Standalone backup agent for Microsoft Windows servers and workstations (formerly Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE)
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Hariseldon1
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Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Server

Post by Hariseldon1 »

I would like someone with experience (enough to know to be safe) to tell me if VEB is a viable option for backing up a computer running Server2008R2 + Exchange2010.... and if VEB is still viable option if computer is running Server2012R2 + Exchange 2013. (I am planning to migrate/upgrade my dev lab)

In my private Microsoft professional development lab I have a stand alone (single server) virtual machine running Server 2008R2 + Exchange 2010 SP1. Right now I use windows native "Windows Server Backup" to make VSS file backup of the exchange server. I am thinking about switching this over to VEB. Does VEB officially support this backup scenario?

(backup destination is dedicated local drive which is rsync to separate nas unc path)

This is not a production exchange server. I am only looking for a response regarding recommendations for/against using VEB for backing up "entire computer" where that computer is a standalone exchange server.

VEB has exceeded my highest expectations regarding backing up windows computers (desktop + server).

I am not an exchange expert, but hopefully veeam's experience (in the marketplace of backup products) can help you respond with a quick concise answer if VEB will perform as well with backing up a computer running Exchange.

Thank you!

P.S.: WRT restore scenarios. Not remotely thinking about fancy message level restoration that comes with high priced solutions. AFAIAC my devlab needs are covered with three three senarios: 1) total BMR... 2) database corruption, which likely quicker if BMR... 3) individual mail, which restore backup db to dedicated "restore" drive and mount db separately to perform needed exchange tasks.

Gostev
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Re: Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Ser

Post by Gostev »

Yes, it is a viable option because VEB relies on VSS - so even though there's no Exchange-specific application processing code like the one we have in B&R, you still get basic application-consistent backup that is identical to what Windows Server Backup produces.

Also note that we do provide message level restoration from VEB backups at no cost via Veeam Backup Free Edition. Granted, it is not as straightforward as in Veeam B&R - you need to manually select mailbox database files you want to drill in to (the price of missing application-aware processing) - but as soon as you've done that, you can fetch individual mailbox items from backup without any limitations.

Note that you don't have to physically extract mailbox database file, as all recovery can be done directly from mounted backup file. Let me ask our technical writers to make this more obvious.

Thanks!

Hariseldon1
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Re: Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Ser

Post by Hariseldon1 »

Thank you for you quick reply!

(to clarify one item) "Logs" and databases are not something I totally understand. I am told that Windows Server Backup does something important to the Exchange logs. Here they talk about a 'VSS Full Backup' truncates logs (Ex2010 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lib ... 41%29.aspx )... here they talk about Ex2016 saying the same thing but call them 'Transaction Logs' (Ex2016 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lib ... 60%29.aspx )

The exchange guru's tend to throw around abbreviations [assuming you should already know] when I favor the more precise/exact literal nomenclature.

Anyways! :-) So I gather from your response: I configure VEB to take a 'Full Computer' backup of my devlab exchange server. VEB will follow the same "truncation of logs" that Windows Server Backup does after a full backup. Is that right?

Windows Server Backup of Exchange recommends 'VSS Full Backup'. VEB uses a full initial vbk backup + an intact chain of incremental vib files. Does that mean VEB will perform a 'VSS Full Backup' with each vib incremental file added to the chain? (thus each vib = trunctation of logs) or does VEB perform some VSS incremental backup?

VEB has my admiration, I am learning it is reliable to use in more places... the more I use it! I am accustomed to being bombarded with options, but VEB does not do this. So far, it appears (*fingers*crossed*) Veeam has continued to demonstrate mature understanding and reliable design (without options overload).

Since Exchange is bigger deal to replace (if not backed up correctly) versus mere desktops or file servers. This is why I am tripple checking before jumping in with both feet (using VEB on Exchange).

Thank you for your patience and thank you for an amazing product like VEB!!!

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Ser

Post by Vitaliy S. »

Hariseldon1 wrote:So I gather from your response: I configure VEB to take a 'Full Computer' backup of my devlab exchange server. VEB will follow the same "truncation of logs" that Windows Server Backup does after a full backup. Is that right?
Yes, that's correct. See this topic for more details about transaction logs handling > VEB and MS SQL backup?
Hariseldon1 wrote:Windows Server Backup of Exchange recommends 'VSS Full Backup'. VEB uses a full initial vbk backup + an intact chain of incremental vib files. Does that mean VEB will perform a 'VSS Full Backup' with each vib incremental file added to the chain? (thus each vib = trunctation of logs) or does VEB perform some VSS incremental backup?
VEB uses VSS during both full and incremental passes. For all applications using transaction logs to maintain the database consistency, Veeam Endpoint Backup will automatically truncate transaction logs upon successful backup.

Hope this helps!

Gostev
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Re: Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Ser

Post by Gostev »

Hariseldon1 wrote:I am told that Windows Server Backup does something important to the Exchange logs. Here they talk about a 'VSS Full Backup' truncates logs (Ex2010 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lib ... 41%29.aspx )... here they talk about Ex2016 saying the same thing but call them 'Transaction Logs' (Ex2016 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/lib ... 60%29.aspx )
Just for the sake of technical correctness - it is not Windows Server Backup that truncates Exchange logs, but rather VSS framework (having received successful full backup completion notification from Windows Server Backup as a part of standard VSS workflow). Thanks!

Hariseldon1
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Re: Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Ser

Post by Hariseldon1 »

(2+ years since Gostev's answer... I regret my long delayed reply)

<< I am not asking for anyone to take liability for my backups.
I am asking for veeam gurus to lend me their final word on very safe odds that will help me sleep peacefully at night >>

I finally reconfigured my home dev lab. I have enough resources to redesign my backup

Dear Gostev, can you simplistically let me rest peacefully at night knowing that a "full system" backup of my Bare Metal [standalone server] exchange virtual machine will [over simplistically but still within the bounds of 'safe to say'] suffice for a proper exchange application level aware backup?

(i.e. everything an experienced exchange admin / dba / etc would be concerned about for a single exchange server scenario would be properly backed up or totherwise properly addressed by VEB now Veeam Agent for Windows v2.2.0.589 free edition)

I have many layers of redundancy, I have never needed to use my backups.

Now I have the resources to take time off from day job to test BMR and MailDB recovery scenarios... but I cannot schedule this time off for a couple months.

Thanks!

Gostev
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Re: Request Quick Straight Answer... Backing Up Exchange Ser

Post by Gostev »

Yes, free edition will work fine in most cases. But if you want to rest absolutely peacefully at night, you should consider using the Server edition for its application-aware Exchange processing logic (additional application-specific steps during backup which are preparing the server to perform the required Exchange VSS restore steps upon "full system" restore). Thanks!

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