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Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

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  • Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

    Hello,

    I am looking at performing a DR test and am looking for information about restoring an Exchange 2007 server to a different location.

    I took a full backup of the Virtual Machine (VMWare) using Backup Exec. My question is can I simply shut done the current server and then restore the server from backup to my DR location and power it up. I will then change the IP address to that subnet etc..

    Will this cause any problems regarding AD or should it be ok. Once this has been completed I will shutdown the DR server and power back up the original server.
    Any thoughts are appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

    It should work otherwise there is no point in backing it up but I wouldn't run a DR test like this, too many risks to the prod environment. Not sure on your size but if you can backup your AD and then restore that to a separate network (maybe in VM somewhere?) you can then restore exchange in there too. A proper DR test for everything plus you prove the Exchange can be restored with that AD.
    cheers
    Andy

    Please read this before you post:


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

      Thanks Andy - can you elaborate when you say to many risks to the production environment??

      The site I will be restoring to already has a DC located there.... my company has two sites - the main HO plus a regional office. As i said the Regional Office has a second DC there plus other servers already.

      We have only one exchange server that contains all the roles - what I want to check is if the main site goes down can I simply restore a full copy of the virtual machine to the second site?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

        Although there should be no problems doing a DR restore, if you restore it into your live AD domain, you may hit problems that could break email badly, and your proposal to shut down the main server then restore the backup risks all sorts of things... If, for example, mail was delivered to the backup and you had to revert to the other, that mail would be lost.

        The suggestion is you restore to a safe test environment, check all is OK, and document any lessons learned in case you have to restore to your live environment in the future.
        Tom Jones
        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
        IT Trainer / Consultant
        Ossian Ltd
        Scotland

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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        • #5
          Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

          Thanks Ossian,

          In relation to email being delivered to two exchange servers that is not really a concern - all users will know they will without email for the day and if neccessary they can use our email filtering providers continuity service.

          What exactly do you mean when you say doing a restore like this could break email services badly. My understanding is I can simply restore the exchange virtual machine to a second esxi host - am i wrong in this?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

            You could have users connecting to their mailboxes, emails being delivered, DNS caching if the IP changes, if the server is an smtp relay then applications may need to point to the new IP etc. These things can be looked at beforehand but one mistake could mean issues afterwards.

            A DR for Exchange 2010 would be to install an OS and then run the Exchange install with recover server and then import the databases or run dial-tone and import the emails (caveat is of course it depends what the disaster is of course).

            I've re-read your post and I now take it to mean you're taking a backup at the VM level whilst the server is online. Might need someone else to comment but not sure Exchange would like that anyway. Personally I would use BackupExec to take the database backups and then restore as above instead. This would still be best off the prod network though.
            cheers
            Andy

            Please read this before you post:


            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

              Cheers thanks Andy. I will also be taking a backup of the DBs before any work is started.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

                I am going to be blunt , you are stupid for even considering this. Being even more blunt, if you did this on a network I controlled, you would be updating your CV about now. That may sound harsh, but what you are proposing could do significant damage that will cause extended downtime.

                DR tests should be carried out in a seperate environment. DR is destructive, it makes changes to the domain that cannot be reversed. NO ONE in their right mind does a DR test with live kit. Exchange is highly dependant on AD, and as soon as you bring up the other machine, the original is useless to you.
                Furthermore an image of an Exchange server is close to useless to you. The second the image is complete it is out of date.

                Read the DR documentation on Exchange, image based DR is not how Exchange is designed to be recovered. You back up the database, then you rebuild the machine, restore the database and if possible, replay the logs and you are running again. If the logs are not available then you would use the OST files to try and get the data back that was already in the clients.

                The attitude to email delivery also puzzles me. Have you run this plan past anyone in the business? Being without email for a day being acceptable surprises me, I am yet to have a client who will accept that for anything other than a REAL DR. Furthermore for most companies the most valuable email is less than 24-36 hours old. You have mentioned your mail filtering service, but unless they can store AND deliver the email to you, you aren't really looking after the business needs.

                I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but your plan both for the DR test and how you prepare for recovery appears poorly researched and should be heavily reviewed.
                Exchange has to be planned for carefully, snapshots and image based backups really don't cover everything. Exchange should be considered a "living" product. It is changing constantly.

                Simon.
                --
                Simon Butler
                Exchange MVP

                Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

                  Hi Sembee,

                  Thanks for the comments... doesnt soud too harsh at all. I understand what you are saying and will review our plans.

                  One other question I have is - as you have said recovering from full images is not possible how is this different from doing a migration from one esxi host to another as we have done in the past. Would it not be the same process i.e. power down one server move/restore the server to another location and pwer this up?

                  Thanks for you input on this!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Restoring a server with Backup Exec 2012 - is this possible?

                    If you are doing a VMOTION migration or just shutting down the server, moving it to another server and starting it up, that would be fine. The issue is having another copy of the server running then trying to use the original.
                    Once you start using another copy, then the original is dead and shouldn't be used again.

                    Simon.
                    --
                    Simon Butler
                    Exchange MVP

                    Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                    More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                    Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                    In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                    Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                    Comment

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