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wunssco
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Exchange 2010 First Backup

Post by wunssco » Mar 16, 2014 1:08 pm

I've been using VEEAM to backup our VMWare environment for a month or so, but haven't made the jump to backing up Exchange 2010 yet. I'm currently using Server 2008 R2's built-in Backup and Recovery tool, but want to switch this over to VEEAM next weekend. The Microsoft backup tool takes about 2 whole days start to finish. I had a couple questions before I do this with VEEAM the first time.

1. Should I expect VEEAM to finish faster than the Microsoft backup tool? We will be going to the same backup SAN so disk IO should be the same.

2. When I do a Windows backup of Exchange it starts with an "integrity check" that takes several hours. Does VEEAM kick off a process to do this and, if not, should I supplement the backup with sometime of manual integrity check?

3. What are your thoughts about stopping all of the Exchange services on the server before starting the backup? I could have a maintenance window in the middle of the night for about 7 hours. I don't expect the backup complete in this amount of time, but thought that it would minimize snapshot growth and give me a "jump start" on the first backup.

4. We have several Exchange databases on the same server, but they are spread over multiple drive letters, each with their own datastore/LUN. All of our other VMs are on single datastores/LUNs. Any concerns or other gotchas when dealing with VMWare snapshots over multiple datastores/LUNs?

5. Is the recommended backup process for Exchange to use Forward Incremental? We are using reverse incremental for some of our other backups, but nothing with the change-rate that Exchange would have. Should I do synthetic weekly fulls and monthly actives?

Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
Scott

veremin
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Re: Exchange 2010 First Backup

Post by veremin » Mar 16, 2014 3:13 pm

1. I would say yes. It depends on your infrastructure, of course. But I can't remember a lot of our customers facing backup jobs that run for two days.

2, 3. You enable Application Aware Image Processing and let it do its work. AAIP allows Veaam Backup and Replication to create transactionally consistent backup of a VM running VSS-aware applications (Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, AD, etc.) without powering them off. Not only does it ensure successful VM recovery, as well as proper recovery of all applications installed on the VM without any data loss, but also it notifies applications about them being backed up.

4. For more information regarding backing/replicating virtual Exchange server with VB&R, please, see this blog post, as it provides extensive information in regards to tips and tricks.

Thanks.

Andreas Neufert
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Re: Exchange 2010 First Backup

Post by Andreas Neufert » Mar 16, 2014 7:01 pm

regarding to 5.

forward incremental (with synt. fulls) are faster than reverse incremental from vm perspective. less snapshotlife time results inless data at snapshot commit and rwduce snapshot commit time. It can help to reduce cluster failovers for exchange DAG .,. see my mentioned blog post.

Active Fulls take a long time and you do not really want them at a huge exchange server for the same reason as above.

Andreas Neufert
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Re: Exchange 2010 First Backup

Post by Andreas Neufert » Mar 16, 2014 7:05 pm

2,3
in addition to the answer above. Disabling VSS ( veaam guest processing) is a bad thing because you have no consistent restore point and at restore of whole vm exchange db s are not placed in restore mode. Do not do this! (same answer as above but from other perspective)

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Re: Exchange 2010 First Backup

Post by Andreas Neufert » Mar 16, 2014 7:10 pm

4 see the mentioned blog post.
Quick and answer. less vm disks can help to process consistency/snapshot creation process more faster and more stable.
From performance perspective this isn't that critical anymore to have a huge amount of luns with exchnage 2010 compared to Exchange 2003 (there it was key for success). In most cases you place them on the same spindels of the physical storage anyway, so you can use less vm disks without performance degrees. Please read the blog post mentioned above if you need more details why this is needed.

foggy
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Re: Exchange 2010 First Backup

Post by foggy » Mar 18, 2014 2:31 pm

I also recommend reviewing the following topic for some Exchange Backup Questions / Best Practices. Should give you some thoughts.

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