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disaster recovery

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disaster recovery - 4.Jun.2002 2:29:00 PM   
Guest
Hi,

Im in the process of documenting a disaster recovery process. To be honest its not going to good and I hope someone can help me here.
I have carried out the following steps.
1)Built a new DC and replicated AD to it
2)Installed all applications, except Exchange
3)Backed up the system state to tape
4)Took server off the LAN

*Now Im trying to run Exchange in Disaster recovery but its asking me to run forest prep?? Does anyone have any suggestions or am I way off.

Many thanks
  Post #: 1
RE: disaster recovery - 4.Jun.2002 5:16:00 PM   
nated0g

 

Posts: 125
Joined: 31.Jan.2002
From: Denver, CO
Status: offline
I'm not sure I follow your DR process: Are you going to always have an additional GC at a remote location replicating AD? If not, you need to re-adjust your process. Take a System State restore from your current environment and learn how to restore it on the hardware that would be your DR hardware. Then proceed with building and recovering the other servers (GC's and Exchange). Find a couple whitepapers and go thru them - MS, Compaq and EMC all have good whitepapers on their sites regarding DR. (not sure about Compaq anymore since their site is HP now). Anyway, I have done a decent amount of DR for E2k, so research it a bit and feel free to email me if you have other questions. Good luck

nate

(in reply to Guest)
Post #: 2
RE: disaster recovery - 4.Jun.2002 6:08:00 PM   
Guest
Thanks for your reply.
Basically what Im trying to do is to simulate my exchange server on a test LAN. Then I want to practice database restore etc.. I have been given a server but this will not be used as a standbye server.
What I have done so far is install a new server on the LAN, promote it as a DC. I have taken a backup of my Exchange database (exchvr folder, mailboxes and information staore) from my live server and I am trying to restore it to the test server. Basically for the test I want 2 exchange servers. One on the Lan and the other off the Lan and with the test server I can play around with and practice different restores.
Am I making a total mess of this?

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  Post #: 3
RE: disaster recovery - 4.Jun.2002 6:11:00 PM   
prey

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 4.Jun.2002
From: Central California
Status: offline
Hi Matt,

We've off-loaded our Exchange (and 2000 Server) Disaster Recovery to Veritas. We, like you, tried following Microsoft's tact, but was only able to realize a partial recovery. After, that experience and one other Exchange Server failure, we began deploying Veritas Backup Exec with the Exchange Server add-in and Disaster Recovery modules.

To date, we've recovered 3 servers, one a catastrophic failure, and have had excellent results. I realize these products cost more than using MicrosoftĂs ˘out-of-box÷ solutions, but in each of our recoveries, the products have paid for themselves probably twice over!

I highly recommend themÓ

-Paul

quote:
Originally posted by <Mattc>:
Hi,

Im in the process of documenting a disaster recovery process. To be honest its not going to good and I hope someone can help me here.
I have carried out the following steps.
1)Built a new DC and replicated AD to it
2)Installed all applications, except Exchange
3)Backed up the system state to tape
4)Took server off the LAN

*Now Im trying to run Exchange in Disaster recovery but its asking me to run forest prep?? Does anyone have any suggestions or am I way off.

Many thanks


(in reply to Guest)
Post #: 4
RE: disaster recovery - 4.Jun.2002 9:25:00 PM   
speedracercjr

 

Posts: 66
Joined: 10.Apr.2002
From: Livingston, Tx
Status: offline
I would also suggest Veritas with the Exchange agent. We have recovered our exchange server once and our file server once...these were both NT4 so we didn't even have the system state option. Now that we are using W2K on all of our server i think things will go even more smoother! I will have to say that veritas is defintly a good product.

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Post #: 5
RE: disaster recovery - 5.Jun.2002 1:23:00 AM   
nated0g

 

Posts: 125
Joined: 31.Jan.2002
From: Denver, CO
Status: offline
Hey everybody, just as an FYI, NTbackup (included with W2k) is an OEM'd subset of Veritas Backup Exec. The latest version (SP2) works fine for Exchange and AD, however, it is not as robust in features, but it is cluster and Exchange aware.

Now, Matt, I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be: first, are you preparing for disaster recovery (catastrophic event - hardware and facility wiped out) OR are you meaning more to test storage group and database restores and learn how to recover mailboxes, etc? If the latter, just build a stand-alone restore server (separate forest, etc)and continue your testing. If you are looking into true DR, you may need to re-think your test process. Let me know what exactly you want to accomplish and I'll help out if possible. Also, let me agree with the other guys that Veritas products are very solid and if set up correctly, will make it much easier to restore or recover from bad things, but $$ is an issue. You can accomplish all of this via NTbackup, just takes a little more work and planning.

Matt, respond here or email me and I may have some insight that you will find helpful (and I may not, that's just the way it goes). later

nate

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Post #: 6
RE: disaster recovery - 5.Jun.2002 4:23:00 PM   
Guest
Thanks guys, its like my head is stuck in sand!

I want to practice database recovery and mailbox recovery. But I want to use a replica of the mailbox's that users use and I also want to time how long it will take to restore the database. I have a test server but its not the same spec. I will probably use veritas DR for a full recovery but I need to practice the other areas as they are the one that I will probably have to do most.
Many thanks,

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  Post #: 7
RE: disaster recovery - 5.Jun.2002 5:45:00 PM   
prey

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 4.Jun.2002
From: Central California
Status: offline
Hi Nate (or Carl)

If I'm not mistaken, I believe what you say is accurate, but to TRULY backup Exchange with NTBackup, you must stop the Exchange services first. Otherwise, it just skips over all the mailboxes... Am I correct? If not, NTBackup is a MUCH better utility than I realized!

-Paul

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Carl Spackler (asst. Greens-keeper):
[QB]Hey everybody, just as an FYI, NTbackup (included with W2k) is an OEM'd subset of Veritas Backup Exec. The latest version (SP2) works fine for Exchange and AD, however, it is not as robust in features, but it is cluster and Exchange aware.

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Post #: 8
RE: disaster recovery - 5.Jun.2002 7:47:00 PM   
nated0g

 

Posts: 125
Joined: 31.Jan.2002
From: Denver, CO
Status: offline
Hey guys:

Matt, you just need to build a stand-alone restore server (HW doesn't matter as long as it can handle AD, DNS and Exchange on the same box) to test recovering stores and mailboxes. You MUST use the same Exhcange Org name, Administrative Group name and the Storage Group and Database names must match those that you want to restore - AD naming and server name don't matter a bit. MS has several articles/whitepapers on doing this and it's pretty easy - you can pretty much follow the defaults for the installs, just take special care of the naming. I have done it more times than I care to count. NTbackup (I currently have version 5.0.2195.2552) will work fine and I have used it many times for this. I have heard/read that some older versions of NTbackup will NOT work with E2k, but I cannot remember which version...

Paul, NTbackup does perform a TRUE online backup of Exchange stores (with the services running - otherwise you would just do an offline backup) including flushing the logs after a successful full backup. I have done it over and over and used the the backup files to restore Stores and recover mailboxes. It's not a bad little utility, considering it's free. It is Exchange aware and even cluster aware (however, even though NTbackup is cluster aware, the scheduler in W2k is not - poor design) Either way, it works just fine for TRUE online Exchange backups.

Hope this helps, drop me a line if there are other questions. Later fellas.

nate

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Post #: 9
RE: disaster recovery - 6.Jun.2002 5:08:00 PM   
Guest
excellent!

Thanks for the help.

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  Post #: 10

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