|Chapter 9 - Backup and Recovery Operations|
|Monitoring and Managing Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server|
|by Mike Daugherty|
|Digital Press 2001|
Your ability to recover servers and restore data depends on the quality of your backups. The problem with backups is that they may sometimes fail, and this failure may go undetected. A series of unsuccessful backups leaves you unprotected against disasters and allows the log files to consume an ever-increasing amount of disk space. Therefore, it is important that you always verify the successful completion of the backup operation and that you verify that the backup tape contains usable data.
You should always examine the Backup log to verify that all scheduled backups actually completed. You can view the Backup log using the following procedure:
Start the Backup process from the Windows 2000 Start menu by selecting Programs Accessories System Tools Backup.
Select Report from the Tools menu to display a list of the backup logs.
Double-click on the backup log you want to view.
If any errors are listed in the log or if the backup did not complete successfully, the problem should be immediately investigated. Because the backup process accesses every page of the database, it is often the first process to discover a database corruption.
If the backup completed successfully, you should label the backup tape, and store it in a safe and secure locationpreferably offsite.
Just because your backup processes regularly complete without error, do not assume that your backup tapes actually contain usable data. Tapes do not last forever. The usable lifetime of a tape should be available from the tape manufacturer. On rare occasions, bad tapes and malfunctioning hardware can produce unusable tapes, leaving you with an unwarranted sense of protection. At least once a month, you should verify the data integrity by restoring the data to your recovery server. Recovery testing also provides your support personnel with an opportunity to become familiar with the recovery procedure.