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Exchange 2010 to 2013 migration - recovery databases and discovery searches

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  • Exchange 2010 to 2013 migration - recovery databases and discovery searches

    I'm in the middle of migrating from 2010 to 2013. We have some legal discoveries that have been going on for many months and I may be required to restore messages from ex2010 backups in the future. My backups are file level backups of the edb files and log files. Currently, if I have to run a legal search, I restore the necessary edb/log files and mount them as recover databases on the 2010 server to run the search against.

    Once I am done migrating to 2013, will I have to keep my 2010 server around indefinitely in case I need to restore and search against backups prior to Exchange 2013? OR Can 2013 mount those restored 2010 edb/log files as a recovery database?

  • #2
    AFAIK it isn't possible to restore 2010 backups to a 2013 database.

    2 questions I have to ask:-
    1. Why are you taking edb and log backups at the file level rather than using an Exchange aware backup program?
    2. If you have legal compliance requirements, why don't you have some form of email archiving? (E.g. GFI Mail Archiver, Enterprise Vault)
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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    Cruachan's Blog

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    • #3
      Ok, didn't describe the backups sufficiently. I utilize NetApp Snap Manager for Exchange to take exchange aware backups. But to archive them to tape, my backup server (backup exec 2014) mounts the snapshots as flex clone volumes and then backup exec writes the the edb files, logs, etc to tape. If the exchange snapshots are still on the SAN (within the last 12 weeks) then I would utilize Snap Manager for Exchange to restore data etc... But for old stuff, which is the case with most all legal discoveries, I have to go to tape which means I have the database files. I currently just mount those as recovery databases and im off to the races. Just trying to understand what my options after migration. I would like to decommission the 2010 server but it is sounding like I may have to keep it around just to handle discovery requests?

      We don't have any actual compliance requirements (no PCI or SOX or HIPA etc...), but do have a never ending lawsuit. I am pushing to have an official policy on email retention but assuming they come back with keep everything then I'm trying to understand my options from a restore standpoint.

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      • #4
        Fair enough, there's a few options that I can think of without management making a decision for you, and they won't until they have no other choice.

        Option 1 is retain an Exchange 2010 server and keep doing what you are doing, Option 2 is restore all of the mailboxes that you have before you migrate, archive all of them out to PSTs and then back those up to tape. Not a great option as PSTs have a 2gb size limit (yes, they can and often are much bigger but also prone to spontaneous corruption), can't be accessed over a network connection reliably and are horribly inefficient in terms of space usage. Option 3 is migrate the mailboxes to 2013 and keep them in Exchange. Possible space issues/backup window issues with that.

        Personally, I would push for some archiving software before migrating. GFI Mail Archiver isn't that expensive (especially compared to Enterprise Vault!) and uses a SQL Server database (can also use SQL Express with a 10GB database limit in 2012, assuming you don't already have a SQL Server) and is much more easiliy manageable and searchable than PST files
        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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        Cruachan's Blog

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        • #5
          Click on Start>Run
          In the run box, type “cmd” and press “ok”
          Go to C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin directory
          Type Eseutil.exe in command line
          Esutil.exe has two repair switches “/r” and “p”.

          Eseutil /r command is soft database recovery mode of the Exchange Server.

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