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Full Name: Josh Wright

Exchange 2013 Backup Passive Database Only

Post by joshwright10 » Mar 12, 2017 10:27 pm


We are in the progress of migrating to Exchange 2013 and are implementing a highly available design with several exchange servers.
We will be using two servers, one DAG and 4 databases. Two databases will be active on Server 1 and two active on Server 2.

Passive copies of the databases will be hosted on the other server in the pair for quick failover.

The issue we are seeing is that Veeam is not able to detect where the active or passive copy of the database is and only back that up.
For example, if we specify that Veeam should backup both servers, it will backup 4 databases on Server 1 and 4 databases on Server 2, thus requiring a much larger amount of backup media, or a good de-duplication setup.

Is there a way to avoid this and only backup either the active or the passive copies from each server, meaning that in normal operation only 2 databases from each server will be backed up?

Any advice would be very welcome.

Kind regards


Andreas Neufert
Veeam Software
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Full Name: Andreas Neufert
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Re: Exchange 2013 Backup Passive Database Only

Post by Andreas Neufert » Mar 13, 2017 12:06 am

Hi Josh,
thanks for the interesting question.
If you do agent based backups, the passive database only backup is a good way to go.

If you do Image level backup (like Veeam) you want disaster recovery of the whole server beside the ability to restore single objects.

To achive what you need, you can do the following:
Backup one of the DAG Servers with InGuest processing and log truncation.
Backup the other server with disk exclusions (only OS disk) and InGuest processing (enable copy only processing - no log truncation).
That way the databases are backed up only once.
As we read anyway in the background from the VMware Storage and not from the database itself (like agents would do), there is no need to differentiate between active and passive databases.

Tip from my side: The passive only way of backup will reduce your options in case a database will go corrupt. I would backup all Servers with databases anyway in different Veeam Jobs scheduled in separate time frames. That way you will have the best DR possibilities. The target storage disk costs are worth it.

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