Wednesday , August 12 2020

Does Exchange server 2013 Need a Backup ?

Does Exchange 2013 Need a Backup ?

The answer is “No” in a typical business model . It can be Yes in some cases.

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Lets discuss it in detail .

if Exchange Server is a member of DAG(Database Availability Groups) and databases having healthy copies. Eventually its going to failover with no data loss in the event of failure . where there is no need of real backup .

Exchange Databases are eventually huge as there is a fashion of large mailboxes . Exchange 2013 managed store reduces the IOPS and it makes the Exchange server much efficient   . So that Exchange 2013 can just use JBOD disks to manage the storage. You will need to compare the amount of money you spend on the Backup solutions and dedicating a storage and licensing it , also the amount of man hours spent over managing these backups.

If the features available in Exchange 2013 are correctly configured . You can have the Exchange servers Highly Available with no backups .

Exchange 2013 gives out so many new features like Automatic Reseed as it allows you to configure a spare disk in the event of disk failure where the primary database copy resides(It can be configured for the database copies as well ) .

When we need a backup ?

1. To restore some old data .

2. In the time of disaster recovery.

3. Mail items have been deleted by mistake.

4. Purging Exchange Transaction logs .

Lets see how we can handle these tasks efficiently without a backup.

1. To restore some old data .

if we think that if a mailbox data may need in the future for legal purposes or retain the data for various reasons.We can place the mailbox on Legal hold(Litigation Hold) . So that Mailbox data gets retained forever until the Litigation hold is removed.

This feature allows to restore the data anytime from that mailbox .

To Enable this feature on the mailbox – LitigationHoldEnabled is set to $True.

– LitigationHoldDuration will determine the duration of the Litigation hold.

2. In the time of disaster recovery.

Exchange 2013 gives a option to have a DR (Disaster Recovery) site . Unlike previous versions even Datacenter failover happens automatic . Having the Witness in the third site . or having the witness in any available site in the time of disaster . Even Name space planning have been much simplified in Exchange 2013 where users connect to the other site with ease in the time of disaster .

Disaster like flooding and power Outage is a rare scenario.

if we plan to have exchange servers on a particular site.Datacenters gives almost 99.98 % availability nowadays  .

Tier3 and Tier4 datacenters are much recommended for Cloud Providers and Medium and large Enterprises

Datacenter Tier Level and its differences.
(1)

  • Single non-redundant distribution path serving the IT equipment
  • Non-redundant capacity components
  • Basic site infrastructure with expected availability of 99.671%

(2)

  • Meets or exceeds all Tier 1 requirements
  • Redundant site infrastructure capacity components with expected availability of 99.741%

(3)

  • Meets or exceeds all Tier 2 requirements
  • Multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT equipment
  • All IT equipment must be dual-powered and fully compatible with the topology of a site’s architecture
  • Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure with expected availability of 99.982%

(4)

  • Meets or exceeds all Tier 3 requirements
  • All cooling equipment is independently dual-powered, including chillers and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Fault-tolerant site infrastructure with electrical power storage and distribution facilities with expected availability of 99.995%

 

3. Mail items have been deleted by mistake.

Exchange 2013 by default retains the deleted items for 14 Days. (Value can be customized)

When a user soft deletes the mail item it goes to deleted items.

When the user hard deletes the mail item , It retains the items for another 14 days for recovery purposes by default.

You can also add an extra layer of protection by enabling Single Item Recovery. Where even if the user purges the mail item from Recoverable Items folder . Still mailbox retains the item for 14 days by default.

 

For Single Item Recovery – This parameter SingleItemRecoveryEnabled is set to $True.

 

4. Purging Exchange Transaction logs .

Every exchange server has a load of Transaction logs . which will be purged only when the full backup runs over these databases.

To overcome this situation you can enable circular logging in the Exchange databases which has database copies . When you combine circular logging with continuous replication, you have a new type of circular logging called continuous replication circular logging (CRCL).

CRCL is performed and managed by the Microsoft Exchange Replication service.

Where it overwrites the Logs where it doesn’t allow generation of too much of transaction logs.

 

Hope this article is helpful .

About Satheshwaran Manoharan

Satheshwaran Manoharan is an Microsoft Office Server and Services MVP , Publisher of Azure365pro.com. Specialized in Office365 / Microsoft Exchange / Virtualization , Sathesh is an Messaging Expert supporting/Designing/Deploying many medium size businesses to large enterprises when it comes to Corporate messaging and Virtualization Infrastructure

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5 comments

  1. How about the active database copy? should we enable circular logging on active database also? if we don’t enable circular logging on active database then how the transaction logs will get purged?

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      Yes we can enable Circular Logging in active Database copy as well .

      If we don’t enable circular logging .
      The only way to purge transaction logs is to run a full back up on it .

  2. If we configure backupless Exchange 2013 environment, then how we will be able to restore historical data from Exchange server in case if need arises in the future. Let’s say for example, if someone need an email or bunch of emails from last two years, then how are we going to restore those emails? I think it is not a good idea to have backupless Exchange 2013 environment. Despite its high availability and site resiliency features, we still need a robust and reliable backup system in place.

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      We should have email archiving . If there is such requirement going to come .
      Backup less doesn’t suit all the environments.
      Just putting a argument in the table

  3. also
    try restoring public folder stuff folders and subfolder
    or users folder and subfolder.
    big problem using native exchange:(

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