DPM 2010 and Exchange 2010 RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hi:

    We have an existing protection group that is working.  Among other things on the hyper-v server we set up a backup of Exchange 2010 which is running in a vm on this machine.  Installed the agent, drilled into the Exchange listing and delected Exchange mailbox and seems to be working, although we have to figure out how to do a single mailbox retsore (another issue).

    Also would like to make an image of the exchange virtual server on this same machine in this same proection group.  After we have set up the above exchange mailbox protection that appears to work and we come back, modify the protection group and select UNDER hyper-v the exchange vm we get the same prompts as the mailbox backup we previosuly selected.  We select it under hyper-v, it fails with an inconsistent replica?

    Is the backup of the vm with those settings suuficient for mailbox recovery?  If you want to be able to recover the entire vhd and mailboxes do you need just one backup in the protecion group or two.

    Would like the invidual mailbox recover capability as well as the vm backup, if possible.

    Have used two for SharePoint and seems to be working fine.

    Thank you


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    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:56 PM

All replies

  • Before I try to answer the larger questions - you can do a mailbox restore using powershell, but you have to first restore the entire mailbox database, mount as a recovery database and then use powershell to restore from the recovered mailbox database into either an existing user or a folder on an existing user etc etc. There are some posts out there explaining how to do the restore in a single line of powershell (and yes it would be nice if Microsoft wrote this into the GUI, however this opens debate on where the backup administrators job ends and the Exchange administrators job begins)

    On the subject of backing up both the Exchange Hyper-V guest and the Exchange Mailboxes there are benefits to doing both and I'd suggest rather than including in the same protection group, to separate these out into two different protection groups.

    When you run a Hyper-v backup in DPM, if there are VSS writers inside the virtual machines that are supported by DPM, then when the snapshot of the Hyper-V host takes place it first ensures that the data inside the virtual machine is in a good state, before backing up the Hyper-v host. If your DPM server is physical and has the hyper-v role supported and installed, then you could drill into the virtual machine and pull out the Exchange database as a 'file' and use that to restore either the database or a component of the database. So why protect Exchange from within the virtual machine then?

    If you configure Exchange protection from within the VM, you will notice an option to configure eseutil to run after the backup of the Exchange database. This is important as it puts the data from an Exchange perspective in a good state - so that when you restore the data is in a state that the Exchange application  is expecting.
    Restoring the database files from within the VHD backup means chances are you'll need to run eseutil on the recovery database before it mounts - not great when you're trying to restore.

    If you want to use both backup methods, then the reason I'd suggest two separate protection groups is that the Exchange VSS writer will cause truncation of the Exchange logs (if doing incremental as well as express full backups) for each backup type because the Exchange VSS writer will run from both backups. Different protection groups will allow you to run the Hyper- V backup at a different protection schedule (possibly daily) and your Exchange protection more often (using incremental backups as little as every 15 minutes) with an express full backup of the Exchange mailbox taking place on both sides of the VHD backup so that the Exchange backup can control the log truncation (you still might get one failure but it will work).

    The reason that it is working for SharePoint is that SharePoint (even though based on SQL) only performs express full backups of the SQL databases so the log truncation issue doesn't cause you problems.

    Hope this helps.

    Powershell example to restore mailbox:
    Restoring Exchange 2010 mailbox
    1. Create Restore location, I.e. c:\restore
    2. From the Exchange powershell create a recovery database. I.e. new-mailboxdatabase –recovery “recoverydb” -ebfilepath “c:\restore\NameOfDatabaseEDBFile,edb” –logfolderpath “c:\restore” –server ExchangeServerName
    3. Choose the recovery point in DPM to restore the database to
    4. Step through prompts to restore to alternate location, choosing the restore location on the Exchange 2010 server
    5. Run eseutil to repair edb restored database. I.e. eseutil /p “c:\restore\NameOfRestoredEDB.edb”
    6. Mount the recovery database
    7. Restore items
    a) Full mailbox restore: From the Exchange powershell run the following command
    Restore-mailbox –identity username –recoverydatabase NameOfRecoveryDatabase
    b) Restore mailbox contents to a folder: From the Exchange powershell run the following command
    c) Restore-mailbox –identity username –recoverydatabase NameOfRecoveryDatabase –targetfolder “RestoredEmail”

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:49 AM