|Chapter 9 - Backup and Recovery Operations|
|Monitoring and Managing Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server|
|by Mike Daugherty|
|Digital Press 2001|
If you have regularly backed up your Exchange databases and other critical files, you can quickly restore them if data becomes corrupted. If one of your servers fails or is physically damaged, the recovery process is more complex and requires more preparation. You should prepare for this worst-case situation by creating and maintaining a disaster recovery toolkit containing the following items:
A replacement server with the same configuration as the failed production server.
Windows 2000 installation CD-ROM.
Exchange 2000 Server installation CD-ROM.
All Service Packs and hot fixes that you have applied to the system.
An up-to-date full backup of your system drive (i.e., the drive where Windows 2000 is installed).
An up-to-date Emergency Repair Disk.
An up-to-date full backup of the Windows 2000 System State. A System State backup includes the registry, IIS metabase, and COM+ registrations.
Unlike Windows NT 4.0, registry files are not copied to the Windows 2000 Emergency Repair Disk. When making an Emergency Repair Disk, you should select the check box to back up the registry to the repair directory. This will copy the registry keys to the %systemroot%/Repair directory. The System State backup will copy these to tape.
An up-to-date full backup of the Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 configuration data. Configuration data includes settings for administrative groups, servers, security, and virtual servers. Configuration data is stored in the Windows 2000 Active Directory and the registry.
An up-to-date full backup of the Exchange Information Store databases.
Written procedures for recovering a mailbox, restoring a database, and rebuilding an Exchange server following a disaster.
Collecting and maintaining this list of CD-ROMs, backup tapes, and procedures is only the first step toward being prepared for disaster. The second, and equally important, step is to periodically practice recovering mailboxes, restoring databases, and rebuilding servers. In the midst of a disaster is no time to be testing your procedures for the first time. When a disaster strikes, you should already be comfortable with the recovery process. Remember that your users cannot send or receive e-mail during the recovery process. Unless you enjoy responding to impatient users, you should do everything possible to ensure that the recovery process will be quick and painless. Having practiced the recovery process will also allow you to make confident predictions on how soon the server will be available.