Disaster Recovery

Traditional Backups using DPM 2012 for Exchange 2010 SP2

Traditional Backups using DPM 2012 for Exchange 2010 SP2

Last week I posted how to restore using EMC, this time it’s up to proof that DPM 2012 (System Center Data Protection Manager) is a software to count on. So here’s a step-by-step guide how DPM 2012 can be configured for backing/protecting Exchange 2010.

I’m using a Windows 2008 R2 for the DPM server together with a 50 GB disk for the backup data (I have small Exchange databases).

Start “System Center 2012 DPM Administrator Console”.

Prerequisites

Note: Make sure to not use circular logging, or else the protection/backups won’t work.

Step 1. Go to the “Monitoring” section and have a look, it looks pretty much the same as DPM 2010 did.

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Step 2. Go to “Management” section and and take a look at the disks, I’ve added my 50GB disk by pressing the “Disks” and then press the “Add” button and selecting the disk. After that it should show up just like the picture below.

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Step 3. Press “Agents” in the Management section, then press the “Install” button and you will have a nice wizard helping you. Since my Exchange server is in the same domain as the DPM server and no firewalls between, I did select “Install agents”. Press Next.

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Step 4. Select the server you want to backup/protect and press “Add” button. Press Next.

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Step 5. Make sure to insert credentials that have necessary permissions for being allowed to install the agent (local administrator rights).

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Step 6. Since I want to restart the server myself and have the full control, I did select “No. I will restart the selected computers later.” Press Next.

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Installation progress will be shown.

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When the agent installation is completed, it should show the status in “Management” section and “Agents”.

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Now when the prerequisites are in place, we can proceed with the protection groups creation.

Protect/Backup Exchange 2010

Step 1. Go to “Protection” section and press “New” in the upper left corner and a wizard will start.

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Step 2. Press Next.

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Step 3. Select Servers. Press Next.

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Step 4. Select the server/DAG and the databases you want to protect. Press Next.

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Step 5. Give the Protection Group a friendly name. Press Next.

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Step 6. I want DPM to verify the data integrity, put a checkbox in the option “Run Eseutil to check data integrity” and select “Run for both database and log files (maybe slow if databases are large)”. Press Next.

Note: Make sure to copy the “Ese.dll” and “Eseutil.exe” files from \bin folder from Exchange server into the DPM server folder “\DPM\bin\”. Or else this won’t be possible and an error message like below will show up.

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Step 7. The selected databases shows up, I want to have full copy of them so I’m going with the default setting. Press Next.

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Step 8. Specify how long the backup data should be retained and how often it should do incremental/synchronization backup, also specify when you want the full backups to run. Press Next.

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Step 9. A summary is showed of data size, modifications can be done. I’ll go for the default settings. Press Next.

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Step 10. I want DPM to take a full replica right now. Press Next.

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Step 11. I’ve selected both options and wants my consistency check to run at 12:00 with a maximum duration of 168 hours (1 week). Press Next.

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Step 12. Summary of settings is shown. Press “Create Group”.

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After a while, the status should be Successful. Press Close button.

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When the wizard is completed, the job for taking full replica starts, below is some example pictures.

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Every 15min my setup is doing an incremental backup, in the “Protection” section it shows when it’s running.

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Have a look in the reports to see how things are going, go to “Reporting” section and select a report you are interest in, I have selected “Recovery Point Status”. A small example of it is shown below.

Those reports can be scheduled and emailed very easy.

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Next blog post will be how to restore / recover data using DPM 2012 for Exchange 2010.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to leave a comment

Exchange 2010 Restore to Recovery Database using EMC Networker

Exchange 2010 Restore to Recovery Database using EMC Networker

Published: 2012-07-05
Updated: –
Version: 1.0

Here’s a complete step-by-step guide for doing restore using EMC Networker for Exchange 2010.
Personally I’ve used these steps when doing restore of end user mailbox and/or items that has been lost.

Start up “Networker User for Microsoft Applications”, right click Recover and select “Exchange 2010 Recover Session” and select “Database Recover”.

Make sure that the Client selection is pointed to the DAG or specific server.

After a while it will show Microsoft Exchange 2010 and the databases below, right click the database you want to restore and select “Versions”.

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Select the date you want to restore from and put a checkbox in “Use selected item backup time as new browse time”. Press OK.

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Check so that the database and logs are selected and press “Advance Recover..”

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Control so that the source database is correct and that “Recovery Database (RDB) Recovery” is selected. Press Next.

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Press the Create button.

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Make sure that you have sufficient amount of free disk space before starting the restore.
Save the edb/database file in a folder and give it a friendly name. Press Save.

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Give the RDB a friendly name and press Create.

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RDB is created successfully.

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When the RDB is created, mount it by pressing Mount button.

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Mounted successfully.

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Press the “RDB Overwrite” button for making sure that Networker is allowed to overwrite the RDB.

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Press Next.

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Check the summary and press “Start Recover”.

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You can monitor the restore process by going to “Monitor” on the left side. It will show information about the restore.

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When the restore is completed, it will notify with a window like this.

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The last step before everything is restored is to merge/copy the data from the RDB into a mailbox.
I’m using the command “Restore-Mailbox”

The command below is an example from my restore, it restores the mailbox called “LostMailbox” into my mailbox called “Jonas” and puts the contents into a folder called “Recovery”:

Restore-Mailbox –Identity Jonas –RecoveryDatabase RDB –RecoveryMailbox LostMailbox –TargetFolder Recovery

Then it’s pretty easy to use Outlook and move the contents to the correct mailbox, or else put the contents directly into the right mailbox. It’s up to you!

Source: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125218.aspx

MSExchangeSA service doesn’t start

MSExchangeSA service doesn’t start

Published: 2011-11-17
Updated: 2011-11-20
Version: 1.1

A while ago I got a power outage within my lab, so nothing serious this time..
But anyway I got a problem with that the service “MSExchangeSA” didn’t start and it couldn’t be started manually.

And this needs to be said before you will follow and steps here, I think this is unsupported…
With that said, use the information below on your own risk.
But it worked for me this time.

Those errors below did appear in the event viewer when I tried to start the service manually.

Finally we had the message that it failed to start so I started digging after related errors.
And found errors around Kerberos and PAC..

After some time trying to find solution on this error I found some post that told them to rejoin the server to the domain.
Since this is a lab I was giving it a try and it worked for me.

I started to reset the computer account for the server in DSA.MSC.

The next step was to remove the server from the domain and move into workgroup “mode”.
Make sure that you know the local administrator account before restarting, then restart the server.

When it has been restarted, logon with the local administrator account and rejoin it into the domain again and give it a restart.

When it has been restarted, verify the services and the event viewer.
In my case the service did start up perfectly and without errors in the event viewer

Hope this helps someone that might hit into the same issue

A helpful comment received from Lee Benjamin, a trick to rejoin the server with only in a single step..
In the Domain field, enter the NetBIOS name of the Domain. In your example that would likely be “target” (instead of target.local).
In the rename process, the name will be automatically be expanded. Then only a single reboot is necessary.

Thanks a lot Lee for the helpful trick!

Protect Exchange databases using DPM 2010

 

Published: 2011-08-04
Updated: –
Version: 1.0

 

 

Those step-by-steps followed in this article is one way to reach the goal and protect the Exchange databases using DPM 2010.
A guide for Recovering the databases and contents will be provided.

I was posting a recovery guide using DPM 2010 Beta, it can be found here.
But I will in a short while post a new one using DPM 2010 RTM.

 

Prerequisites


DPM installation is successfully completed with all of its requirements.

 

 

Let’s start with checking so that the disk is in placed where we want to keep the backup data.
It should be unallocated like the picture below shows.


 

Start up “DPM 2010 Administrator Console” and go to “Management”, first press “Rescan” so all disks are refreshed.
Then press the “Add” button.


 

Disk 1 will be shows, select the disk and press the “Add” button and “OK”.



 

Here’s the result of adding the disk. It should show up under the Disks tab.


 

Under “Management”, press the tab called “Agents”. Press the “Install…” button.


 

Select the “Install agents” and press Next.


 

Select the Exchange server and press “Add”.


 

The selection is done, press Next.


 

Type in the credentials, it needs to be an account with administrator rights on the specific server. Press Next.


 

I want to have the control over my server so I wish to restart it myself. Press Next.


 

Agent installation process information.. Press Close.


 

The server should appear under the Agents tab in the Console.


 

Select “Protection” in the menu, and press “Create Protection group…”


 

Information window is showed. Press Next.


 

In this case it’s a Server we want to protect, select it and press Next.


 

Expand the Server and select “Exchange 2010 Databases”, then every database is selected. Press Next.


 

Give the Protection group a friendly name, mine is called “Exchange Protection Group”. Press Next.


 

I want to use the feature that DPM check’s the data integrity using eseutil. Press Next.
Ese.dll and Eseutil.exe needs to be copied from the Exchange server and placed into the DPM installation path, in the Bin folder.


 

Press Next. (Since my environment is a single server..)


 

I want to save the backups for 7 days and I want the backup to run every 15min, and a Full Backup everyday at 20.00 (8 PM).
Press Next.


 

Press Next.


 

I want to create my replica right away. If this is a production environment it’s recommended to do this when the load is under the average usage.
Pres Next.


 

I want to run a consistency check on the replicas. Press Next.


 

A summary is shown. Press Create Group.


 

The Replicas is created. Press Close when it’s done.



 

It takes a while before the replicas have been created, that will depend on how large the databases are.


 

After a while the databases should show the status that they are proctected, the status will then be OK.


 

 

I would recommend to explore the Reporting part if you want some kind of reports about the backups.

Exchange is now protected using DPM 2010.

Thanks for reading and feel free to give any kind of feedback regarding the article

Exchange 2010 and Symantec Backup Exec Restore Scenarios

 

Published: 2011-07-22
Updated: –
Version: 1.0

 

Here are some restore scenarios that I will show how to use with Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R3 together with Exchange native tools.

 

Restore single item/content

 

Mailbox view, delete of the latest email content.

 

The mail is now deleted.

 

Empty recycle bin as well.

 

Go into Symantec Backup Exec console and select “New Restore Job…”. It’s placed in the upper right.

 

Select the mailbox and content that should be restored.

 

Restore Job Activity overview..

 

When the restore job is completed, the Mail content is restored into the mailbox.

 

 

 

Restore mailbox into subfolder in another mailbox

 

 

Go into Symantec Backup Exec console and select “New Restore Job…”. It’s placed in the upper right.

 

Select the Database, including Logs.

 

Destination: type in \\Server03 (My Exchange server) and selecting to use a redirect using VSS to a path using the browse button.

 

Microsoft Exchange: deselecting “Automatically recreate user accounts and mailboxes”.

 

The restore job has started.

 

Browsing the path on the Exchange server, files are restored to the server.
Make sure both the edb and the log files are in the same folder, the job will be easier to complete then.

 

Directory browsing in “R:\RDB…”.

 

Check what state the database is in, using the command:
eseutil /mh DB.edb“.
It says: State: Dirty shutdown.
This means we need to use eseutil to run a soft recovery using the log files together with the database so it will get into “Clean shutdown” state.

 

It’s time for the soft recovery using the command below:
eseutil /R E01 /D

 

Checking the state after the soft recovery using:
eseutil /mh DB.edb

 

Let’s create a Recovery Database by using:
New-MailboxDatabase –Name RDB –Recovery –EdbFilePath ‘R:\RDB\Exchange Server\DB\DB.edb’ –LogFolderPath ‘R:\RDB\Exchange Server\DB’ –Server Server03

It will prompt with a warning that the database state needs to be in Clean Shutdown state.
Mounting the database:
Mount-Database –id RDB

 

Checking which mailboxes that resides in the RDB database by using:
Get-MailboxStatistics –Database RDB“.

 

Next step is to create a Restore Request using the RDB:
New-MailboxRestoreRequest –SourceDatabase RDB –SourceStoreMailbox “Klas Andersson” –TargetMailbox “Klas.Andersson@target.local” –TargetRootFolder Recovery“.

 

To see what status the request has:
Get-MailboxRestoreRequest | Get-MailboxRestoreRequestStatistics“.

 

Below is a picture from Outlook when the Request is completed.

 

Time for the clean up afterwards..

When the request is completed, remove it:
Get-MailboxRestoreRequest | Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest“.

 

Dismounting the database:
Dismount-Database RDB“.

 

Removing database using:
Remove-MailboxDatabase RDB“.

 

 

If you want to restore a mailbox into another that doesn’t match the LegacyDN the switch “-AllowLegacyDNMismatch” needs to be used.
In my case I’m restoring the mailbox for Klas Andersson into Anette Andersson’s mailbox using the command below:
New-MailboxRestoreRequest –SourceDatabase RDB –SourceStoreMailbox “Klas Andersson” –TargetMailbox “Anette.Andersson@target.local” –TargetRootFolder Recovery –AllowLegacyDNMismatch”.

 

 

 

Restore user and mailbox

 

If it happens that a user/mailbox is accidental deleted it can be easily recreated and restored by using Backup Exec.
First we remove the mailbox and the user account from EMC. The picture below shows that.

 

Go into Symantec Backup Exec console and select “New Restore Job…”. It’s placed in the upper right.

 

Select the mailbox that was previously deleted.

 

Microsoft Exchange: Make sure that the option “Automatically recreate user accounts and mailboxes” are selected.
Let’s start the restore job.

 

Restore Job Activity status..

 

Starting Outlook, it shows that everything is back like it was before.

 

 

 

 

More information and resources

Recovery Databases
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876954.aspx

How to recover an Exchange server
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd876880.aspx
http://www.testlabs.se/blog/2010/03/09/recover-failed-exchange-2007-server-installation/

Dial tone recovery:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd979810.aspx

Install and create backup jobs with Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R3

 

Published: 2011-06-21
Updated: –
Version: 1.0

 

Infrastructure setup

 

 

This guide is not a best practice guide in any way, it should be treated as an example on how it can be done.

I’m going to use the GRT feature with Backup Exec (BE) to being able to recover individual items etc.

 

Installation of Backup Exec 2010 R3

 

Startup browser.exe and select Installation and press Backup Exec.

 

Type in the license keys. Press Next.

 

Type in the service account that should be used, in my case “target\SA-BE2010” and password. Press Next.

 

The installation finds my Exchange server and wants to install the remote agent. Press Next.

 

The installation is done. Press Next.

 

Starting up the Backup Exec console. Press “Get software patches and updates”. Update with the latest hotfixes. Press Next.

 

The updates have been installed. Press Finish.

 

The arrows on the picture are marking the steps that are going to be configured. Start with Create Logon Accounts.

 

Press Next.

 

I’m selecting to Edit my account “SA-BE2010” and typing in my password. Press Next.

 

Selecting “Common logon account..”. Press Next.

 

Press “Configure Devices”.

 

I want to use “Backup-To-Disk Folder” option. Select that one.

 

The wizard starts. Press Next.

 

Give the Folder a name “Backup-To-Disk Folder”. Press Next.

 

Browse for a folder to save the backups into. Press Next.

 

I don’t want to allocate the maximum size right away. Press Next.

 

Default values are used, 4 GB per backup-to-disk file. Press Next.

 

Default values are used, 100 backup sets per backup-to-disk file. Press Next.

 

Maximum of 2 concurrent jobs. Press Next.

 

The disk space threshold is set to 500 MB. Press Next.

 

A summary is shown. Press Next.

 

Press Finish.

 

Select “Create Media Sets”.

 

Since this is the first time, we want to create a new media set. Press Next.

 

The media set is given the name “Exchange”. Press Next.

 

Default values are used. Press Next.

 

Default values are used. Press Next.

 

A Summary is shown. Press Next.

 

Press Finish.

 

The 3 “Getting started” tasks are now completed.

 

 

Service Account

Before the installation started I was creating an account named “SA-BE2010” and it’s a member of “Domain Admins” and “Organization Management”.

 

Restore options

Go to Tools -> Options -> Microsoft Exchange. Put a checkbox in “Automatically recreate user accounts and mailboxes”,
set a default password by pressing “Change Password..”. Then press OK.

 

 

 

Create the backup job

Select “Job Setup” and on the left side press “New job using wizard”.

 

Selecting Custom and browsing for “Server03.target.local” which is my Exchange server.
Choosing the Microsoft Information Store and check the databases to the right. Press Next.

 

The backup method that’s used is “Full backup job”. Press Next.

 

I want to run the backup schedule; every day at 23.00 (11.00 PM). Press Next.

 

Select “Backup-to-disk folder” and selecting the “device” we created in earlier setup. Press Next.

 

Keeping the default values. Press Next.

 

Summary view. Press Submit.

 

Verification of the backup job

Starting the backup job manually and open it up.

 

A summary of the backup job.

 

Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2010 on VMware vSphere Best Practices Guide

 

VMware has released a best practice guide for how to deploy Exchange 2010.
This paper hopefully will cover most parts including ESX host best practice, performance etc.

The paper can be found here:
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/Exchange_2010_on_VMware_-_Best_Practices_Guide.pdf

Source: http://virtualization.info/en/news/2010/11/paper-microsoft-exchange-2010-on-vmware-vsphere-best-practices-guide.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Virtualization_info+%28virtualization.info%29

Recover failed Exchange 2007/2010 server installation

A time ago I had a little problem with an Exchange 2007 (SP1) installation.
The server I was using was prepared with Windows 2008 R2 Standard and I was told that this should be supported if Exchange 2007 is using SP2.
Well, with that said I could install Exchange 2007 including SP1 if I used Compatibility mode. But when I should update it to SP2 it wouldn’t run the installation even if I used the Compatibility mode.

The only option that was available for me was to uninstall Exchange 2007, but the uninstallation told me that this wasn’t supported and failed right away.

I did that dramatic thing to power off the server, reinstall Windows and this time it was with Windows 2008 including SP2 because I knew this is working really well.
The nice thing here is that I reinstalled the server, gave it the same hostname and ip address, joined it to the domain.

But what about Exchange?
In Active Directory it already exists so it cannot be installed again?

Maybe you know this but if you don’t, it’s a really nice feature to recover an Exchange server using
setup.com /recoverserver
(This recovery switch could also be applied on Exchange 2010)

It will then checks Active Directory for the information and recover almost all information, so in maybe 2 hours I was back on track J

An article that describes the installation problem of Exchange 2007 on a Windows 2008 R2 server
http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/windows-server/no-exchange-2007-on-windows-2008-r2-%E2%80%93-but-why/

Can’t mount Public Folders

For a couple of months ago i had a really hard problem while demoting an old Exchange 2003 after a transition to Exchange 2007.
I couldn’t uninstall it and had to do it the hard way with disable services, delete them from registry and delete files etc.

After the operation the Exchange 2007 server couldn’t mount the Public Folder database store.

But found a solution well hidden on a forum and I want to share it with you J
it’s kind of copy and paste on this.

Open adsiedit.msc

Select Configuration-Configuration-Services-Microsoft Exchange-Orgname-Administrative Groups-Exchange Administrative Group.

Now we were missing the ‘Folder Hierarchies’ folder – how I still am unsure of. All we had to do was recreate it as follows:

Create the “Folder Hierarchies” under the Exchange Administrative Group

1. Right click on Exchange Administrative Group

2. Select New Object

3. Select msExchPublicFolderTreeContainer for the class and click Next

4. Enter the following for the value: Folder Hierarchies, click Next

5. Click Finish

 
 

Create Public Folder Tree Object

1. Right click CN=Folder Hierarchies -> New Object

2. Selected msExchPFTree for the class

3. For the value we entered, “Public Folders” and clicked next

4. Clicked on the “More Attributes” button, selected msExchPFTreeType and set the value to 1. Note: This is very important that this value is set to a value of 1 as this tells Exchange that this is a MAPI Tree

5. Click Ok and then finish

 
 

Populate msExchOwningPFTreeBL attribute object of the PF Stores in the organization

(Since this attribute is not directly editable, you have to follow the below steps to do this for each PF store)

1. Get properties of the newly created “Public Folders” Tree object in ADSIEdit.

2. Copy the distinguishedname value to the clipboard and then click cancel.

3. Navigate to the Storage group that contains the Public Folder Store for this server and get properties of the public folder database object in the folder.

4. Locate the msExchOwningPFTree attribute and paste in the value that was copied to the clipboard in step 2. Click OK.

5. Restart the Information Store Service

6. Now try to mount the PF store and see if we can access it fine now.

 
 

Soon as the Information Store service was restarted it came online. Thankfully…

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