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Recovery network design. [message #161776] Wed, 07 October 2009 08:59 Go to next message
Phantom  is currently offline Phantom
Messages: 26
Registered: October 2009
Junior Member
Hi,

We are trying to build an offline recovery network for restoring old
Exchange email backups from years ago. We discovered our backup software
method from that time period doesn't support redirection to recovery
storage groups in Exchange or third party recovery tools like Ontrack's
PowerControls.

In order to conserve resources the plan is to move a DC/GC/DNS server
and the backup server in and out (i.e. back and forth) of the recovery
network. There will be a server that doesn't move in and out of the
recovery network. That server is a VMWare server which will host a
cloned copy of the Exchange server.

Is there anything wrong with this plan? Any gotchas involving the domain
controller or email server moving back and forth on a temporary basis
(weekends)?

Thanks,

- Brian
Re: Recovery network design. [message #161789 is a reply to message #161776] Wed, 07 October 2009 09:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
aceman  is currently offline aceman  United States
Messages: 5816
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
"Phantom" <beckerbp@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:haiabu$mq8$1@news.eternal-september.org...
> Hi,
>
> We are trying to build an offline recovery network for restoring old
> Exchange email backups from years ago. We discovered our backup software
> method from that time period doesn't support redirection to recovery
> storage groups in Exchange or third party recovery tools like Ontrack's
> PowerControls.
>
> In order to conserve resources the plan is to move a DC/GC/DNS server and
> the backup server in and out (i.e. back and forth) of the recovery
> network. There will be a server that doesn't move in and out of the
> recovery network. That server is a VMWare server which will host a cloned
> copy of the Exchange server.
>
> Is there anything wrong with this plan? Any gotchas involving the domain
> controller or email server moving back and forth on a temporary basis
> (weekends)?
>
> Thanks,
>
> - Brian

I don't think I would be moving a DC back and forth between different
networks like that. THis is due to DNS registration of various required
records. When you change IPs, it has to re-regsiter them. Also there will be
different machines joined to the domain that will generate errors moving it
back and forth. I don't suggest this.

What version of Exchange and SP level was the previous backup from?

If the plan is to just recover emails from a previous backup, Power Controls
should be able to read the edb files and pull out the mailboxes into
individual PSTs which get named based on the original alias that owned the
mailboxes. Power Controls doesn't create a recovery group as an Exchange
2003 recovery scenario does. Are you saying Power Controls can't read the
edb files?

If you have a flat file backup of the original installation, you can rebuild
the original Exchange org with the same name domain, and using the same name
Exchange server, with the original OS and Exchange and SP versions, stop the
services, rename the Exchsrvr folder, and copy the whole exchsrvr folder
from your backup into \program files, re-run Exchange setup using the
/disasterrecovery switch and it should fire up.

--
Ace

This posting is provided "AS-IS" with no warranties or guarantees and
confers no rights.

Please reply back to the newsgroup or forum for collaboration benefit among
responding engineers, and to help others benefit from your resolution.

Ace Fekay, MCT, MCTS 2008, MCTS Exchange, MCSE, MCSA 2003 & 2000, MCSA
Messaging
Microsoft Certified Trainer

For urgent issues, please contact Microsoft PSS directly. Please check
http://support.microsoft.com for regional support phone numbers.
Re: Recovery network design. [message #161798 is a reply to message #161789] Wed, 07 October 2009 11:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Phantom  is currently offline Phantom
Messages: 26
Registered: October 2009
Junior Member
Ace Fekay [MCT] wrote:
> "Phantom" <beckerbp@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:haiabu$mq8$1@news.eternal-september.org...
>> Hi,
>>
>> We are trying to build an offline recovery network for restoring old
>> Exchange email backups from years ago. We discovered our backup software
>> method from that time period doesn't support redirection to recovery
>> storage groups in Exchange or third party recovery tools like Ontrack's
>> PowerControls.
>>
>> In order to conserve resources the plan is to move a DC/GC/DNS server and
>> the backup server in and out (i.e. back and forth) of the recovery
>> network. There will be a server that doesn't move in and out of the
>> recovery network. That server is a VMWare server which will host a cloned
>> copy of the Exchange server.
>>
>> Is there anything wrong with this plan? Any gotchas involving the domain
>> controller or email server moving back and forth on a temporary basis
>> (weekends)?
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> - Brian
>
> I don't think I would be moving a DC back and forth between different
> networks like that. THis is due to DNS registration of various required
> records. When you change IPs, it has to re-regsiter them. Also there will be
> different machines joined to the domain that will generate errors moving it
> back and forth. I don't suggest this.
>
> What version of Exchange and SP level was the previous backup from?
>
> If the plan is to just recover emails from a previous backup, Power Controls
> should be able to read the edb files and pull out the mailboxes into
> individual PSTs which get named based on the original alias that owned the
> mailboxes. Power Controls doesn't create a recovery group as an Exchange
> 2003 recovery scenario does. Are you saying Power Controls can't read the
> edb files?
>
> If you have a flat file backup of the original installation, you can rebuild
> the original Exchange org with the same name domain, and using the same name
> Exchange server, with the original OS and Exchange and SP versions, stop the
> services, rename the Exchsrvr folder, and copy the whole exchsrvr folder
> from your backup into \program files, re-run Exchange setup using the
> /disasterrecovery switch and it should fire up.
>

Regarding moving the domain controller back and forth, what if I built a
new domain controller in the VMWare environment side-by-side with the
cloned Exchange 2003 SP2 server? Start the virtual DC, then start the
Exchange server? Or I could move the physical domain controller over
permanently, then delete it from the current forest, since I built it
specifically for this project. Would I still have a problem with moving
the backup server back and forth?

The type of backup was a Backup Exec 10d "snapshot" backup. In those
days, for a year, we didn't have separate backup policies for server
OS/file system and Exchange IS. We backed up the entire server, drives,
system state, and Exchange Information stores in toto. Now we do have
separate policies.

The problem with PowerControls is it doesn't support those kinds of BE
snapshot backups. PC only supports Exchange restores done from Backup
Exec that are separate IS backups, and that can be redirected from BE to
a PowerControls emulated Exchange server. The direct method of
PowerControls also doesn't work. So we are stuck. We've used
PowerControls extensively to restore IS-only backups with great success.

Your last suggestion, the disaster recovery method, is good, but I
figured cloning the Exchange server to a virtual machine would preserve
its configuration intact and be a lot faster and require less resources
than rebuilding the environment from scratch.

- Brian
Re: Recovery network design. [message #161822 is a reply to message #161798] Wed, 07 October 2009 21:44 Go to previous message
aceman  is currently offline aceman  United States
Messages: 5816
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
"Phantom" <beckerbp@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:haik02$ee3$1@news.eternal-september.org...
> Ace Fekay [MCT] wrote:
>> "Phantom" <beckerbp@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:haiabu$mq8$1@news.eternal-september.org...
>>> Hi,
>>>
>>> We are trying to build an offline recovery network for restoring old
>>> Exchange email backups from years ago. We discovered our backup software
>>> method from that time period doesn't support redirection to recovery
>>> storage groups in Exchange or third party recovery tools like Ontrack's
>>> PowerControls.
>>>
>>> In order to conserve resources the plan is to move a DC/GC/DNS server
>>> and the backup server in and out (i.e. back and forth) of the recovery
>>> network. There will be a server that doesn't move in and out of the
>>> recovery network. That server is a VMWare server which will host a
>>> cloned copy of the Exchange server.
>>>
>>> Is there anything wrong with this plan? Any gotchas involving the domain
>>> controller or email server moving back and forth on a temporary basis
>>> (weekends)?
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>>
>>> - Brian
>>
>> I don't think I would be moving a DC back and forth between different
>> networks like that. THis is due to DNS registration of various required
>> records. When you change IPs, it has to re-regsiter them. Also there will
>> be different machines joined to the domain that will generate errors
>> moving it back and forth. I don't suggest this.
>>
>> What version of Exchange and SP level was the previous backup from?
>>
>> If the plan is to just recover emails from a previous backup, Power
>> Controls should be able to read the edb files and pull out the mailboxes
>> into individual PSTs which get named based on the original alias that
>> owned the mailboxes. Power Controls doesn't create a recovery group as an
>> Exchange 2003 recovery scenario does. Are you saying Power Controls can't
>> read the edb files?
>>
>> If you have a flat file backup of the original installation, you can
>> rebuild the original Exchange org with the same name domain, and using
>> the same name Exchange server, with the original OS and Exchange and SP
>> versions, stop the services, rename the Exchsrvr folder, and copy the
>> whole exchsrvr folder from your backup into \program files, re-run
>> Exchange setup using the /disasterrecovery switch and it should fire up.
>>
>
> Regarding moving the domain controller back and forth, what if I built a
> new domain controller in the VMWare environment side-by-side with the
> cloned Exchange 2003 SP2 server? Start the virtual DC, then start the
> Exchange server?

No, because the cloned Exchange box is part of the current domain. You can't
just build another DC and expect it to work. Exchange 2003 adds 1242
attributes to the Schema as well as Exchange Org info, and lot's of other
things.

> Or I could move the physical domain controller over permanently, then
> delete it from the current forest, since I built it specifically for this
> project. Would I still have a problem with moving the backup server back
> and forth?

That will work. In the production network, you will have to run a Metadata
Cleanup to remove its reference out of the AD database, as well as delete
its reference in Sites and Services. In the production DCs, seize any roles
this DC previously held. Also after moving it over, you will then seize all
Roles to the moved DC, and make sure it's a GC (which I suggest prior to
moving it). Also prior to moving it, install DNS, allow replication to occur
so all zones exist in DNS, and point DNS to itself.

Keep in mind, once the DC has been moved, it can NEVER be brought back to
the prod network.

>
> The type of backup was a Backup Exec 10d "snapshot" backup. In those days,
> for a year, we didn't have separate backup policies for server OS/file
> system and Exchange IS. We backed up the entire server, drives, system
> state, and Exchange Information stores in toto. Now we do have separate
> policies.

You mean you have a flat file backup of it that can be copied out of the
backup?

>
> The problem with PowerControls is it doesn't support those kinds of BE
> snapshot backups. PC only supports Exchange restores done from Backup Exec
> that are separate IS backups, and that can be redirected from BE to a
> PowerControls emulated Exchange server. The direct method of PowerControls
> also doesn't work. So we are stuck. We've used PowerControls extensively
> to restore IS-only backups with great success.

I agree. I didn't know this was your scenario. It's always been a rule to
separate System State and any other backups and backup types from an
Exchange backup. Too bad you can't pull out the Exchange folders from
program files (not sure if you can do that). If possible, then Power
Controls can read the EDBs. I had one large customer (900 users) that had to
restore someone's mailbox. They had asked me to see what I can do because
they weren't successful. They only had a backup of the exact way you
described, and I told them it won't restore it. After that, I created
policies to separate the two.

>
> Your last suggestion, the disaster recovery method, is good, but I figured
> cloning the Exchange server to a virtual machine would preserve its
> configuration intact and be a lot faster and require less resources than
> rebuilding the environment from scratch.

I've actually used that method before. The customer had a flat file backup,
and IMHO, it was actually quicker for me to do it that way. That customer
also had the databases on D: drive, but trans logs on C:. I went through
every iteration I knew in ADSI Edit to repoint it to C:, then ran the
disasterrecovery switch, and Voila!, the stores mounted and were functional.
A little McGyver tactic, if you ask me, using bubble gum and a paper clip,
so to speak (remember that show?).

>
> - Brian

Ace
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