followed by the Exchange databases as you suggest.

    Presumably we could just restore one member of the DAG to our DR environment this way to get email working again?


    Monday, September 3, 2012 9:06 AM
  • Hi,

    BMR will save all the critical data from your server.

    You should try a backup and see what it backup. But it shouldn't take the PageFile.sys as it is excluded from the backup.

    Exchange binaries should get backed up by the BMR.

    Monday, September 3, 2012 9:42 AM
  • Hi,

    If DPM 2010 is used for the protection of servers hosting the Hub Transport and Client Access server roles it is possible to perform a complete bare-metal recovery of the servers hosting these roles.

    But be careful, BMR is not supported for servers hosting Mailbox role (Mailbox database).


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you. This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties. knowledge is valid only if it is shared by All.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:10 AM
  • Hi

    Thanks for your replies.

    Stephane - when you say BMR isn't supported for servers hosting the mailbox role, is it supported though to back everything on the server except the mailbox databases i.e. the C: drive etc and then rebuild the server in 2 stages as Jeremy has suggested above?

    I read about using Windows server backup and having to turn off VSS for servers hosting active mailboxes during a full server backup - I guess the same limitation (and hence lack of support) exists for DPM 2010 / 2012.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:27 AM
  • Hi Pielander,

    I mean BMR of server hosting mailbox role is not supported :)

    I ran into this situation when one of my customer ask for a Microsoft Approval for his Exchange DAG DRP. I had a talk with Microsoft Exchange Ranger and he told me that BMR of Exchange server hosting mailbox role is not supported because during the process of backup some transients informations specific to DAG/cluster components won't be backup. then after restoration this could lead to a dysfunction of the DAG.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you. This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties. knowledge is valid only if it is shared by All.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 12:56 PM
  • Hi Stephane,

    Just to clarify. I've spent a lot of time investigating the BMR + mailbox role scenario (cause of poor quality of DPM docs). Several Microsoft authoritatives and MS internal mailing lists such as Data Protection Manager SWAT, E14 Technical Discussion, etc. were involved.

    BMR of a server hosting mailbox role is supported (followed by the Exchange databases restore). It's true for a standalone Exchange server. It's not supported for servers in a DAG.

    My DPM blog

    Friday, April 5, 2013 9:03 PM