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Disaster Recovery Exchange - Disaster Recovery for Exchange 2007 - Planning for Disaster Recovery, Recovering individual items, Recovering Exchange databases

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Messaging is an important part of running a business today, and sometimes it is necessary to perform disaster recovery for an exchange server. There are two different Microsoft Exchange servers that are still commonly used today. Exchange Server 2007 is the newest, and it shares several similarities with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Of course disaster recovery for Exchange 2007 is only as good as the data it backed up in the first place, so the process should start the moment you set up the new Exchange server.

Planning for Disaster Recovery

There are three different operations that are important to understand whenever you are talking about disaster recovery for an Exchange server. Backing up your files appropriately will make the recovery task much easier, and knowing how to restore those backed up files is also important. Sometimes it is also necessary to repair a corrupt database if there is no backup available.

To begin planning for disaster recovery, consider the types of disasters you may have to recover from. These disasters may be as simple as a piece of mail that was permanently deleted or a lost mailbox. They can also be as complicated as a lost Exchange server or a lost database. The problem with all of these different kinds of disasters is that different problems require different types of backup, and some businesses do not back up enough files to support all of the disasters that are possible. When in doubt, a more complete backup is always better.

Recovering individual items

The simplest disaster recovery for Exchange 2007 is mailboxes and individual items. The recovery storage group can help recover lost items, and the Cached Exchange Mode feature can protect the mailbox data. Also by practicing server-side deleted item retention, a copy of everything that is deleted is saved before the item is removed from the mailbox. This will make it easy to recover an email that was accidentally deleted. If a missing mailbox is the problem, simply perform a server-side reconnect to bring it back.

Recovering Exchange databases

One feature of Exchange 2007 is the support of hardware-based snapshots that use the Volume Shadow Copy Service. This feature began with Exchange Server 2003, and it was so popular that it was brought back for the 2007 version of the server. In many cases, restoring data from these snapshots is easier than restoring it from Exchange itself, especially if the database is extremely large.

There are a few things that should be considered before trying to recovery any databases in Exchange 2007. First remember that restoring all of those files will usually impact performance severely. If at all possible, try to perform any necessary restorations outside of normal business hours. Also remember to set storage limits for all mailboxes and public storage folders so that each database will not grow too large. Larger databases take longer to restore and can impact performance much longer.

Exchange Server 2007 does still allow for ESE streaming backups and restores, but make sure that the database in question is online. Also this feature is not available in Windows Server 2008, so keep that in mind for newer servers.

For all other technical questions and technical documentation about Microsoft Exchange 2007, check out Microsoft’s website.

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