Some talk of "Universal Application-Item Recovery" has been offered in the market, describing how it might be able to work for organizations interested in being able to use a single approach to restoring any object from a backup image. Like other people paying attention, we were interested in what sounded like a good benefit to offer for admins working with images.
We took some time to examine the approach, and what we now believe is that an approach to restoring objects from images which is dependent on native tools is not a practical solution. The limitations are too extreme. The requirements for their use are too inflexible. Ultimately, we don't believe that organizations will find these approaches to be beneficial. Instead, we believe that what is required is a true Object-Level Recovery (OLR) solution built to enable flexible and fast restore of any object from the image.
Exchange Item-Level Recovery Using Native Tools
Let's take a look, for example, at how a native-tools dependent item-level restore would operate for Microsoft Exchange email. In Exchange 2010, Microsoft offers a capability called Deleted Item Restore. As a native tool, end-users can use Outlook to connect back to a VM in a backup repository from an earlier Point-In-Time (PIT). Then, they can search for, find, and restore the individual email that was deleted.
Sounds OK so far, but let's look at the details of what has to happen:
There is a way, using Microsoft native tools recovery, that Admins CAN assist in restore. However, it is so impracticle that I cannot imagine an admin considering its use. To make this work, a Microsoft Discovery Mailbox would have to be defined and used for the browse and restore of email messages. The real purpose of the Discovery Mailbox, as the name implies, is to assist with email discovery and production for legal purposes. Retrieving email into the Discovery Mailbox does not restore them; getting a retrieved message back to an end-user mailbox is a multi-step process. Also, using the Discovery Mailbox REQUIRES that Exchange be set up with Full Text Indexing on every mailbox. This means that the Exchange server will perform a full text index on each and every email received into the server, which slows it down. It then stores all of the indexing metadata which dramatically increases the storage requirements for the Exchange server.
Some Questions to Consider When You are Considering an OLR Solution for Exchange
True OLR for Exchange Working with vRanger Pro 4.5
In contrast to a native tools method, the Object-Level Restore (OLR) for Microsoft Exchange that shipped from Vizioncore in late May offers flexibility and efficiency. A complete description of how it operates has been offered in an earlier blog entry, which you can read here. In summry, you may want to keep these key points in mind:
Exchange OLR is Just the First Step
Vizioncore has full access to the Intellectual Property at Quest, including the complete suite of Recovery Manager solutions. Recovery Manager for Exchange is just the first in a long list of proven solutions which we are in the process of offering with vRanger Pro to enhance image-based data protection, either as qualified or integrated solutions.
If you are interested in a native tools approach to OLR and if you think that I and the core team at Vizioncore has missed something in terms of the potential benefit of this type of approach, I am interested in hearing from you. Object-level recovery from images is critical for the industry, to enable a transformation from traditional backup into Backup 2.0 image-based methods. In short, OLR unlocks the potential of image-based backup and we want to get it right in all possible useful forms.