Since the introduction of Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Service in Server 2003 it is common to backup the Exchange database in its entirety as part of a bare-metal backup job. This is a great way to deal with a disaster such as a hard drive failure where you want to recover a whole server, or even if you need to recover the whole Exchange database back to a point in time.  The difficulty comes when you want to recover, for example just a single mailbox, or even specific emails.  With a full backup, you are backing up the entire database which means you’ll need to recover the full database first to a temporary location, mount this as a recovery database, connect to it with a client and then extract the data.  With a large database this could take quite a lot of time and resources to complete.

BackupAssist has a much easier, more convenient way.

By utilising the Exchange Mailbox Add-on you can create an additional brick-level backup of all your users’ mailboxes and public folders and store them within standard Microsoft PST files.  The PST file archive can also be stored in either a single, yearly, quarterly or monthly folder structure.psts.gif

There are also multiple options when recovering messages from the PST files, you can select the users mailboxes, and choose a date range to recover.

If required you can restore directly back to the existing Exchange server, a new Exchange server or even create a specific PST file containing the message you need and open directly within Outlook.

We’ve written the following knowledgebase articles to help you set up brick-level mailbox backup jobs for your Exchange server so feel free to give those a read and let me know how you get on.

How to Setup an Exchange Mailbox job:

Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, SBS 2003
Windows Vista, 7, Server 2008, or SBS 2008

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