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Offsite Backup Solutions for Windows Servers and Desktops

Exchange Server Backup

Backing up your Exchange Server is an important part of your disaster recovery planning.  Here you can learn what you need to know about how GCV Backup can backup your Exchange Server.

Why do I need a backup program to backup Exchange Server data?

Some people think you can just copy the Exchange database files and that will be enough. The problem is that Exchange Server locks it's database files which prevents normal file access activities.  So you cannot simply copy the database files.  You need a program that interacts with Exchange in order to properly create a backup copy of the Exchange databases.

What versions of Exchange Server can I backup with GCV Backup?

  • Exchange Server 2010
  • Exchange Server 2007
  • Exchange Server 2003
  • Exchange Server 2000

Can GCV Backup backup Exchange Server while it is running?

YES!  GCV Backup interacts with Exchange Server while it is running to backup the data without interrupting the flow of email through the Exchange Server.  You are going to need to use the Open File Add-On software in combination with the GCV Backup Client in order to backup Exchange Server while it is running. 

What GCV Backup software do I need to backup my Exchange Server?

No matter what version of Microsoft Exchange you are using, GCV Backup can back it up.  However, the manner in which the backup is done can vary depending upon the operating system of the server.

You will need to purchase the following software:
(1) GCV Backup Client License w/ Open File Support

  • If you are running your Exchange Server on Windows Server 2008 or 2003, the Open File Add-On will use the Volume Shadow Service feature of Windows to perform the backup of the Active Directory database and the Exchange database / log files.  SQL databases and any other files that may be open at the time of the backup will also be included.
  • If you are running your Exchange Server on Windows 2000, there is no Volume Shadow Service feature present, so the Add-On will go through the Windows API to access and backup the Active Directory and Exchange database / log file information only.  No other open files will be included in the backup.

What do I need to backup to have a complete Exchange Server backup?

To make sure you can recover from any type of Exchange Server disaster, you need to backup the following elements in your Exchange Server environment:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server application data
  • Active Directory or Domain Controller data
  • A complete backup of the computers running the Exchange Server application(s) and a complete backup of the computers running Active Directory/Domain Controllers.

What is meant by "Microsoft Exchange Server application data?"

The Exchange Server application data consists of a set of information stores.  Each information store consists of three components: private store, public store, and all logs associated with the stores.  GCV Backup interacts with your Exchange Server to record what information stores are in use, and to organize the private store, the public store and the logs into a backup "object" or backup container to keep all of this information grouped together in a logical unit.  GCV Backup does this because if you need to restore your Exchange data, Exchange requires all databases to be consistent with the corresponding logs.  GCV Backup keeps track of the correlation between the stores and the logs for you, so you can easily restore your data.

What is the M: drive and do I need to include it in the backup process?

The M: drive is a view into the public folder database.  You should NOT backup the M: drive.  The contents of the M: drive are backed up as part of the backup of the Exchange data.  As a result, if you were to include the M: drive in the backup process, it is sort of like backing up the same data twice - you just don't need it again.  And, Microsoft recommends that you do not backup the M: drive and that you do not scan it with a virus scanner because it can cause data corruption.  GCV Backup automatically places an exclusion on the M: drive in the backup set definition, so you do not need to be concerned about backing up the M: drive and you should not remove the exclusion.