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Backups: Transaction logs vs PST export

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  • Backups: Transaction logs vs PST export

    All:

    I have Exchange 2007 Standard running on Windows Server 2008. There is a second Windows Server 2008 running as an AD controller. The site consists of only ten users. Exchange has been running for only three months, but I dumped over seven gigs of data into it from the users' old PST files.

    Question: If I have a script configured to use the EMS and the Export-Mailbox function to dump all ten mailboxes (to a different computer) every night, do I really need an Exchange-aware backup in place to backup (and clear) the transaction logs? Can't I just enable Circular Logging so the transaction logs don't fill up and rely on my exported PSTs in the event of an Exchange failure?

    Thanks for your input,
    Michael

  • #2
    Re: Backups: Transaction logs vs PST export

    Nope. You can't use pst files to recover/restore the mailbox stores (or to recover/restore Exchange in general). You need an Exchange-aware backup program for that.

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    • #3
      Re: Backups: Transaction logs vs PST export

      Originally posted by joeqwerty View Post
      Nope. You can't use pst files to recover/restore the mailbox stores (or to recover/restore Exchange in general). You need an Exchange-aware backup program for that.
      Joe, thanks for your input, but I think I need to rephrase the question. I didn't mean exactly to "restore" Exchange like you would from an Exchange-aware backup. I was thinking to delete the First Storage Group altogether, make a new one, create the ten mailboxes again, and use Import-Mailbox to put the data back in. Then go through the steps to install the cert again and make sure OWA and OA work properly.

      Ahh, you just made me realize this leaves out Public Folders, which we do have installed. But we don't use them at all; there is no user-created data in there.

      I know this isn't the ideal way to backup Exchange. I just want to make sure that PST exports contain all of the users' data, and with some work, the Exchange environment can be "rebuilt" (NOT "restored") from them.

      Thanks Joe,
      Michael

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      • #4
        Re: Backups: Transaction logs vs PST export

        Oh, now I get it. I don't have any experience with 2007 but this would work in 2003 so I'm presuming it would work in 2007 as well. All you're really doing is exporting the current mailbox contents, building a new mailbox store, and importing the old contents. I don't see why it wouldn't work.

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        • #5
          Re: Backups: Transaction logs vs PST export

          This doesn't make sense.
          You seem to want to make more work for yourself, while backing up more data than is required, at a slower rate and with the potential loss of data, and the loss of settings.

          export-mailbox, like it predecessor exmerge is not a backup mechanism and should not be treated as such. Obviously I can understand why you are trying to do it, because there is no native backup application on Windows 2008 that supports Exchange 2007 - and the client obviously doesn't want to pay for a backup application.

          However PST files are very fragile, They get corrupted very easily.
          You will be backing up between two and three times the size of the store, due to the way that PST files store data.
          You would also lose all settings - PSTs are data only. So any permissions, sharing etc in the mailboxes would be lost.

          Simon.
          --
          Simon Butler
          Exchange MVP

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