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Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

frank481
Occasional Visitor

Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

I remember that before I had Nimble in the rack that I would wake up worrying about my backups.  Did the FULL to tape complete?  Will the tape work when I need it to?  Will Iron Mountain get it delivered quick enough?

With Nimble all of those questions were answered.  I have CS240's in my production datacenter replicating to my DR/BC site in Las Vegas.

I have 2 arrays in Garden Grove, CA each with three 1TB storage LUNs and one 1TB log LUN assigned to my Active/Passive MS Cluster Exchange 2007 Mailbox server.  I have about 2.5TBs of mail over 1500 mailboxes.  I've configured a "Volume Collection" with the Exchange LUNs and set a daily snap that replicates to the DR/BC site as well as a weekly "schedule" that creates a FULL with a longer life span than the dailies.

When a restore is needed I clone the appropriate snap, assign it to the servers, mount the LUN and assign an unused drive letter (typically R:\ - recovery).  I use Lepide "Exchange Recovery Manager" software to open the offline .edb file,  browse and select what I need to restore, specify a destination (I usually export to .pst files which I inject or send to the user).

That's it... no recovery groups... no merge worries... simple!

12 REPLIES
ajay59
Occasional Advisor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Hi Frank,

thanks for sharing your experience - it's always great to see Nimble snapshots/replication in use.

I'll be curious to see if other users comment about their experiences using similar tools for snapshot based recovery, or (in the case of Exchange 2010) options like "Deleted item retention" capability in Exchange.

ndyer39
Honored Contributor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

+1 here for using Lepide Exchange Recovery Manager with Nimble snapshots! I recommend this solution for all of my customers - it works incredibly well vs the cost of the Lepide software. We've even got this running in our EMEA Systems Engineering lab for customer demonstrations.

Similar recovery integration with Nimble snapshots can also be achieved with Kroll OnTrack PowerControls (for those reading who have a relationship with Kroll).

rfenton4
Honored Contributor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Yes one of the differences I've found with Lepide and Kroll is Kroll can interrogate the Exchange logs to capture any emails that were sent subsequent to the snapshots;  Lepide will give you whats available at the point of time of the snapshot; Not sure if Lepide has that capability (it maybe my lack of knowledge )

Both excellent tools !!! As single item restores are so intuitive

ndyer39
Honored Contributor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Point well made Rich

J Benway
Advisor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

If nimble and veeam worked together nimble could leverage veeams explorer for SAN snapshots and you could use veeam to read through the snap shots and pull the needed exchange emails.

gregcottone122
Occasional Visitor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Has anyone tried Lucid's Digiscope to restore Exchange items? Just curious

J Benway
Advisor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Here's my environment. We run exchange 2010 as a vm on ESX.

I currently have two DBs totally about 2.5 TB

I need a better way to do legal searches, if I do they within exchange they impact production, I use veeam and can search the backups but that's too slow.

I was thinking of taking a snap of the vmfs that exchange is on, replicating it to or DR nimble then attaching that volume to another ESX server with a different vm and use something like kroll or lucid to search the edb. but I assume the edb will be in a crash state, would that effect either of these products?

lucid is better priced, but doesn't seem to search attachments.

wondering if anyone has any feedback on my idea.

thanks,jb

pdavies34
Valued Contributor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Jason,

If not already (late reply!), look at the Kroll PowerControls (I know you mentioned them above).

Kroll supports mounting the edb and log volumes, so you can search and find content in either - particularly useful if content is only in the logs and has not yet been flushed to the edb!

Search is particularly good and they also have legal discovery tools that may tie in tgether, really depends on the level you need to go to with this?

Regards

Phil

jwagner137
Advisor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Please tell Veeam and Nimble you want to see this happen.  Both companies need to be made aware that this needs to take place. (more so on the Veeam side as they seem to be the hold up)

I've sent in a request for this with Veeam but they need like everyone that uses Veeam to ask for it or its just one of those nice to have someday down the road maybe features...

J Benway
Advisor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

thanks for the follow up, I haven't moved forward with anything for legal search too much other stuff going on.

I've voiced the need to veeam multiple times to support veeam. They listen but the feeling I get is they are more interested in supporting storage with a larger install base right now.

trsonber42
Occasional Visitor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

Frank,

I know this an old thread but I'm looking into having nimble be our primary backup solution.  How are you handling log truncation?  Are you using VMware VSS within the volume collection or is log truncation being performed by a third party application? 

I have 2 separate VMFS LUNS for exchange DBs and Logs (not directly attached via iSCSI) 

If you are doing log truncation through VMWare VSS do you see a performance hit on the VM while this job runs?   I'm just getting started here with the nimble volume collection concepts and appreciate any details you can give

rugby0134
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Exchange item-level through storage-group restore

When you provision storage on a Nimble Storage array, you select one or more protection schedules that specify the intervals at which your data is protected to that certain point-in-time. During these protection schedules, the Nimble array triggers the Windows Toolkit to coordinate a quiesce using VSS. After all writes are quiesced, the array performs the snapshot backup and the Windows Toolkit performs an ESEUtil verification of the snapshot data. Once the snapshot backup and verification are complete, the Windows Toolkit truncates the Exchange transaction logs to properly manage log growth.

you can download the BPG here: http://uploads.nimblestorage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/20175626/bpg_nimble_storage_exchange.pdf