How to Backup an Exchange Server

How to Backup an Exchange Server
Microsoft Exchange Server uses a proprietary database structure along with transaction logs to
store email, contacts and public folders. To backup an Exchange server you must first create an
Exchange archive file. You can then use the Dr.Backup client software to safely backup this
archive. This tech note explains how to backup your Exchange 2000 Server.
Microsoft Windows 2000 comes with a utility that enables you to backup data and system state
information on your server. When you installed Exchange 2000, the Windows 2000 Backup utility
was updated to support backing up and restoring Exchange data. The backup program in
essence becomes “Exchange aware”.
Within Exchange there are storage groups and inside the storage group there are stores. Inside
the stores are either mailboxes or public folders. Exchange 2000 Standard only has the ability to
support one storage group which can contain one mailbox store and one public folder store.
Exchange 2000 Enterprise can have up to four storage groups and each storage group can
support up to five stores (either mailbox or public folder).
Each storage group in Exchange has a corresponding set of transaction log files. These log files
are extremely important and should never be deleted manually. The log files are 5Mb in size and
your server can generate a large number of log files based on how many transactions it
processes. The log files are used only if it becomes necessary to perform a restore of the data
Backing up your Exchange server using the correct steps not only secures your data but also
purges back the transaction log files.
Operating the Windows 2000 Backup Utility is straightforward. You don’t even have to stop any
of the Exchange services when performing a backup. If you do stop the services you will be
performing an “Offline” backup. This is not recommended because the services need to be
running to purge the log files correctly.
1. Open the Windows 2000 Backup utility, Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools
and select Backup
2. Select the Backup tab
3. Open the Microsoft Exchange Server list and expand the server that you want to backup.
If you want to backup the whole Information Store on the selected server you can simply check
the box next to “Microsoft Information Store” or you can expand the “Microsoft Information Store”
and select a particular storage group.
It is recommended that you backup a complete storage group, rather than the individual stores.
That way, all the committed transaction log files will be purged. In the event that you need to
backup an individual store you can simply click on the storage group name and select the store
you would like to backup from the right-hand pane.
4. Once you have made the selection of what you want to backup, the next step is to configure
where to put the actual archive file. This should be a local hard disk folder visible to the
Dr.Backup software. Select the backup location using the “Backup media or file name” option at
the bottom of the page. In this example we have selected to backup to drive G: and use an
archive filename of backup.bkf.
5. When you are ready to start the backup, click on the Start Backup button. The “Backup Job
Information” dialogue box will now be displayed. Click on the Advanced button and ensure the
Backup type is set to “Normal”.
6. We can now click on the Start Backup button. The backup will launch and the information we
selected will be backed up to the disk location we specified. Once the backup is complete the
system will display the “Backup Progress” dialogue box.
7. When your backup is complete, it is very important to review the backup report to ensure that
everything went as expected. To review the backup report, click on the Report button in the
“Backup Progress” dialogue box.
8. Once you are comfortable with the backup of the Exchange database files and logs, you will
likely want to use the Schedule Jobs tab to automate this entire process. Make sure that you
select “Replace the data on the media with this backup” when you setup your backup job.
This will ensure that you keep only the most recent backup copy of Exchange.
9. Your final step is to then configure Dr.Backup to perform an offsite backup of the Exchange
backup archive file you just created according to your location’s data retention needs.
Related Article from Microsoft on Exchange Restoration:
Disaster Recovery for Exchange 2000;en-us;326052