Essential Guide

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The essential guide to Exchange Server backup and recovery

Administrators should carefully craft Office 365 and Exchange Server backup plans to mitigate any issues and keep data secured during the backup process.

Introduction

Email is a critical component of any organization, and securing and backing up email files and data in case of a disaster should take utmost importance. Administrators tasked with backing up Exchange Server must familiarize themselves with what data exists where and what to do to protect that data.

This guide walks Exchange administrators through the challenges associated with an Exchange Server backup, and Office 365 or hybrid messaging administrators through Office 365 backup. It also covers native and third-party tools that can ease the process.

1Leave no data behind-

Exchange and Office 365 gotchas

Backing up Exchange Server and Office 365 data comes with unique challenges. Traditional backups, such as disk- and tape-based backups, and third-party tools may not provide full protection, so administrators need to know what limitations exist in their chosen backup method. This section exposes some of the challenges and misconceptions associated with Exchange Server and Office 365 backups.

Answer

Issues that complicate an Exchange Server backup

Exchange administrators performing a data backup may encounter issues with granular recovery and stretched database availability groups. This tip looks at how admins can mitigate these problems during the backup process. Continue Reading

Tip

Why an Office 365, SharePoint backup is difficult

Traditional backups can't protect Office 365 data since it resides in the cloud. Admins may have to turn to third-party vendors that support applications such as SharePoint, but Exchange Server backup options aren't as practical. Continue Reading

Answer

Two key Office 365 backup challenges

There are two major ways Office 365 backups differ from their on-premises counterparts. The timing of backups and varying degrees of protection means not all Office 365 data may be secured. Continue Reading

Answer

Common misunderstandings about cloud-to-cloud backups

One common misconception about cloud-to-cloud backups is that they offer comprehensive protection. However, some Office 365 backup tools don't offer protection for services such as Yammer and SharePoint. Continue Reading

Answer

Where .ost files go after an Exchange backup is restored

Exchange administrators who are curious about what happens to .ost files after an Exchange backup is restored can use junk mail in Outlook to simulate a restoration. Continue Reading

2DR planning to keep email up-

Keep calm and recover your data

The security of Exchange Server and Office 365 should always top an Exchange administrator's priority list. Without a disaster recovery plan in place, the IT team never retrieves lost data, which can bring an entire organization to a standstill. This section looks at some of the best practices for disaster recovery planning and how to protect against data loss within an Exchange or Office 365 deployment.

Tip

Why organizations need a failover plan

Exchange Server requires access to Active Directory, which in turn requires domain name system access. To keep Exchange running, consider reconfiguring virtual machines to point to a different DNS server. Continue Reading

Answer

How Office 365 users can plan for disaster recovery

Microsoft provides Office 365 customers with options for granular recovery, but self-service features such as SharePoint Online versioning often impose limits on what a user can recover. End users should adopt their own disaster recovery plan to mitigate Office 365 data loss. Continue Reading

Tip

Convert authentication modes during Office 365 disaster recovery

Active Directory Federation Services is an integral component of Office 365, but organizations can switch from AD FS to DirSync Password hash sync as a backup. Password hash sync ensures passwords or hashes are copied to Office 365 in case of a disaster. Continue Reading

3Exchange Server backup tools-

Native and third-party options to back up Exchange

Microsoft offers several native and traditional methods for backing up Exchange Server, but a bevy of third-party tools also meet or exceed administrators' needs. This section covers various Exchange Server backup tools and features that are the right fit for enterprises.

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Third-party Exchange Server backup tools

Organizations running mailbox servers in Windows Server 2008 R2 that don't want to use traditional methods to back up their Exchange mailboxes have several third-party options to choose from. Continue Reading

Answer

What does Exchange Native Data Protection do?

Exchange Native Data Protection uses database availability group replication as an alternative to traditional backup options. There are four critical characteristics to Native Data Protection that administrators should be aware of, including how to recover from a lagged copy and log truncation configuration. Continue Reading

Tip

Exchange Server transaction log improvements

Built-in features such as transaction logs can help protect Exchange Server functionality after an outage. Modern Exchange deployments have circular logging enabled, meaning a shift in how transaction logs are kept. Continue Reading

News

Nakivo adds Exchange storage, recovery to backup tool

Virtual backup provider Nakivo upgraded its Backup & Replication software to include storage and recovery for Exchange objects, as well as Exchange log truncation. The upgrades allow Exchange customers to delete database transaction log files after a backup to prevent logs from taking up disk space. Continue Reading

4Perform an Office 365 backup-

Third-party tools to back up Office 365

Messaging administrators, whether fully on Office 365 or spread across Exchange Server and Office 365, cannot use a built-in Microsoft tool to secure Office 365 data via backups. Vendors such as CloudAlly offer products that can perform full or specific backups. These tools may also allow admins to browse Office 365 data using certain search criteria to filter the results.

Tip

Third-party Office 365 backup tools

Since there is no native Microsoft tool to back up Office 365 mailbox content, administrators have to use a third-party tool. These four tools back up and secure Office 365. Continue Reading

News

Office 365 support added to Barracuda Backup

Barracuda Networks' cloud-to-cloud backup includes support for Office 365, beginning with message-level backups for Exchange Online. Customers can use the Barracuda Cloud Control interface to restore Office 365 data when necessary. Continue Reading

News

Datto brings Office 365 backup to partners

In response to a growing migration to Office 365, Datto introduced cloud-to-cloud backup for Office 365 to its partners. After acquiring Backupify in 2014, Datto integrated Backupify's Office 365 product into its cloud. Continue Reading

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