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Backup a Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft Exchange Server is an email-based communications server. 

Overview

Microsoft Exchange Server backups have the following properties:

  • VSS based backups of Store database files (.edb & .stm), transaction logs, and checkpoint files for all the Mounted Storage Groups are performed.
  • Mailbox Databases and Public Folder Databases can be backed up. 
  • New databases will be automatically detected and backed up if all databases are selected selected for backup. 
  • Databases that are removed from Exchange will be automatically removed from the backup if all databases are selected for backup. 
  • Databases are not automatically added or removed from the backup if individual databases are selected. 

Backup Levels

Microsoft Exchange Server backups support Full, Differential, and Incremental backups.

  • Full Backups contain the Mailbox database (.edb & .stm files), transaction logs, and checkpoint files. 
    • After a successful Full Backup, Exchange will purge all committed transaction logs. 
    • An event is logged by Exchange in the Windows Application Event Logs when transaction logs are purged. 
  • Incremental Backups contain the transaction logs only. 
    • After a successful Incremental backup, Exchange will purge all committed transaction logs. 
    • An event is logged by Exchange in the Windows Application Event Logs when transaction logs are purged. 
  • Differential Backups contain the transaction logs only. 
    • No logs are truncated or purged after a successful Differential backup.

Requirements

The following requirements must be met for Microsoft Exchange Server backups to function.

  • Backups for all versions of Exchange except Exchange 2003 have additional dependencies. 
    • Powershell 2.0 or higher must be installed on the system.
    • .NET Framework 4.0 or higher must be installed 
    • Use the Check Dependencies option in the Tools menu to verify that these are installed.
  • The Volume Shadow Copy service must be started.
  • In Windows Small Business Server 2003, the Exchange VSS Writer is disabled by default. 
    • ZCB will attempt to enable the VSS writer automatically. However, the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service must be restarted manually before backup will work.
    • The writer can be enabled manually by following these instructions in this Microsoft knowledgebase: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/838183
  • The latest Service Packs for Microsoft Exchange must be installed. 
  • Only Mounted Storage Groups are backed up. Unmounted Storage Groups are not backed up.
  • The amandabackup user must be assigned to the proper role in the Exchange Security Groups in Exchange 2007 and higher. ZCB will attempt to assign the proper role automatically.
    • These roles are:
      • For Exchange 2007: View Only Organization Management
      • For Exchange 2010 and up: Exchange View-Only Administrators
    • Please follow these steps if the amandabackup user must be added to the Exchange Security Groups manually.
      • Open "Active Directory Users and Computers"
        • For Exchange 2007: Add the amandabackup user to Microsoft Exchange Security Groups > View Only Organization Management
        • For Exchange 2010 and 2013: Add the amandabackup user to Microsoft Exchange Security Groups > Exchange View-Only Administrators
      • The Zmanda Cloud Backup Services must be restarted after amandabackup is added to the Exchange Security Groups
        • Click on Tools > Restart Services in the ZCB User Interface, or restart ZCBService and ZWCService manually from the Windows Services Panel.
  • Exchange circular logging must be disabled. Circular logging can interfere with backup operations and is not recommended in a normal production environment.
  • Transaction log-based databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange, or Sharepoint are not intended to be backed up by multiple backup applications. 

 

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