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wlandymore

backup of exchange mailboxes and length of backup...

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I was trying to backup everyones exchange mailboxes with the agent and it seems when I go into the proactive restore those aren't listed there.

 

We're using Retrospect Server 7.0.326 with update 7.0.9.103; all clients are 7.0.107.

 

Is there something special that has to be done to backup people's exchange mailbox so if the exchange server went down you could use an image to bring it back and then just restore the mail?

 

Also, our regular backups take a REALLY long time to run. I tried removing the compression and it still takes about 8 hrs + to backup less than 80GB of data.

 

Is there some 'best practices' for getting these things to pick up the pace?

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Hi,

 

In order to restore the Exchange mail server you will need to back up the Exchange storage groups, not just the mailboxes. I'm not quite sure what you're referring to by 'proactive restore,' but to restore a mailbox, use the 'Selected Mailbox' button on the Restore Overview window.

 

Retrospect needs mailboxes in place in order to restore to them. So if you re-image the machine, you will need to make sure you have created all the mailboxes you are planning to restore ahead of time.

 

Is it only the mailbox backups that are running slowly? Is Exchange on the same machine as Retrospect or is it on a client machine?

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One of our customers has a reasonably fast device (Sony AIT-4) which backs up their 11 GB Exchange database in 8 minutes. However, backing up Exchange's 31 mailboxes takes 2.5 hours. We've been very unhappy with the performance of this product. We've tried to address the issue, but have not found anything that speeds up the process.

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It is true that mailbox backup can be slower then backup of the storage groups.

 

Mailbox backup requires us to scan every single file in the mailbox and then match it against the backup set. The larger the backup set, the longer this takes.

 

Microsoft does not offer any Mailbox backup API's, so have come up with our mailbox backup approach, which treats the mailbox like a hard drive. Mailbox backup will only copy the new or changes messages since the last backup. Basically full backup will take much longer then incremental.

 

Backup of mailboxes with 7.5 should be faster.

 

Also consider putting mailboxes in a proactive backup script, so the mailbox with the greatest need gets backed up first.

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Thank you for your reply. Just an FYI, the customer I referenced is already using V7.5.

 

I'm not suggesting that Retrospect is taking too long for what it is doing, but the approach seems limited to a small number of mailboxes (about 100) if it is to complete in a reasonable time (less than 8 hours).

 

Thank you for your description of what Retrospect does to perform the mailbox backup. Are there alternatives? For example, since you have proprietary technology for accessing the mailboxes to back them up, how about simply saving that operation for restores? I mean just backup the database during backup, which is fast, and then on restore, restore the entire database to a temporary file and use your proprietary technology to retrieve the individual mailboxes or messages from the temporary file. Since backups occur far more often than restores, personally I would rather burden the restore operation, if possible.

 

Tim

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Just for comparison, the customer I have been referring to in this thread was backing up 100 GB using Yosemite TapeWare in about 3 hours (including quick compare). When they moved to Retrospect, the same operation took about 4.5 hours. Perhaps the extra time Retrospect takes is justified in some fashion, but it does seem to be a slower product.

 

One thing we did notice was that a fragmented hard drive seems to really slow down backup.

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