Exchange Server 2007: Design and Deploy Disaster Recovery Settings - Work with Recovery Storage Groups

1/17/2011 2:40:17 PM
Problem : If you need to restore items such as a database or mailbox, is it possible to restore directly to the same server and just move things over?

Solution : This scenario is describing the use of a Recovery Storage Group (RSG), which has been available since Exchange 2003. You can use an existing server and create a recovery storage group, to which you can then restore your databases. The backup application is not aware of the difference and so it performs the restoration without issue.

You can use an RSG in different ways. You can use it as a same server dial-tone recovery or alternate server dial-tone recovery (which we discuss in the next section). You can also use it to recover a mailbox that cannot be brought back from the deleted mailbox retention time. You can recover specific information and messages if need be (although a third-party solution might perform these features better).

Keep in mind that RSGs are not your best solution if you are trying to recover Public Folders (because they aren’t supported; only mailbox databases are) or if you need to restore an entire server.

To create an RSG, perform the following steps:

Open the EMC.

From the Navigation Tree, expand the Toolbox work center.

From the options, open the Database Recovery Management tool.

Select the Go to Welcome Screen link.

The tool checks for updates for the Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant. You can cancel the check by clicking the Cancel link.

You are asked for some information regarding the Exchange server name and domain controller name. Click Next.

The Troubleshooting Assistant provides a long list of options, as you can see in Figure 1. Locate the option under Manage Recovery Storage Group to create a recovery storage group.

Figure 1. Creating a recovery storage group.

When asked to select the storage group to link with the RSG, locate the storage group and click Next.

On the Create the Recovery Storage Group screen, perform the following:

  • Provide a name for the RSG.

  • Confirm the location of the original Transaction log folder and the Recovery log path.

  • Confirm the location of the original System folder and checkpoint file folder and the Recovery path.

  • Confirm the location of the original Database folders and the file names and the Recovery database path.

Then select Create the Recovery Storage Group.

You receive a message indicating the success or failure of the creation of the RSG, and you can confirm that the new folders and files exist.

PS Note

You can verify the creation of the RSG through the EMS by typing Get-MailboxDatabase.

After you have the RSG in place, perform a restoration of the data you have backed up for that storage group the same way you usually would. You can choose to mount the restored database during the restoration process. However, if you do not, you will need to go back to the task center and select the Mount or Dismount databases in the RSG and mount the recovery group database. After it is restored and mounted, return to the Database Recovery Management Tool; however, this time perform the following:

Select Merge or Copy Mailbox Contents.

From the Select a Mounted Database in the Recovery Storage Group screen, select the Gather Merge Information link.

From the Select Merge Options screen, you can move forward with restoring the whole mailbox by selecting Perform Pre-merge Tasks. However, if you want to filter items that you want to restore (for example, a specific range of dates or a specific subject), you can select Show Advanced Options, shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Advanced options for the restoration process.

After you select your options, choose Perform Pre-merge Tasks.

You are shown the results of your request.

You see mailboxes you can select if you want to merge or copy data. Select Perform Merge Actions.

Confirm the results, and click Go Back to Task Center.

Dismount the databases in the RSG and remove the RSG.

The reason you delete the RSG is because you can have only one at a time. You might want to clear the RSG now in preparation for a future time. After deleting it, however, you want to make sure you clean up the recovery files from their locations manually.

To remove the RSG, perform the following:

From the Database Recovery Management task center, select Mount or Dismount Database in the Recovery Storage Group.

Select the database you want to dismount. Click Dismount Selected Database.

After you dismount, you will receive the report that it was dismounted.

Select Go Back to Task Center.

Now select Remove the Recovery Storage Group.

Confirm the database name. Then select the Remove the Recovery Storage Group link.

You should receive a message saying the RSG has been removed successfully.

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  •  Exchange Server 2007 : Design and Deploy Disaster Recovery Settings - Recover Deleted Items and Mailboxes
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