Editor's Note: Originally posted by Paul Cunningham (Microsoft MVP) on his blog, Practical365, this review is extremely comprehensive and discusses the many ways Mailscape 365 can be used in Office 365 cloud and hybrid environments.
With the release of Exchange Server 2016 it’s time for on-premises customers to consider their upgrade options. Which means that it’s also a good time to review their Exchange storage strategy.
The best way to learn about Exchange Server is to get hands-on with the product. And the best way to get hands-on without risking a production environment is to build your own test lab.
A career-defining moment for many IT professionals is the day that their customer requests some data to be restored from backup, and the backup is found to be not working. Or even worse, the backup doesn’t even exist.
It’s not a situation you ever want to find yourself in, and to help you to avoid it I’m going to tell you about the common (but easily remedied) mistakes that can lead to such an unfortunate position.
Or, as I like to call them, the 7 Deadly Sins of Exchange Server Backups.
#1 – Not Taking Application-Aware Backups
Microsoft Exchange Server uses a transactional database system that is almost continuously in a state of change with a memory buffer, log files, and the database file itself all working together in unison to maintain the integrity and consistency of the mailbox data.
What this means for Exchange Server backups is that you can’t simply take a backup of the Exchange data by treating it as a bunch of files on a disk. Even though that may yield you a set of files on backup media, recovery from those files (without the risk of significant data loss) is impossible.
Microsoft only supports application-aware, VSS-based backups that properly handle the Exchange database engine and take a consistent backup of the database and transaction log files. If you aren’t sure, go and check that your chosen backup product is supported for Exchange Server backups.
Any seasoned Exchange administrator has at one time needed to deal with a massive storm of “reply all” emails circulating the organization. It’s a chaotic situation, and not much fun to deal with, although you may enjoy telling the story to friends for years afterward.