I was recently reading how Microsoft Exchange has become more critical than ever. This got me to thinking about the days when I was an administrator, and I had to deal with the backup and recovery of Exchange. I “fondly” remember having my execs come and tell me they needed to have some email restored. They had their email yesterday, and today some of them were gone…. Of course they did not delete them, however, it was my task to get them back. The email Gremlins have struck again.
I wish I had the tools back then that are available today to protect Exchange. Specifically I wish that I had the features and functionality available through NetVault Backup and Quest Recovery Manager for Exchange. This solution allows you to protect your Exchange environment regardless of whether you are just a general backup admin or an exchange specialist (Exchange Administrator, Forensic Investigator, email discovery consultant etc…).
While it is true that there are built-in tools that can provide some functionality that you may need, these tools require additional - and quite often- specific knowledge of Exchange. Granted, in today’s “on-line” world, that knowledge is available if you are not an expert on Exchange. But gaining all of the requisite knowledge can be quite time consuming for a traditional backup admin.
By using Quest Recovery Manager for Exchange with Quest NetVault Backup you have a solution that takes care of the heavy lifting and provides you with a quick and easy way to protect, and more importantly recover Exchange at either the Exchange Database or Exchange object level (email attachments, tasks etc.). Data protection for Exchange has never been easier or quicker than by using the Quest solution. Simply use NetVault Backup with its plug-in for Exchange to perform one single-pass backup of the entire database. You’ll have all the data you need to recover at any level that you need for Exchange, regardless if it is an entire DB or even more granular recovery requirements such as restoring a single mailbox or mail item.
This frees you up from having to do both a database and a mailbox (or brick level) backup. Now anyone who has done (or is doing) a brick level backup knows that they are extremely slow. In addition, they take up additional space (you are doing 2 backups to protect the same data). In some cases it is actually taking up more space than the database backup, since brick level backups do not support Single Instance Store (SIS).
With NetVault Backup, you simply select what you want to back up (down to the Information Store), where you want to store it (disk, tape, VTL etc…) and if you want to enable deduplication using the optional NetVault SmartDisk, as well as how long you want to keep the data. These, of course are all standard options with most backup software. In the event that you need to recover (down to the mail item) you can use the integration between NetVault Backup and Quest Recovery Manager to enable this recovery.
Quest Recovery Manager is specifically designed to allow recovery of Exchange easily while at the same time providing features and functionality developed to reduce recovery time and costs. The solution includes the ability to do exhaustive and customizable searches of Exchange backups, offline Exchange Databases, and even the live Exchange Server (without requiring any additional software on the Exchange Server). This gives you the ability to quickly compare folders between backups and the live Exchange server, to see and recover exactly what those pesky email Gremlins devoured. It literally is as simple as drag and drop.
Quest Recovery Manager also provides its users with a “forensic” type search interface that can search almost all details of an email, as well as attachments and / or other exchange items (tasks appointments). Some people say that Exchange itself provides for basic searching as well. This is true and the keyword here is basic. These searches are basic and like any other recovery with the Exchange built-in tools, they require additional work and configuration (There are pages and pages of how to do this).
In addition, Quest Recovery Manager has the ability to emulate any version of Exchange. (This is one of my favorite features.) This means that recovery from older tapes or backups from older Exchange systems has just gotten a lot easier. The solution minimizes the work required so that you no longer have to have or build the correct version of Exchange.
Finally, Quest Recovery Manager provides multiple options when it comes to recovery. You can choose to recover to your Exchange Server in the original location or to a different location (Auditor’s mailbox, for example). You can even do a search and have the results exported to a PST , EML, MSG or even a TXT file to create a portable copy of the required items that can be sent wherever they are required (to Legal, for example). This actually makes adhering and performing legal requests or even “Open Record” requests a snap.
By using NetVault Backup and Quest Recovery Manager you have a solution that gives you what you need when you need it. Whether you are a general backup admin who has been asked to recover an entire Exchange Database, or a specialist who needs to combat those pesky Gremlins, or even if you require deeper level recoverability you can have it all, and it is as simple as:
1. 1. Use a wizard-driven interface to select where you want the data to come from (NetVault Backup in this case)
2. 2. Create a recovery job
3. 3. Use Quest Recovery Manager to recover what you need when and where you need it.
No more using brick-level backup or creating recovery databases/ recovery storage groups and using complicated time-consuming cmdlets with multiple parameters and options. Now there is a solution that gives you the ability to protect and recover your data easily and quickly, while at the same time reducing overall costs associated with Exchange Data Protection.
If I had the solution from Quest back when I was an administrator, it would have been the bright light or sunlight to those pesky Gremlins. Problem solved.