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Exchange Backup Best Practice Question

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  • Exchange Backup Best Practice Question

    Our current Exchange backup scheme is to use ntbackup to take full backups (all the storage groups in one .bkf) three times a week (disk-to-disk). The problem I'm running into is that the backups take too long and are starting to overlap.

    I've considered some other schemes, but I'm not sure which is best.

    1. Backup each storage group individually (full backup) and let them overlap
    2. Backup each storage group individually (full backup) one each night
    3. Backup everything once a week (full) and do daily differentials
    4. Other?

    What does your Exchange backup scheme look like? What is the danger in having to backup jobs that backup separate stores going at once?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Exchange Backup Best Practice Question

    What Exchange version? Edition?

    I would advise against only taking one backup per week. You need to do a risk assessment and balance the risk of lost data against the performance lost by over-running backups. What is "best" is something that we can't tell you.

    We currently take a full backup to tape each night, a full backup to NAS on Friday night and an incremental backup to NAS Monday-Thursday. We also have mail journaling enabled, so that a message can be recovered if it is accidentally deleted.

    I'd suggest splitting each storage group out into a separate backup job - that way you don't lose as much as you would have lost if everything was in one job, if the job fails or the archive is corrupted.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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    • #3
      Re: Exchange Backup Best Practise Question

      There isn't really enough information in the question to make any kind of recommendation. All of my backups work on the same principle - full backup every night. Nothing else.
      However that doesn't help you because you have no idea how large my stores are, how large my backup window is, what my SLA is, and what my attitude to risk is.

      There is so much more to a backup strategy than just how often the backup takes place.
      What you should be more concerned about is what happens if a backup does NOT occur. If you are backing up every other day, and then you have a failure, can you cope with three or four days without a backup?

      Simon.
      --
      Simon Butler
      Exchange MVP

      Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
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      • #4
        Re: Exchange Backup Best Practice Question

        Also, one point that should be made is whatever backup strategy you decide on, be sure to leave yourself time to frequently test restoring your backups - an untested backup might not be a backup at all. All too often I've seen people find out the hard way that their backup script bombs out, or their tape drive is failing, or they've accidentally been 'writing' to write-protected media and not bothered to look at their backup logs...
        Gareth Howells

        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

        Comment

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