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NetVault Backup Plug-in for Exchange 12.3 - User Guide

Introducing NetVault Backup Plug-in for Exchange Defining an Exchange data protection strategy Planning your Exchange Server deployment Installing and removing the plug-in Configuring the plug-in Backing up data Restoring data Troubleshooting

Setting backup options

The next step involves creating the Backup Options Set or selecting an existing one.

TIP: To use an existing set, in the Plugin Options list, select the set that you want to use.
1
Next to the Plugin Options list, click Create New.
2
In the Exchange Backup Type section, select the applicable option.
Full: A Full Backup performs a complete backup of the set of items that have been selected. A Full Backup does not depend on any other backup and can be restored in a single step. In Exchange Server, a Full Backup includes all database files and transaction log files.
Copy: A Copy Backup backs up the set of items that have been selected without performing a transaction log file truncation. This backup provides a snapshot of the files as they existed at the time of the backup. A Copy Backup should be used to perform a fast, nonintrusive complete backup of an Exchange Server and is commonly used for offline scaling and migration scenarios.
Incremental: An Incremental Backup backs up the transaction log files of the set of items that have been selected since the most recent Full Backup or Incremental Backup. After the backup is completed, the Exchange Server truncates the transaction logs. This truncation helps maintain the operating health of the Exchange Server.
Differential: A Differential Backup backs up the transaction log files of the set of items that have been selected since the most recent Full Backup or Incremental Backup. Differential Backups do not perform transaction log truncation, and therefore do not maintain the operating health of the Exchange Server.
3
In the Snapshot Options section, complete the following:
Backup Files to Storage: This option, which is selected by default, copies the selected data from snapshots to a storage device. The plug-in uses a VSS provider to create persistent or non-persistent snapshots on the client, and copies the selected data from the snapshot, or snapshots, to the storage device.
Perform Backup Off-Host using Client: Select this option if you want to enable a backup job from a remote NetVault Backup Client that meets the following criteria:
IMPORTANT: To use this option, you must also select the Backup Files to Storage and Retain Array-based Persistent Snapshot options.
Retain Array-based Persistent Snapshot: To retain persistent snapshots on a disk array, select this check box. Note the following:
If the Backup Files to Storage and Retain Array-based Persistent Snapshot check boxes are both selected, the plug-in copies the selected files to a storage device and adds the snapshot information to the backup index.
If you clear the Backup Files to Storage check box and select this check box, the plug-in writes only the index entries to the backup stream and creates persistent snapshots on the disk array.
Discard After: If you selected the Retain Array-based Persistent Snapshot check box and you want to delete persistent snapshots from a disk array after a specified period, select this check box and complete the expiration fields.
Regardless of the expiration settings, a snapshot is automatically deleted when the associated saveset is retired. Therefore, this option is only useful when you want to discard a snapshot before the associated saveset is retired. To expire a snapshot immediately, you must log in to the storage array, and manually expire the snapshot. Otherwise, the snapshot expires according to the retention policy selected while creating the snapshot.
NOTE: To use the Perform Backup Off-Host using Client, Retain Array-based Persistent Snapshot, and Discard After options, the Exchange Mailbox Server that you back up must reside on a NetVault Backup-supported disk array and the vendor’s hardware-based VSS provider must be in place. For more information, see Understanding snapshot-based backups and restores.
4
In the Advanced Options section, complete the following:
Maximum Number of Parallel Streams: To enable the fastest backups possible, the plug-in uses parallel streams to back up the Mailbox Databases simultaneously. This option lets you specify the maximum number of parallel streams to use during a backup. The maximum number of parallel streams must meet both of the following conditions:
Less than Maximum number of Mailbox Databases that can be created. The following table details the maximum number of Mailbox Databases allowed by each Exchange Server version and edition:

Exchange Server 2010

Standard

5 Mailbox Databases

Enterprise

100 Mailbox Databases

Exchange Server 2013

Standard

5 Mailbox Databases

Enterprise

50 Mailbox Databases

Exchange Server 2016

Standard

5 Mailbox Databases

Enterprise

100 Mailbox Databases

Exchange Server 2019

Standard

5 Mailbox Databases

Enterprise

100 Mailbox Databases

IMPORTANT: If you use parallel streams, do not select the Ensure this backup is the first on the media option in the Target Storage section. If the plug-in generates more than one data stream, each data stream targets a separate piece of media and assumes that it is the first backup on the media.
Mount unmounted databases before backup: This option mounts any unmounted databases before attempting to back up the database.
Perform VSS Consistency Check: This option indicates whether a consistency check of the VSS should be performed on the Exchange Mailbox Databases included in the backup job. Quest recommends that you use this option, which is selected by default.
Incomplete Backup of All Items Selected: When multiple items are included in a backup and the plug-in is unable to back up all the selected items, the plug-in lets you specify what action the backup should take. For example, if a job includes multiple Mailbox Databases and the backup of all but one is successful, you can specify what action the backup job should take.
Complete with Warnings — Saveset Retained: The job returns a status of “Backup Completed with warnings” and a backup saveset is created that includes the items that were successfully backed up.
Complete without Warnings — Saveset Retained: The job completes and returns a status of “Backup Completed.” The errors are logged in the NetVault Backup binary logs and ignored on the Job Status page. A backup saveset is created that includes the items that were backed up.
Fail — Saveset Retained: The job returns a status of “Backup Failed.” However, a backup saveset is generated that includes the items that were successfully backed up.
Fail — No Saveset Retained: The job returns a status of “Backup Failed” and no saveset of backed-up objects is kept. That is, even if some of the objects were successfully backed up, the saveset is discarded.
Backup Algorithm in DAG (only available in DAG deployments):
All Active: If you want the Plug‑in for Exchange on each Mailbox Server to back up only the databases that are active when the backup is performed, select this option.
Backup Database Copies with the Lowest Activation Preference Number: Select this option if you want the plug-in to select an available database copy. The plug-in selects the copy with the lowest activation preference number for backup. If a database copy is not available for backup or the copy is disabled, the plug-in selects the active database.
Backup Database Copies with the Highest Activation Preference Number: Select this option if you want the plug-in to select the available database copy with the highest activation preference number. If a database copy is not available for backup or the copy is disabled, the plug-in selects the active database.
Backup Databases from preferred Exchange Server whenever possible: Select this option if you want to specify a list of preferred Exchange Servers to perform backups from and a list of servers to exclude. The plug-in skips database copies that are in a disabled state.
If possible Backup Exchange Databases only from the following Exchange Server: If you selected Backup Databases from preferred Exchange Server whenever possible, enter a comma-separated list of Exchange Servers, in order of preference, that should be used to back up the database. If the database, copy or active, is available in the Exchange Server listed first, it is backed up from that server. If not, the plug-in tries the next server in the list, and so on. If there is not an available copy — including the active database — on any of the listed servers, the plug-in uses the server that contains the active database or the database copy with the lowest activation preference number.
If possible do not Backup Exchange Databases from the following Exchange Server: If you selected Backup Databases from preferred Exchange Server whenever possible, enter a comma-separated list of Exchange Servers, in order of preference, that should not be used to back up the database. The server listed first has the lowest preference. If the database, copy or active, is available on any other Exchange Server, the database is not backed up from the server listed. The plug-in tries to exclude all servers listed in this field. If the database is only available on one of the excluded servers, the plug-in performs the backup using the last server in the list of exclusions.
NOTE: The If possible Backup Exchange Databases only from the following Exchange Server option takes precedence over If possible do not Backup Exchange Databases from the following Exchange Server. If the backup can be performed using a server from the first list, the plug-in does not process the list of excluded servers.
5
Click Save to save the set.
6
In the Create New Set dialog box, specify a name for the set, and click Save.

Finalizing and submitting the backup job

1
Use the Schedule, Target Storage, and Advanced Options lists to configure any additional required options.
2
Click Save or Save & Submit, whichever is applicable.
TIP: To run a job that you have already created and saved, select Manage Job Definitions on the Navigation pane, select the applicable job, and click Run Now.
You can monitor progress on the Job Status page and view the logs on the View Logs page. For more information, see the Quest NetVault Backup Administrator’s Guide.
IMPORTANT: Restarting services that host Exchange VSS Writers, including the Microsoft Exchange Information Store, Microsoft Exchange Replication Service, complete OS reboots, and cluster failovers causes running backup jobs to fail. This failure is due to a loss of in-memory ‘backup-in-progress’ state that Microsoft maintains for VSS backups.

Restoring data

Restore and recovery overview

When preparing to restore an existing backup, several key concepts are useful to understand. The following topics explore these concepts.

The Restore Method is the technology that is selected to perform the restore. The Plug‑in for Exchange supports several Restore Methods, each with its own specific purpose.

During a VSS-based restore, the plug-in instructs the Exchange Store Writer to coordinate with the Exchange Information Store — on behalf of the plug-in — to prepare the system for the restore, verify the restore targets, put back the data from the backup device, and then replay the transaction logs as needed.

Plug‑in for Exchange lets you restore the raw files from storage to a specific target directory. This method provides greater freedom in restoring database files, particularly when restoring files for nontraditional purposes, such as data mining or compliance auditing.

The Copy Files Restore Method does not require that you dismount databases from the Exchange Server. However, Database Recovery is not supported when using this restore method.

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