Saturday, 6 March 2010

Exchange 2010 and Backups Pt 2

Using Windows Server Backup with Exchange 2010
Exchange 2007 running on Server 2008 was not a happy marriage. Support for native exchange backups was removed. However here comes Exchange 2010 and with it the Microsoft Exchange Service Extension which allows you to backup up Exchange using Server 2008 Windows Server Backup. While the situation has improved (at least a backup is possible!) using Windows Server Backup has its limitations:
  • Only full volumes can be backed up. This means only the whole, complete volume can be backed up. You cannot make independent backups of a database or logs files. Only the volumes these files reside on can be backed up. Because of this, both .edb and log files for any particular database must be available together in the same backup set inorder to restore the data.
  • You cannot perform remote backups
  • In order for log files to be trucated only full backups can be made
  • All of the databases that are in your backup set will be restored. You cannot restore a single database if your backup set holds multiple databases.
  • Only an active copy not passive copies of the database can be backed up 
Using WBAdmin to Perform Manual and Automated Backups
So, the first thing to do is to install the backup feature to your Server 2008 server:

[PS] ServerManagerCMD -i Backup-Features

Once the feature has been installed, you can perform a one-time backup using the following:
This link will provide a good visual to the process using the GUI.


The following will create a full backup to a network share. Note the use of -vssFull which should be used. Performs a full backup using the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Each file's history is updated to reflect that it was backed up. If this parameter is not used WBADMIN START BACKUP  makes a copy backup, but the history of files being backed up  is not updated.

[PS]  wbadmin Start Backup -backuptarget:\\ServerName\ShareName -include:c: -user:domainname\administrator -password:AccountPassword -vssFull

If you need to perform a scheduled backup you could try the following procedure. Note that the GUI wizards will only allow you to schedule backups to locally connected drives, USB drives/sticks and firewire. You can't backup to NAS drives. So how do you do it?
  1. Save the above command line as a batch file
  2. Schedule the script to run using the Windows Task Scheduler (found in Admin Tools). Create a basic task and end of the wizard ensure that in the task properties select Run whether the user is logged on or not, and check the Run with highest privileges checkbox. Also ensure that the user that the task is running as is an Administrator or part of the Administrators or Domain Admins group.

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