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How to back up Microsoft Exchange Part Five

Jerome M. Wendt

PREVIOUSLY: Archiving Exchange

Sampler of alternative Exchange protection products

Asynchronous replication and email archiving products may offer specific features that are a better fit for some environments than traditional backup software. Here are some products to consider:

Replication software/appliances

Asempra Technologies Business Continuity Server for Exchange uses CDP to provide near-instant recovery of specific messages. Admins may set policies for data retention that are the same across the enterprise or specific to each Exchange server. It also manages failovers so if the primary Exchange server fails, it updates Active Directory and DNS so users are rerouted to the standby Exchange server.

Cemaphore Systems MailShadow lets firms choose mailboxes from several Exchange servers and replicate them to a single Exchange server. This minimizes the amount of replication required while ensuring that the most critical users at each site have access to email.

Double-Take Software: Double-Take for Windows. The Double-Take Application Manager provides integrated restore and failback capabilities to automatically recover data to the original production Exchange server and initiate failbacks. It also supports replication between dissimilar hardware and testing on replicated copies of Exchange data without remirroring datasets once the testing is complete.

Neverfail Group: Neverfail for exchange replicates data and monitors the status of Exchange, physical servers, network infrastructure and OSes. If an error occurs, Neverfail sees if corrective actions can be taken before resorting to a full system failover to the standby server.

PostPath: PostPath Server can be a replacement for the Exchange server, not just a failover device. Admins install PostPath to run side-by-side with the Exchange server until the entire Exchange mail store is replicated and then PostPath takes over for Exchange. PostPath runs on Linux and supports Exchange-dependent apps, protocols and clients.

Email archival software

Mimosa Systems NearPoint functions off-host so it doesn't require agents on the Exchange server to archive emails, nor does it use SMTP, MAPI or journaling to archive. It creates a shadow copy of the Exchange database using Mimosa's continuous app shadowing technology. It creates a near real-time, single-instance store of the database that breaks apart and indexes messages to support disk-based recoveries/searches.

Overtone Software Managetone for Microsoft Exchange uses the event notification feature in Exchange to create a second copy or archive of messages. This approach lets it copy every calendar and contact change, not just email messages, while generating less overhead. It stores all messages in an XML database, making them searchable with any third-party search engine.