Backup Exchange 2007 with NTBACKUP

The Right Way to Backup Exchange Server 2007

Option # 1 – use a backup that is an off-line-level backup. Take the database off-line, do the backup and put it back on-line.

Option # 2 – the best type of backup for an Exchange Server is an “exchange-aware” backup. This type of backup will capture all the Exchange data properly and it will flush the Exchange logs, which are very important for your server recovery.

NTBackup is a type of “exchange-aware” backup. It is one of the most popular Exchange backup system for small to medium size businesses and it’s available from Microsoft. In fact, you probably already have it on your Exchange Server and don’t even know it.

One thing to keep in mind is that using an “exchange-aware” backup is not enough to create a proper Exchange copy. You have to make sure to configure these backups in “exchange-aware” fashion, which I will explain in more detail below.

What to Backup on Exchange Server?

Not everything on your Exchange Server needs to be backed up. However, there are a few things that must be backed-up to be able to run a successful recovery:

  • Mail databases – as mentioned above, in an “exchange-aware” fashion
  • System State files and folders
  • Files and folders under Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ with the exception of the Storage Group Folders in Mailbox directory as they are going to be backed up in an “exchange-aware” fashion also

Now that we know what to backup and which type of backup to choose, let’s go over the steps of a backup procedure.

Performing the NTBackup on Exchange Server 2007

We got the most important Exchange backup basics covered and now we’re ready for the steps on how to configure your NTBackup. I know this is what you have been waiting for, so let’s get started.

  1. To start, login to your Exchange Server, click on the Start Menu, select Run, type in ntbackup and hit Enter:Backup 1
  2. In the Backup Utility window for NTBackup, click on the Backup tab:Backup 2
  3. You will see all your hard drives listed in this window; you will also see a System State listed, as well as the Microsoft Exchange Serveroption.Expand the Microsoft Exchange Server all the way down until you are able to see your Storage Groups. In my example below, there are two Storage Groups listed: First Storage Group and Second Storage GroupBackup 3
  4. Go ahead and check the boxes next to all of your Storage Groups:Backup 4
  5. Next, expand your Local Disk where your Exchange Server was installed and then the Program Files Folder:Backup 5
  6. Locate the Microsoft folder and expand it. You should now be able to find the “Exchange Server” folder. Go ahead and check the box next to it:Backup 6
  7. Now remember, we need to exclude the Storage Group folders from that directory. So expand the Exchange Server folder and then the Mailboxfolder:Backup 7
  8. Uncheck the checkboxes next to all of your Storage Group folders. In my example I am unselecting the box next to First Storage Group and Second Storage Group.Backup 8
  9. Alright, we’re almost done here. The last thing we need to remember is to check the box next to our System State, so let’s do this now:Backup 9
  10. Now it’s time for you to select the backup destination. You can select a network drive, a secondary local disk or a media tape:Backup 10
  11. After you have selected your backup destination, click on the Start Backupbutton:Backup 11
  12. At this point you have two sets of options:
    • Option Set #1 – Choose between appending the backup to the media or replacing the data. I’m going to replace the data.
    • Option Set #2 – Start the backup right away, or create a schedule. In my example, I’m going to start it right away.

    When you have made your selections, click on the Start Backup button to start the actual backup process:

    Backup 12

  13. Once the backup is completed you will see the screen below. At this time you have successfully preformed an Exchange Server backup – the Right Way! Backup 13
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