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eeolson

Incremental or Differential Exchange Backups - reliable??

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Hello,

 

I'm new to backing up Exchange, and want to know what the best strategy is for backing up Exchange data to tape.

 

I have Monday through Thursday tapes. Each runs a Normal backup on its day for 4 weeks, then gets a Recycle backup and starts over. I have Friday sets that run Normal backups each Friday, and get new media every month.

 

I'm running Exchange 2007 on Win2003 server, with the latest Retrospect running on a separate backup server. I have been backing up "Exchange Server", not "Exchange Mailboxes".

 

I'm a little nervous about incremental or differential backups with Exchange, so I have chosen "Full Backup" under the Exchange Server options in retrospect, and these run every night to the daily tapes. At this point, I'm using up too much tape space with this method, so I'm thinking of changing to "Differential" or "Log/Incremental Backup".

 

First, can I trust Differentials or Incrementals to back up Exchange reliably? (I do my files that way, but a large monolithic database??)

 

Second, which method, "Differential" or "Log/Incremental Backup"? (I'm not quite sure what each implies...)

 

Thanks for the input...

 

- eric

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OK, that's the official word. But the options are there for "Differential" or "Log/Incremental Backup" - has anyone had luck restoring from these? or horror stories?

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I have talked to many customers who have done those types of restores without a problem. Things get tricky with multiple backup sets, erasing of full backups, etc.

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@Eric:

Understandig the differences between the options can take quite a bit of time and requires you to understand the concept of the exchange database and the transaction log.

To keep the transaction log small, I would prefer making full backups on a regular basis and using only differential backups for the time between two full backups. Also keep in mind that differential and incemental backups do not work if there is a second application/task making backups of the database.

 

@Robin:

A small feature request: I would like to see another option to make a copy of the exchange database (backing up database and transaction log without clearing the log).

 

Philipp

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A small feature request: I would like to see another option to make a copy of the exchange database (backing up database and transaction log without clearing the log).

 

Retrospect must use commands provided to us by Microsoft. We have no control over how those commands change the logs, etc.

 

If you need a copy of the data, you can do a backup set transfer from Backup Set A to a new backup set.

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Robin,

Retrospect must use commands provided to us by Microsoft. We have no control over how those commands change the logs, etc.
Well, there must be such a command as noted in http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124515.aspx . Tivoli e. g. can perform such a backup without problems. Creating a copy is the only way not to destroy backup consistency when using two backup applications.

 

Philipp

 

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