How to retrieve individual E-mail from Exchange backup using Symantec Backup Exec 2010

I have seen so many questions keep on appearing in the forums regarding this GRT issue. I too personally face this issue and was searching in Symantec support forum and EE forum as well. Finally with the bits I’ve gathered managed to do a successful recovery and thought of sharing that information with others.

My environment – I’ve setup 3 VM’s in HYPER-V. One is a Windows 2008 R2 DC with CA server. Both forest and domain functional levels are 2008.

Exchange server 2010 on Windows 2008 R2 machine with typical setup method with all the updates.

Backup Exec 2010 with SP1 on a Windows 2008 R2 machine with all the updates.

Setup approach –

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In the DC I’ve created a user account called BEAdmin and add that account to the domain admin group. Make sure that user account added to the local admin group of the Backup Exec server’s local admin group. After that I carried out the BE installation using that account. So that means BEAdmin have the relevant permission in the BE software.

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In the Exchange server make sure there is an e-mail account created and send some sample e-mails to that and verify e-mails receiving for that account (This part is necessary for successful e-mail recovery when using Backup Exec software). After that I’ve added that user account to the Exchange Server’s Organization Management Group. This can be carried out by using the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) User Editor in EMC. You can find more information about it in the Symantec Support article But I didn’t had much luck doing that so ended up using the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC J
Below is a screenshot once you add the BEAdmin account to the Organization Management group.

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After that go ahead with the BE console and carry out an Exchange backup job with GRT option selected.

Make sure the give account has the proper credential to access the resources in the Exchange server side,

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Make sure you’ve selected the individual message restore option,

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After that complete the exchange backup. Not having the BEAdmin account in Exchange Organization Management Group will throw you various errors. So make sure that account is added.

After that next screenshot demonstrate the individual message restore capability out of the full backup I’ve taken,

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As far as I concern those are the only steps I’ve taken to make a successful backup and individual mail restore. Of course in my scenario I didn’t consider the Exchange DAB setup environment but the steps will be similar.

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Moving your Windows XP machine into Virtualize mode and running inside Windows 7

Microsoft recently announced the availability of the P2V tool for desktop migration to address some of the issues face by customers. Most of the customers are reluctant to move to Windows 7 due to the application issues despite many solutions offered by Microsoft to address those problems. Some of the solutions they have been using is MED-V and APP-V which doesn’t address the problem of al audience.

With the P2V Migration tool (beta) with Software Assurance allows the users to simply convert their existing Windows XP environment into virtualize mode and run inside seamlessly inside Windows 7. During this conversion you’ll be able to preserve the existing domain membership, trusts and policies. This will be a great time saving for system administrators. User can use his existing legacy application, IE 6 and other programs inside Windows XP and still interact with Windows 7.

You can download the beta version of the software along with documentation from below mention link,

(https://connect.microsoft.com/site14/Downloads/DownloadDetails.aspx?DownloadID=30989)

Some of the key benefits from this tool is reducing the time frame to deploy Windows 7 in your organization. Most of the companies has allocated time to test the legacy application with Windows 7 and try to troubleshoot them. This will increase the timeline for customers not to use the new benefits in the new OS which can help them to improve the productivity. Thanks to this tool you can move ahead with your deployment timelines accordingly and still spend some time on R&D.

In order to use this software you need to comply as follows,

1. You need to have Microsoft Software Assurance Pack purchased and it is in valid period.

2. You can’t take a Windows XP image from a Windows OEM machine and transfer that image to Windows 7. (OEM license are not transferable)

3. You need to have Volume License to carry out this task.

I do hope Microsoft will come up with more flexible legal methods to address this when customers see the significant advantage on this tool.

How to avoid common pitfalls in virtual machine backup

Virtualization has been IT industry hot topic and it will be as it is until next few years. Good news is most of the fortune companies already adopted into it and others are following it. Along with every solution there will be new problems and concerns and Virtualization is no difference over there. In this article we’re going to look into some of the common pitfalls and drawback on virtualization protections and how to avoid them.

One of the main issues for the network admins is losing the control of virtual machine creation and keeping a track of it. Few years back we used to allocate physical server for each and every major service and we can identify them easily. Things have been drastically change when it comes to virtualization due to the flexibility of creating Virtual machines. In virtualization world we call this as “VM Sprawl” This out of control issue is a major issue when it comes to Virtual machines backup as well. So one key factor is to have a clear idea of your virtualization environment and tracking every VPC to identify which servers are critical.

Do I backup data inside the Virtual machine or do I backup the entire VHD files along with the host backup? Most of the traditional backup software has given concern of host level backup and we need to rethink of applying such solution to virtualization environment. This is simply due to the technical maturity as well as licensing cost. There will be scenarios having entire guest machine backup will be acceptable (Eg: Application server) but in certain cases you’ll need to install an agent to virtual PC itself and backup data if you require individual item restore (Eg: File server, E-mail server…etc) So you’ll always need to check with your backup software vendor about their software capability. Good news is Microsoft DPM, Symantec NetBackup, Backup Exec, CA Arcserve are now mature enough for this. (There will be lot more solutions, but I’m simply cannot test them all J ) Simply most of the backup software allow full backup of VHD and granular level restore from that file. This will greatly eliminate the backup window growth.

Which media to use in Backup? Tape or Disk? Industry is moving toward to disk based backup methods considering the speedy backup and recovery window times. But if companies have already invested on Tape solutions the best way is to have a balance with both methods. Having disk based backup initially and then moving data to tape drives for archival purpose. What you should really do is to formulate a disk and tape strategy based on data management objectives and policies.  A few considerations:

  • Recovery time objectives. (RTO)/Recovery Point Objectives (RPO).  Disk is typically faster for recovery.
  • Archiving requirements.  Tape is the most common archive medium.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs).  What is IT obligated to deliver to customers?
  • Existing hardware investments, as well as budget.

Apart from that you should consider about data de-duplication technologies which help you to reduce the storage requirements for your backup. Virtualization has given itself more advantages to companies and same time some challenges to the administrators. Most of these challenges cannot be addressed by traditional solutions hence new innovative solutions need to be considered.

Windows phone 7 available for manufactures

Much awaited and discussed Windows Phone 7 version has been released for manufactures (RTM) by Microsoft. This is one of the Microsoft major milestone since Microsoft believe future will more focus into mobile platform.

Despite of this release will have to enter to the battle ground with major players like Android OS and Apple IOS. Despite of that Microsoft have some cool integration tools for seamless connectivity with their rest app platform which will make this as a ideal platform for business users.

More news can be found over here and here. In depth review has been carried out by Engadget web site.

As per the news consumers can get their hands into this product end of this year. So let’s keep our fingers crossed for this Smile