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Exchange 2013 Backup Recommendations RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi 

    we have Exchange 2013 with 2 mailbox and 2 CAS servers 

    we are using commVault as a backup solution 

    there are two backup jobs is configured for the exchange 

    1- we are taking full backup for the Mailbox servers as a VM including the mailbox database " it seems a snapshot"

    2- we are taking backup for the mailbox database as DB level 

    I need to know whatare the recommendations from Microsoft to backup the exchange in details

    also is the snapshot for the exchange as a VM is supported and why  

    BR


    Mahmoud

    Monday, December 19, 2016 11:27 AM

Answers

  • Hi Mahmoud

    There are always different ways of doing something, and using snapshots as a backup for Exchange databases is one of those, but ist not the official Microsoft supported way. If you want to be supported by Microsoft just use the way I discribed in my earlier post. Of course Snapshot will work, but what you will do if you want to open a case at Microsoft? Better be safe than sorry, and use the Standard backup. It is for free, it is supported and it is easy.


    Monday, December 19, 2016 1:22 PM
  • Hi Mahmoud,

    In official article Exchange 2013 virtualization, it mentions that why not recommend use snapshot in Exchange.

    In particular, the following text is crucial:

    Some hypervisors include features for taking snapshots of virtual machines. Virtual machine snapshots capture the state of a virtual machine while it's running. This feature enables you to take multiple snapshots of a virtual machine and then revert the virtual machine to any of the previous states by applying a snapshot to the virtual machine. However, virtual machine snapshots aren't application aware, and using them can have unintended and unexpected consequences for a server application that maintains state data, such as Exchange. As a result, making virtual machine snapshots of an Exchange guest virtual machine isn't supported.

    Moreover, agree with PK suggestion, database backup and think of a DR solution is a good option for Exchange backup.

    Best Regards,


    Niko Cheng
    TechNet Community Support


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by Mahmoud Adel_ Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:18 AM
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:25 AM

All replies

  • you are wasting your time with snapshots, only exchange aware product is supported and recommended

    Monday, December 19, 2016 11:51 AM
  • Hi

    There is no Need for 3rd party products or snapshots. It is important that you make backups, that a supported by Exchange and all log files will be purged after a backup. Simply use Windows Backup. Create a file Share before. Here is a nice how to:

    http://exchangeserverpro.com/backup-exchange-server-2013-databases-using-windows-server-backup/

     

    Monday, December 19, 2016 12:27 PM
  • Hi 

    could you please clarify, as we already using snapshot

    • for me snapshot could be easy 
    • as restoring the whole VM including the DB will not required more configuration to be done
    • could you please clarify more details 

    Mahmoud

    Monday, December 19, 2016 12:45 PM
  • Hi Mahmoud

    There are always different ways of doing something, and using snapshots as a backup for Exchange databases is one of those, but ist not the official Microsoft supported way. If you want to be supported by Microsoft just use the way I discribed in my earlier post. Of course Snapshot will work, but what you will do if you want to open a case at Microsoft? Better be safe than sorry, and use the Standard backup. It is for free, it is supported and it is easy.


    Monday, December 19, 2016 1:22 PM
  • Hi

    The exchange VM level backup/restore (snapshot) will not work on a DAG environment. As you stated you have two mailbox server, hope those are under a DAG. In that case you only take backup of your database with granular recovery option. The DAG gives high availability (even extended to a DR location). If you are using a third party load balancer for CAS server, then you can take CAS VM backup (snapshot), but again with WNLB, it is not supported. Better to create new CAS server with recovery switch in case of a server failure. 

    The exchange itself comes with in-built high availability features and support 3rd party load balancer, so only database backup and think of a DR solution (in case the local data center failure) is a good option.

    Thanks

    Monday, December 19, 2016 1:59 PM
  • Hi 

    in my situation , I already restore the backup as a VM successfully with the databases using commvault , its working for me

    if any article from Microsoft, confirming clearly that the snapshot in not recommended  and what is the best practice to backup the exchange as a VM and database


    Mahmoud

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 6:01 AM
  • Hi Mahmoud,

    In official article Exchange 2013 virtualization, it mentions that why not recommend use snapshot in Exchange.

    In particular, the following text is crucial:

    Some hypervisors include features for taking snapshots of virtual machines. Virtual machine snapshots capture the state of a virtual machine while it's running. This feature enables you to take multiple snapshots of a virtual machine and then revert the virtual machine to any of the previous states by applying a snapshot to the virtual machine. However, virtual machine snapshots aren't application aware, and using them can have unintended and unexpected consequences for a server application that maintains state data, such as Exchange. As a result, making virtual machine snapshots of an Exchange guest virtual machine isn't supported.

    Moreover, agree with PK suggestion, database backup and think of a DR solution is a good option for Exchange backup.

    Best Regards,


    Niko Cheng
    TechNet Community Support


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    • Marked as answer by Mahmoud Adel_ Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:18 AM
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:25 AM
  • Hi Mahmoud, the actual question was "what is the recommondation" and not what works for you ;-). Anyways here is the official statement:

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt697598%28v=exchg.160%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms189940(v=sql.105).aspx

    I think there you find everything you need.

    Backup the VMs with snapshots and backup the databases on the traditional way.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:26 AM