News
Commentary
3/30/2008
07:17 PM
Howard Marks
Howard Marks
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Death To Brick-Level Backups!

Friends, readers, fellow backup geeks, lend me your eyeballs. I come to bury mailbox by mailbox (brick-level) backups, not to praise them. Exchange server administrators shall not backup mailboxes individually via MAPI for it is so slow it causes thy tape drive to shoeshine, takes several times the disk or tape space as an information store backup, is prone to errors, and causes your backup jobs to fail, claiming disabled mailboxes are corrupted. The time has come to throw brick-level backups o

Friends, readers, fellow backup geeks, lend me your eyeballs. I come to bury mailbox by mailbox (brick-level) backups, not to praise them. Exchange server administrators shall not backup mailboxes individually via MAPI for it is so slow it causes thy tape drive to shoeshine, takes several times the disk or tape space as an information store backup, is prone to errors, and causes your backup jobs to fail, claiming disabled mailboxes are corrupted. The time has come to throw brick-level backups on the junk heap of obsolete backup technologies with tape RAID, tape multiplexing, and 8-mm tapes.Granted, restoring the one urgent e-mail the CEO needs from an information store backup used to be a major production. To get one message back from an Exchange 2000 information store backup required a dedicated restore network with its own domain controller and Exchange server. Just assembling the restore environment could take a whole day.

Today, however, things are a lot easier. First you can recover the item from Exchange's internal deleted item recovery. If you set a few simple options on your Exchange 2003 or 2007 servers, items stay in the database for recovery even after users delete them from their deleted items folders. I keep deleted item recovery set to 30 days on the Exchange servers I have anything to do with managing and set the flag that prevents deleted items from being purged if the information store hasn't been properly backed up even if the 30 days has gone by.

When the request is for something older than deleted item recovery can restore, there's the recovery storage group. Starting in Exchange 2003, information store restores are by default directed to a special storage group rather than overwriting the running database. You can then use the Exchange console or Exmerge to extract the message in question.

Finally, if you're running the current version of Backup Exec or Commvault Galaxy, you can do item-level restores from information store backup, making mailbox backups completely superfluous.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 10, 2014
A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? When it comes to big data, one size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A look at the top stories from InformationWeek.com for the week of September 7, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.