How to Backup Exchange 2010 Mailbox Databases with the internal Windows Server 2008–R2 Backup

Dec 22

Written by:
Saturday, December 22, 2012 6:00 PM  RssIcon

In my own Exchange 2010 environment, the database is on an extra partition. In my case it’s on the D:\ – drive. For the backup I also use a separate drive (the E:\ – drive)

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The DB and the LOG – part are in different folders (for each DB there exists a separate sub folder too)

D:\DB

D:\LOG

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For the database you have normally one .edb – file.

The folder generation problems is the “LogFolderPath” where can exist hundreds of log – Files. The number of these log files increases till (depending on the number of mailboxes in that database and the “mail traffic”) a full database backup is executed.

In the next picture you can see the result when my backup didn’t run for a fee days!

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After a successful (full) backup, the LOG – folder of an Exchange Mailbox database should look like this and only have “a few” files:

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In test environments (but only there!) you can turn on “circular logging”. So you don’t need to run full backups and the log folder won’t explode!

 

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Step by step instructions to create a scheduled backup with the integrated Windows Server 2008 R2 Backup

 

- create / connect partition (in my case E:\) for the backup

- turn off Exchange 2010 circular logging on the databases (if enabled)

- install the backup feature (Server Manager – Features)

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- open Windows Server Backup

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- Start the “Backup Schedule …” – wizard

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- select (x) Custom – configuration

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- press the <Add Items> button to add the drive where your mailbox databases are located (here you see why it’s better to separate the Exchange DB’s from the System files)

in my case I have to add the D:\ – partition

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- press the <Advanced> button

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and here switch to the “VSS Settings” tab

- select VSS full Backup

This is one of the most important steps in the whole configuration!

When you don’t select the “VSS full Backup” option,  the log isn’t truncated at the end and sooner or later you’re running out of disk space on the partition where the DB (the log files) are stored !

When backup starts, at first a shadow copy of the volume is created

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then a consistency check of the Exchange application is executed

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and at the end the real backup starts

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When opening the backup tool you get an overview of the last running backups and their status.

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Here are two links about the same subject with a few additional printscreens:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/datacenter/back-up-exchange-2010-with-this-windows-server-2008-r2-feature/3006

http://www.expta.com/2009/10/how-to-backup-exchange-2010-rtm-at.html