However, my backup software (BrightStor ARCserve Backup v 11.1 by Computer Associates) will not allow me to select the recovery storage group as a destination. If I allow BAB to restore to the original location, can I trust Exchange 2003 Standard Edition to intercept the restored database and place it in the recovery storage group?
No. The Exchange 2003 recovery storage group will not detect the restore and intercept it. I'd recommend using a third-party product -- such as Quest Software's Recovery Manager for Exchange (disclaimer: I work for Quest) or OnTrack's PowerControls -- that supports reading Computer Associates BrightStor ARCserve Backup v. 11.0, and recovering into online PSTs, production mailboxes or public folders. It can do this without having to stand up a recovery server.
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I was in the same situation (trying to restore an Exchange database to a recovery storage group in Exchange). This is in fact possible using ARCserve v11.1 or v11.5. Follow this link if you would like to know more.
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This was first published in October 2005