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NetVault Plug-in for Exchange 12.1 - 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

Reviewing the backup types

The Plug‑in for Exchange provides several essential backup types:

Backup types represent the complete set of options for backing up an Exchange Server with respect to the transaction log management rules.

Full Backups

A Full Backup is the most common type of backup performed. It performs a complete backup of a database or Mailbox Database. A Full Backup does not depend on any other backup and can be restored in a single step.

A Full Backup includes all database files and transaction log files. After a Full Backup is successfully written to a storage device, the Plug‑in for Exchange informs the Exchange Server that the backup was successful. At that point, the Exchange Server can truncate the transaction log files if you have configured Exchange Server to do so. To keep the Exchange Server in good health and maintain its performance, perform regular Full Backups.

Copy Backups

Sometimes a backup must be taken for a special purpose and should not affect the overall backup and restore procedures for the Exchange Information Store. A Copy Backup is used to back up all database files without performing 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 common in scaling and migration scenarios.

Because a Copy Backup does not perform transaction log file truncation, the disk footprint of the Exchange Server does not change as a result of the backup. Therefore, a Copy Backup does not perform any housekeeping measures, and therefore does not maintain the performance of the Exchange Server. Copy Backups should not be considered as a part of a regular backup policy, but as a special-purpose type of backup.

Incremental Backups

Incremental Backups back up the transaction log files that capture the changes made to the database since the most recent Full or Incremental Backup. After the Plug‑in for Exchange informs the Exchange Server that the backup was successful, the Exchange Server then truncates the transaction logs, which helps with maintenance of the Mailbox Databases. Incremental Backups are fast and correspondingly small.

As with a Transaction Logs-Only Backup, an Incremental Backup must always have a base backup, which is often a Full Backup. Performing an Incremental Backup without first performing a Full Backup might lead to backup failures and prevent you from being able to restore and recover your Exchange Server properly.

Do not perform an Incremental Backup in the following conditions:

When an Initial Full Backup has not been created: The transaction log only contains changes made to the database after the last backup was created, which means that a base backup is required.
After an Incremental Backup containing multiple Mailbox Databases fails: In this case, a Full Backup must first be performed before an Incremental Backup can be performed. When an Incremental Backup that contains multiple Mailbox Databases fails, some of the transaction logs are truncated and permanently lost. At that point, the transactions have already been deleted from the Exchange Server logs. Although the data still exists within the Exchange Server, errors would occur if you attempted to restore Incremental Backups that were created after a failed Incremental Backup job. This issue does not apply to a failed Incremental Backup that contains only a single Mailbox Database.
After the Transaction Log is manually truncated: In this case, a Full or Differential Backup must be performed before an Incremental Backup. Microsoft strongly recommends against manually truncating transaction logs.
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