In this article we look at several types of backup options present in Ms Exchange Server
You can find multiple ways for backing up data in MS Exchange, which will help you keep data safe and secure. However it is important to note, that none of these methods are full proof and often require to be accompanied with other methods for best results. All the methods come with a set of advantages and disadvantages which you need to be aware of before you can make a selection of which method to use. Given below are the advantages and disadvantages of various backup options available in MS Exchange Server.
1. Online Backups
These are one of the most commonly used backups for MS Exchange Server, primarily because these are way more stable and mature than other backup options available. However, one of the biggest drawback of this method is that it requires your backup software to be the one that is Exchange Server Aware. The in-built backup program NTBACKUP is automatically modified, at the time of installation of Exchange, to make it aware of server. However, in-case of third party software, you will have to buy an extension for Exchange Server. These backups might also lead to a certain amount of data loss
2. Offline Backups
Although these are reliable, they might not be best for day to day use. While offline backups take place, the Exchange Server database is also offline, in a known state. These are ideal when migrating from one server to another, because this does not allow sending or receiving message till the database is online. This does not require your backup software to be Exchange Aware, because backup takes place at file level. But the drawback of using offline backup is that, this requires you to make your Exchange database offline, thus disallowing everyone to access it.
3. Continuous Data Protection
This is a more recent kind of back up for Exchange Server, it involves quick backing up during day, instead of lengthier backup lasting through the nights, thus reducing data loss during a disaster. This involves backing up data frequently so that backups do not last long and do not require a backup window. This process is extensive and requires a dedicated backup server, it uses disk storage as the primary storage service and requires regular backups to tape. Here you will also have to take into consideration the licensing cost.
4. Continuous Replication
This is much like Continuous Data Protection, it makes use of log shipping for copying log files to a safe location. The benefit here is that, log files are transferred right when they are filled, meaning even more frequent backups, as compared to ones in previous method. This is a native method and requires no additional software. However, this method should not be your sole backup method, it can help against hard drive failure but not against corruption of data. This will copy the corrupted log files along with the safe ones. This can work only in 2007 edition of MS Exchange
Besides the backup methods mentioned above, user can also convert data present in their Exchange accounts into PST files using ost to pst conversion tools available in the market.
Van Sutton is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including outlook recovery and bkf recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com