Exchange Server 2007 : Design and Deploy Disaster Recovery Settings - Design for Disaster

1/16/2011 3:14:45 PM
Problem : Prior to deployment, an Exchange administrator should already have a plan to recover in the event of a disaster. What does this mean? What does Exchange 2007 offer in terms of recovery solutions?

Solution : You can hope for the best, as long as you plan for the worst. In the world of Exchange 2007, what is the worst? Certainly, in modern times we have seen situations in which an entire site (with all our servers and onsite backup data) is lost in a moment. A business can be permanently ruined by the loss of its data and equally so through the loss of its mailbox databases.

What does an Exchange administrator need to know to design a solution? To begin with, it’s good to remember that five server roles (with clustered services perhaps, or high availability solutions in place) need to be prepared for in terms of restoring your environment. It’s also important to consider the solutions that Exchange 2007 offers, such as dial-tone restores and recovery storage groups. You might want to keep in mind third-party solutions that can offer you features that Microsoft hasn’t provided in terms of disaster recovery.

However, you cannot fight what you cannot see. You need to see the various situations that can come your way. What if someone simply deletes mail messages? This might not be a disaster but is a situation that might require you to reach for your backup tapes. What if a mailbox is deleted? What if a database or storage group is corrupted? What if the server was literally picked up and thrown out of a window? (It can happen, and you need to be prepared!) External services can fail (Active Directory [AD], Domain Name Service [DNS], and so forth).

What solutions are in place to assist you?

Disaster Recovery Solutions

Keep in mind that fault-tolerant disk solutions and high-availability solutions  are not what we are referring to when discussing disaster recovery.

Here are the solutions we are referring to:

  • Deleted item and deleted mailbox retention

  • Backup and recovery solutions

  • VSS backups

  • Recovery storage groups

  • Database relocation solutions

  • Dial-tone recovery

  • Non-mailbox server restoration

Disaster Readiness

Although the majority of this book has focused on the step-by-step, “how-to” aspect of Exchange, preparing for disaster requires a brief step into the what-if world. It’s true, you hope to never face a major disaster that forces you to recover your Exchange environment, and you might spend a great deal of time focusing on the common problems (failed disk, server crash, and so forth), but in the event you face fire, flood, and so on, you need to think about the following:

  • Have a documented disaster recovery plan for as many different scenarios (mailbox to entire site) for all of your servers, roles, and certificates (if you are using Secure Socket Layers [SSL], which you most likely will be) you can think of. Ensure that document is in multiple locations so you can access it off-site if needed. Perhaps keep a copy with your off-site backup solution.

  • Have a daily, weekly, and monthly backup plan in place. Whether you back up to tape, disk and then to tape, to a mirrored location, or to an Internet site, you must have an off-site location for your backup.

  • Document the configuration of each of your servers. Ensure you have the entire structure on paper for yourself, or the next person who handles the servers. This includes information such as your mailbox policies, ActiveSync policies, UM configuration settings, and so forth. Document as much as possible.

  • Restoration drills. It all comes down to if you can fix it if a disaster strikes. The only way to know is to run drills that put the planning to the test. Ensure your people know where the documentation server software, service pack software, Exchange software, hardware replacement solutions, and so on are located.

  •  Architecting a SharePoint 2010 Deployment : Choosing the Right Hardware for SharePoint
  •  Architecting a SharePoint 2010 Deployment : Understanding the Reasons for Deploying Multiple Farms
  •  Understanding the SharePoint Server Roles
  •  Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Installing the Edge Transport Server
  •  Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Installing dedicated server roles
  •  Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Check the Exchange installation
  •  Introducing SharePoint 2010 (part 2)
  •  Introducing SharePoint 2010 (part 1)
  •  Installing Exchange Server 2010 : Unattended setup
  •  Performing a typical Exchange Server 2010 install
  •  Installing the Exchange Server 2010 prerequisites
  •  Outlining Improvements in SharePoint 2010
  •  Understanding the Capabilities of SharePoint 2010
  •  Exchange Server 2010 server roles (part 3) - Edge Transport Server role
  •  Exchange Server 2010 server roles (part 2)
  •  Exchange Server 2010 server roles (part 1) - Mailbox Server role
  •  Exchange Server 2010 and Active Directory
  •  Microsoft Enterprise Library : Non-Formatted Trace Listeners
  •  .NET Micro Framework : Execution Constraints
  •  .NET Micro Framework : Weak Delegates
    Top 10
    Dolby Digital Plus On Netflix
    Upgrade Power - Guidelines For PSU Buyers (Part 1) - PCI-E connectors, Hybrid fan, Enermax EPM1000EWT
    Sharepoint 2007: Use the My Links to Manage Your Links
    Galaxy Tab 10.1 - Touchy-feely
    Flying With The Cowbird
    Visual Studio 2010 : Managing Extensions with the Extension Manager, Managing Add-Ins with the Add-In Manager
    iPhone 3D Programming : Adding Depth and Realism - Examining the Depth Buffer
    Understanding and Using Windows Server 2008 R2 UNIX Integration Components (part 1)
    “TU ME” …vs Skype and Whatsapp.
    Design and Deploy High Availability for Exchange 2007 : Create Bookmark Create Note or Tag Implement Standby Continuous Replication (SCR)
    Most View
    Understand Security Improvements in Windows Server 2008
    100 Windows Speed-Up Tips (Part 6)
    Plan The Perfect Shoot (Part 2)
    Vengeance Game Keyboard Of Corsair - Mechanical Masterpieces Give You Control (Part 2)
    Programming .NET Security : Cryptography Explained (part 2)
    Windows 7 Security : New Security Features in Internet Explorer 8
    Buffalo Linkstation Pro 2TB
    Watch for File System Changes
    Enumerate Directories and Files
    Display dock : AOC e2343Fi
    Google, privacy & you (Part 2)
    Photoshop Elements 10 : Sharpen Images In Photoshop Elements
    Exploring New Galaxies
    Windows 7 : Protecting Your Computer While Browsing (part 3)
    Birds Of Prey (Part 3) - Behind the scenes
    Samsung 830
    iPhone 3D Programming : HelloCone with Fixed Function
    Asus Rog Tytan CG8565 - Clash Of The Tytan
    SharePoint 2010 : Understanding Advanced PowerShell Topics
    iPhone Application Development : Making Multivalue Choices with Pickers - Understanding Pickers