Hi there - this was written in August 2009, 3 months before Exchange 2010 released, and these screen shots are Windows 2008, not Windows 2008 R2. We are now almost 3 mos PAST RTM of Exchange 2010 and there are starting to be other options for backup solutions. I am trying to keep a running list of these here:
Now, on to the main article:
In both Exchange 2007 SP2 on Windows 2008 and Exchange 2010, Microsoft has enabled Windows Server Backup to allow VSS backups of the Exchange database. I hope to shed some light on how to configure these backups, for both one off backups as well as scheduled daily backups.
First off - how to take a ONE off backup.
Launch Windows Server Backup on your mailbox role, and click the "Backup Once…" action.
Not having a schedule at this point, only "Different Options" is a choice
Only full server or custom is a choice. I am OK with Full server, but I will go with Custom for this.
Now, we can see that there is not much granularity to selections. Since this is VSS based, it has to be by disk. You can also see there is no "Information Store" to choose. Select ALL volumes that host Exchange (this is why I am OK with Full Server above)
For location - if I choose local drive, I will have only the DVD as an option. You cannot back up a drive to a drive that it is backing up. (this is the one down side of VSS in my opinion. It was nice to exclude e:\backups and save them there)
If you specify a location already used, you will receive this message.
This is nice because unlike old scheduled ntbackup.exe BKF files, we won't have an ever-growing backup set that is not being watched.
Something to note here - when you do this as a scheduled job, it needs to be a local disk. A network share will not suffice. I have used an iSCSI SAN device
This is an IMPORTANT step. If you choose copy, your tlogs won't be flushed, and your databases will not register as backed up.
Confirm the settings (not pictured screen) and then click BACKUP and you can watch progress of the VSS backup. Here the shadow copy is produced.
Exchange 2010 consistency check being run:
This backup process flushed transaction logs in Exchange 2010, marked the databases housed on Exchange 2010 as backed up. The backup set is larger than my actual Exchange data would be since I am backing up all the binaries on C every time.
This is a GREAT tool and I am very glad Microsoft listened to the need for an included backup utility.