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Restoring a single mailbox from an Exchange brick-level backup

My question is on a single mailbox restore. If I am doing Exchange brick-level backups of the mailbox store (using BrightStor software), am I able to restore a single mailbox from a backup tape? The users do not have .PST files. All Microsoft Outlook clients are pointed at the mailbox on the Exchange 2000 server.

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Yes, Exchange brick-level backup software will allow you (typically) to restore either a mailbox or an individual item from within a mailbox (i.e., message, post, contact, task, journal entry, appointment, etc.) from a single backup tape without having to build a recovery server.

That said, I actually recommend looking around at the solutions available … there are other options. Brick-level backup software is expensive and slow. There are one or two vendors out there who provide the ability to get brick-level restore functionality *without* actually performing brick-level backups. In other words, these vendors can extract mailboxes or items directly from a standard backup tape/media.

I've heard of a number of cases where organizations are abandoning brick-level backup software because they have overrun their regularly-scheduled backup window -- in every case they are choosing brick-level recovery solutions as an alternative. Search for "message-level recovery" in your favorite Internet search engine and you should find some of these solutions.

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This was first published in January 2005

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