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How to perform online backups of Exchange Server 2003 using NTBackup

May 18, 2009, 11:32 pm

Summary: This article provides detailed steps on backing up your Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 using Windows NTBackup.

An online backup is a backup of the Exchange server which is performed while the Exchange server is operational and the Information Store is still mounted.

There are several benefits associated with performing online backups of the Exchange server:

  1. Users can continue to work with the Exchange server as the server is operational and available for transactions.
  2. The Exchange store is checked for any corruptions at the file-system level through a checksum verification process. In the event of a checksum failure, the backup will be terminated and a failed backup can be an early indication of any issues with the Exchange server database.

Please follow these steps to perform an online backup of Exchange Server 2003 using Windows Server 2000 or Windows Server 2003:

  1. Run NTbackup (Start -> run -> type ntbackup)
  2. If the Backup or Restore Wizard pops up, click on the Advanced Mode link to get to the Backup Utility window.
  3. In the left-hand panel, expand the Microsoft Exchange Server, expand your Exchange server and tick the Microsoft Information Store checkbox. This should automatically select all your entire Storage Group. It is recommended to back up the entire Storage Group instead of selecting individual stores.select exchange server from windows explorer
  4. Under the Backup Destination section, choose your backup destination and enter the appropriate filename for your backup job. (i.e. Monday-21-04-2009-Daily-FullBackup.bkf).
  5. Click on the Start Backup button.
  6. In the Backup Job Information window, you may configure your back up job as follows:
    1. Choose to append this backup to an existing backup on the backup destination (Append this backup to the media) or overwrite the data on the backup destination (Replace the data on the media with this backup).
    2. Schedule your backup to run automatically by clicking on the Schedule button. You will be asked to save your backup selection before proceeding. Once you have saved your backup selection, you will be taken to the Scheduled Job Options window where you can configure which days and how often you want the job to run.
    3. Choose to Verify data after backup and choose your backup type to be Normal, Copy, Incremental, Differential or Daily.
  7. Once youve configured your backup job, click the Start Backup button.
  8. When the backup job is completed, you can view the details of the backup job by clicking on the Report button under the Backup Progress window.

Using a 3rd party backup software can help eliminate the hassles in configuring and maintaining Exchange backups using NTBackup. There are several backup utilities which offer Exchange server backup functionality such as Veritas Backup Exec, BrightSTor ARCserve backup or BackupAssist version 5.

In terms of price and performance, BackupAssist is a compelling choice for any organizations backup needs. Using the NTBackup engine, BackupAssist offers a cost effective, one-stop backup solution which enables system administrators to easily integrate their Exchange server backups as part of their daily backup configuration.

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