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mmierzwa
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Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by mmierzwa » Jul 20, 2011 9:49 pm

Hi everyone,

we have just recently started using veeam for our VM backups and I'm thinking about backing up our Exchange 2007 server using veeam (currently we are using Backup Exec to back up the databases and system state). I'm wondering however if I can use veeam to restore the entire exchange server ?

I know that Microsoft always advises against using images or snaphots to restore/rebuild an exchange server and the supported method instead is to use the /RecoverServer setup switch to rebuild the server and then restore the databases.

Can I safely restore the entire exchange VM with veeam and be compliant with Microsoft ? are there any implications ?. I always worry since Exchange relies so heavily on Active Directory, I can imagine issues with restoring a let's say, a week old exchange VM into a current AD environment. Has anyone successfuly done so without implications and weird issues cropping up ?

Any thoughts ? recommendations ?

Thanks,

Gostev
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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by Gostev » Jul 20, 2011 10:37 pm

Hi, you may want to watch the Exchange webinar from here
http://www.veeam.com/go/vPower-webinar

This should answer all of your questions above.

Thanks.

mmierzwa
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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by mmierzwa » Jul 21, 2011 12:03 am

I watched the webinar but everything seems to focus on item level restores, I'm more interested in restoring the entire server in case of OS corruption and that's not really discussed in the webinar.

Gostev
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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by Gostev » Jul 21, 2011 4:58 am

OK, and that' actually what this whole webinar is all about (until the very end, when it gets into item level restore demo for just a few minutes)? Other than this part, all it talks about is how backup and restore of the entire Exchange VM properly, to be inline with Microsoft requirements. Particularly, the VSS restore part talks about verifying if the solution performs proper full VM restore vs. just booting the captured image up.

Deansbkk
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[MERGED] restore entire exchange vm

Post by Deansbkk » Nov 15, 2012 5:06 am

Hi, We're having trouble finding if it's supported to restore an entire exchange vm.

The situation is a new Exchange 2010 server guest vm has been installed. A full backup was taken and then exchange antivirus software was installed. The antivirus software has had numerous problems immediately following this fresh exchange installation. Instead of re-installing a new server and using the Exchange recovery switch (Setup /m:RecoverServer) can we just use our Veeam backup to restore the entire server to the point just before the AV installation (about two weeks have elapsed since the backup but there aren't any mailboxes on the 2010 server)? Or is it too difficult/impossible to determine if something will be out of sync with AD and Exchange and that a Veeam restore of the entire exchange vm is something that should just never be done. We know one issue that may come up is the computer account password may have changed but expect we could fix that with the netdom command (netdom reset 'machinename' /domain:'domainname).

All feedback is welcome and appreciated. Thank you.

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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by Vitaliy S. » Nov 15, 2012 8:34 am

Hi Dean,

I'm not sure what is the default computer expiration timeout in AD, but even if your Exchange account is reported as expired after full VM restore, you will still be able to re-join it to the domain with no issues (remove and add the account back). Keep in mind though, that you MUST NOT remove computer account from the AD manually, just let the AD use the same account during the re-join procedure.

Thanks!

veremin
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Re: [MERGED] restore entire exchange vm

Post by veremin » Nov 15, 2012 9:13 am 1 person likes this post

Deansbkk wrote:Or is it too difficult/impossible to determine if something will be out of sync with AD and Exchange and that a Veeam restore of the entire exchange vm is something that should just never be done.
I do know that it isn't particularly your case, since your Exchange Sever is nothing but new guest VM, created, probably, for the purpose of testing, nevertheless, i want you to notice, that whenever you feel a little bit scary about implementation of outdated backups in production environment, particularly, issues related to dependencies, synchronization and etc, you can easily put into use Virtual Lab functionality, which was created deliberately to meet such expectations.

By the means of this isolated virtual test environment you are able to receive explicit answers to all of your questions regarding a possibility of stable work of out-of-date applications with up-to-date ones and so forth.

Thanks.

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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by dellock6 » Nov 15, 2012 11:48 am 1 person likes this post

If I recall correctly, the tombstoning of AD objects is 60 days.
Not a real problem since a 2 months old restore of a complete VM is almost useless in many scenarios, regardless of the AD account expiration...

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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by Deansbkk » Dec 03, 2012 3:01 am

sorry for the delayed response to everyone's feedback. To clarify more we're not concerned about the computer account or tombstone issues (as the restore would be well within our AD 60 day tombstone lifetime). The Exchange webinar nicely explains that Veeam adheres to Microsoft requirements so that proper Exchange restores can be done (which we see via our twice daily surebackup jobs!).

The thing we still can't come to terms with if is really is OK to restore an entire Exchange VM or if we should use the /m:recoverserver (where we know we won't have any problems but it's much more time consuming and more work). This server is not a test server rather it was the first Exchange 2010 server installed into our existing 2007 organization.

The reason we wish to restore is because the anti-virus software had a serious problem immediately after the installation and even though we've worked through fixing the installation it no longer is a pristine installation so we'd like to restore/reinstall so ensure a pristine installation (easier to do now before any mailboxes, OABs, etc are moved to this server).

tsightler
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Re: Exchange 2007 Restore

Post by tsightler » Dec 03, 2012 3:35 am 1 person likes this post

I honestly don't think you should have any problems as long as the account is OK. AD holds a lot of information about the Exchange schema, topology, etc. but none of these things are critical. As you stated, it's possible you may need to reset the computer account, but otherwise you shouldn't have any issues that I can think of.

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