Most of the business communications are these days carried out through emails. Even in the organizations that have full-fledged enterprise level CRM system in place, many sales related communications takes place through emails, particularly in the initial phase. Many of the emails contain critical client related information as email attachments that can be required anytime in the contract phase. Hence, Exchange Server data protection should be of primary importance for all the Exchange Server administrators.
When it comes to Exchange Server data protection, there are different measures that you can take. All these measures can be broadly classified into two parts based on the approach: pre-emptive measures where you try to prevent the occurrence of a disaster situation that can put the data to risk; and reactive measures where you make provisions after a disaster has struck.
Here we will discuss how backups can be a used a very effective methods to deal with any unforeseen circumstances. Exchange Server backups can be used in any of the following situations:
To recover from disaster situation: If your Exchange environment experiences a hardware or software failure, Exchange Server backups can help you to restore to a point-in-time with zero loss of data.
Recover any accidently deleted item: If any User deletes an email item accidentally, it can be restored from the correct backup. With Exchange 2013, the recovery of accidentally deleted items is even faster with Recoverable Item folder and the Hold policy that can be applied to it.
Uphold Compliance: Compliance requirements require you to archive email data for extended period of time. Backup is an excellent way to archive email communication to satisfy compliance requirements.
With Exchange 2013, many such features have been decentralized and even end Users can archive, perform granular recovery and search across mailboxes.
Let’s see what all options are available to backup Exchange Server data:
Normal backup: Normal backup process backups the entire Exchange Server and directory in its entirety. The log files are also backed up. You can restore mailboxes from just a normal backup.
Creating a Copy: A Copy backup is similar to the normal backup without the incremental and differential context. It can be used to backup the entire Exchange Store without disturbing the state of any incremental or differential backups that might be going on.
Incremental: This type of back up only backups the components that have changed since last normal or incremental backup. To restore from an incremental backup, normal backup and all incremental backups created in between are required.
Differential: This kind of backup captures the changes that have occurred since last normal backup and the current state. To restore from this kind of backups, one normal backup the specific differential backup is required.
While recovering data from backups, you may require to setup a recovery server apart from the production Exchange Server; this causes additional cost for setting up an expensive recovery server. There are some third-party software that can restore data directly from backups, thus doing away the need of recovery server and save significant cost. Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager is a third-party application that can be tried in such situations.