How do I backup Exchange Server Stores? Overview We support live backup of Exchange Server 2003 (or better) on Windows Server 2003. For these configurations backup is done natively using the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). We fully support older versions of Exchange on Windows Server 2003, but require a few seconds of downtime while a volume snapshot is taken. For older versions of Exchange Server on older versions of Windows you can either (a) backup a copy of Exchange database (recommended), or (b) use the ntbackup program that comes with Windows (or other backup software) to backup your Exchange Server Database to a file on a regular basis and use our software to backup these backup files remotely. Instructions Exchange Server 2003 (or better) on Windows Server 2003: 1. 2. 3. 4. Create a sub-account for each Exchange Server machine, as needed. Login to each Exchange Server machine as a windows user that has rights to read the Exchange Server database files (*.edb, *.stm, *.log, *.chk). Install and configure our software on each Exchange Server. Use the Folders page to add the folder (directory) containing your Exchange Server database files (*.edb, *.stm, *.log, *.chk) to the backup. Even though you are performing a full backup, you must backup the transaction log files (*.log). If you are performing a full backup for the first time, not all log files need to be backed up. Please see the note below. On the Folders page, right click the folder containing your Exchange Server files and choose Properties. Change the "Verify Database Files" option in the "Exchange Server 2003" section to Yes. If you do not see this option, follow these steps: 1. Close the Folder Properties page. 2. Go to the Options page and then the Backup tab. 3. Click on the value for the "Full path to eseutil.exe" setting and find the location of eseutil.exe. This is typically located in c:\Program Files\ExchSrvr\bin or c:\windows\system32. eseutil.exe is required to perform an integrity check on your Exchange database files. 4. Save the option changes. 5. Go back to the Folders page and open the properties for the folder containing the Exchange database files. 6. Change the "Verify Database Files" option in the "Exchange Server 2003" section to Yes. Use ntbackup to schedule a backup of the "System State" data only and have it save it to a .bkf file. (The backup of system state data need not be performed often -- weekly should be sufficient.) Then use the Visualize button on the Folders page to add this bkf file to the backup set. It is important that you are backing up your System State data, because the Exchange database may rely on information in the Windows registry (security related information). 5. 6. 7. We will automatically perform differential, live backups of your Exchange Server database. Our server will always store the most current version of the files, and historical versions are stored using backwards deltas. This is safer than forward deltas because it does not rely on the integrity of all of the deltas in order to recover the most recent version. It will automatically use the eseutil program (with the /k switch) to verify the integrity of each page in your database before it's uploaded. This ensures that your local hard disk has not corrupted your Exchange Database before a new version is backed up. Note on transaction log files (*.log) before your first online backup: The Exchange Volume Shadow Copy Writer requires that certain log files are backed up as part of the backup set, even though we are performing a full backup. If you are backing up your Exchange database for the first time you may have several GBs of log files that do not need to be saved. Follow this process to avoid backing up transaction log files that are not needed: 1. 2. 3. Open a command prompt. Change to the directory containing your checkpoint file (typically named E00.chk). Execute the following command: "C:\Program Files\ExchSrvr\bin\eseutil" /mk E00.chk (you may have to use a different path for eseutil; be sure to use the name of the checkpoint file instead of E00.chk) Look for a line similiar to the following in the output of the program: Checkpoint: (0x40A2,1481,18C) The first number (40A2 in this case) is the important number. It tells you that you do not need any log files between E0000000.log and E00040A1.log (note that you do need the 40A2 log file). Open windows explorer and navigate to the directory containing the log files. Sort by filename. Select the log files that are not needed (in this case E0000000.log through E00040A1.log) and move them to a different directory that is not included in your backup. (Do not delete them. You must keep them until a full backup has been successfully performed.) Once a full backup has completed (all of your *.edb, *.stm, *.log, *.chk files have been safely verified and uploaded) you can delete the transaction log files without any loss of data, submit to your site's retention policy. You should keep them if you have full backups prior to your first online backup until your retention policy allows you to delete them. Always use caution and follow policy before deleting any data. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Older versions of Exchange on Windows Server 2003: In this scenario the volume shadow copy service (part of Windows Server 2003) will allow a snapshot to be taken of the filesystem after your Exchange services are stopped. Once the snapshot has been created (typically takes a few seconds), your Exchange services can be started immediately. Thus, this will allow your backups to proceed with only a few seconds of downtime for the Exchange server. 1. 2. First, follow the instructions in the previous section to configure the system to backup the directory containing your Exchange database. Next, go to the Options page, Backup tab. Change the "Preinit Stop Services" to the following value: MSExchangeES, IMAP4Svc, POP3Svc, RESvc, MSExchangeIMC, MSExchangeSRS, MSExchangeMGMT, MSExchangeMTA, MSExchangeIS, MSExchangeSA Change the "Postinit Start Services" to the following value: MSExchangeSA, MSExchangeIS, MSExchangeMTA, MSExchangeMGMT, MSExchangeSRS, MSExchangeIMC, RESvc, POP3Svc, IMAP4Svc, MSExchangeES Save the settings. 3. 4. Older versions of Exchange Server or Windows: This scenario requires that you either (a) backup a regularly updated copy of the Exchange database files, or (b) use ntbackup to backup the Exchange database, and then remotely backup the bkf file generated by ntbackup. We highly recommend option (a), because the incremental backups will be small. However, option (a) requires that the Exchange server be (automatically) brought offline for a brief period of time while the files are copied. If even a few minutes of down time is unacceptable, you must use option (b). Using option (b) will allow the Exchange server to be backed up while online, but the incremental backups will be very large. Option A: Backing up a regularly updated copy of Exchange: This option will shutdown your Exchange services and will then use a batch file to make a copy of your Exchange database. The Exchange services will then be restarted. You will then select the directory containing the copied data for remote backup. 1. Write a batch file that will stop Exchange and will copy the database. For example create the file c:\BackupExchange.bat that contains: net stop MSExchangeES net stop IMAP4Svc net stop POP3Svc net stop RESvc net stop MSExchangeIMC net stop MSExchangeSRS net stop MSExchangeMGMT net stop MSExchangeMTA net stop MSExchangeIS /Y net stop MSExchangeSA /Y xcopy "D:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata\*" "E:\ExchangeOfflineBackup" /E /D /V /C /I /F /H /R /K /O /Y net start MSExchangeSA /Y net start MSExchangeIS /Y net start MSExchangeMTA net start MSExchangeMGMT net start MSExchangeSRS net start MSExchangeIMC net start RESvc net start POP3Svc net start IMAP4Svc net start MSExchangeES Use the Scheduled Tasks in windows to schedule that batch file to run every day at a certain time (e.g. at 3:00am every day). Add the folder containing the copied Exchange database to the backup set. Make sure that time scheduled for backups to begin is long enough away from the start of the file copy of the Exchange database that the file copy will finish before the remote backup begins. 2. 3. 4. Option B: Using ntbackup: Use the ntbackup program (or other backup software) to backup your Exchange Server database to a file. Please see these articles for more information. You should then have our software backup the directory where you place your *.bkf files. You should schedule periodic full backups of Exchange and perform incremental backups frequently in between (at least once or twice daily). This can be automated with ntbackup and the Windows Task Scheduler. For full backups, because the backup dump files are created from scratch each time, our software must backup the entire file to the server (it cannot detect incrementals between Exchange database dumps). As a result, how often to perform a full database backup is a balance between bandwidth/disk space (if you perform a full backup more often) and reliability (because Exchange incremental backups use forward deltas). Note that we employ end-to-end integrity mechanisms to ensure 100% integrity of the data that is backed up, so the increased risk only comes from errors introduced on the local hard drive before remote backup is performed. If your databases are large and you need incremental, live backups of your Exchange Servers with our software, you should upgrade to the latest versions of Exchange Server and Windows Server. You may want to override the number of historical versions you store for your Exchange Server database dumps. To do this, go to the Folders page in the Backup Manager and right click on the folder containing your Exchange Server database files. Change the Data History settings to limit how much historical data to store. Notes • If you use another program to perform incremental backups of Exchange Server then you should change the "Volume Shadow Backup Type" option on the Backup tab of the Options page to be "Copy." This prevents our software from truncating Exchange Server transaction logs after a successful backup (which would interfere with the incremental backups of your other backup software).