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To explain my situation I have a exchange 2007 server and I have recently upgraded to SP2 so that I can use windows server backup to take an "exchange aware" backup of the server.

Is there an easy way of restoring this data onto a second server to which I have pre-installed server 2008 / exchange 2007 without upsetting my current exchange server set-up.

Also is there a better way to do this, such as running one as a fall over should the primary exchange server develop a fault.

I am still new to all this so please excuse any stupidity in my questions.

Thanks in advance for any help and assistance

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2 Answers 2

Exchange stores are strongly related to Active Directory, so it isn't easy at all to restore an Exchange backup to a different server; you'd need a whole recovery environment, with a working copy of your Active Directory.

Exchange 2007 has clustering capabilities: you can configure it as a "classic" failover clustering (with shared storage), or use the new Cluster Continuos Replication feature which automatically replicates Exchange data to a second server (so removing the shared storage need) and allows it to take over the active role should the primary server fail.

More info here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb125217(EXCHG.80).aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124521(EXCHG.80).aspx

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The poorman's backup of Exchange is to stop the information store service, copy the database files for the mail stores, and restart the information store service. Obviously such a practice has downsides, such as taking exchange off-line for an hour or more (depending on the size of your databases.) BUT, even those downsides can be over-come with the magic of Volume Shadow Services. A clever geek COULD enable VSS on the drive storing their exchange information stores, schedule a middle of the night stop of the data store, start the copy of the information store and then restart the information store. The copy would take the VSS copies of the database files, and you'd be off-line a total of maybe ten minutes.

Some food for thought. Clustering would be a better approach as Massimo says.

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