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We are running Exchange 2010 on a VMware infrastructure, and backing up with Backup Exec 2010 using ESX licenses.

I was led to believe that even though we are backing up entire VM guest images, Backup Exec would allow granular recovery of individual mailbox items, from this VM image.

Otherwise, we have to backup the VMDK, which gets all the mailbox data files, and do a traditional backup of the Information Store, essentially duplicating the amount of data backed up.

So the question really is, will I be able to restore an individual mailbox (or even message) from an ESX guest backup?

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Have you read this and met the requirements stated, from the BackupExec 2010 documentation:

The following items are required to protect data for Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and Active Directory on virtual machines:

The virtual machine must be turned on.

You must enter the appropriate credentials for the virtual machine. Ensure that the credentials for the virtual machine allow access to the VSS-aware applications.

The media server must be able to connect to the virtual machine using the network name or IP address.

The Backup Exec Remote Agent for Windows Systems must be installed on the virtual machine.

The correct number of licenses must be entered for the applications that you want to protect on the virtual machines.

The operating system on the virtual machine must support VSS.

If you want to use Backup Exec's Granular Recovery Technology (GRT), you must purchase and install the application agents, such as Backup Exec's Agent for Microsoft Exchange, on your virtual machines.

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When setting up the job, under VMWare tab on the left, you'll want to select Use Backup Exec Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) to enable the restore of individual files and folders from virtual machines.

You'll need to make sure you have VMware Tools installed on your virtual box and the Symantec Agent.

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