Background: 2012R2 host running Hyper-V. Virtualised: DC, Exchange 2013 and SQL 2016 (2012R2). This is a lab environment so numerous options are welcomed. In short, we currently backup the entire environment using WSB at the host level. The Full VSS backup includes BMR, SS, all VM's and the relevant files and folders once weekly. Provoking a recovery scenario where the exchange server has completely failed (let's say by deleting the VM).

Without questioning the latent weekly backup (this is a learning curve) would the recovery situation be as simple as firing up the most recent backup, kicking off a restore job and simply starting Exchange Server (or even restoring the VHDx file to an alternate location and recreating the VM + necessary settings)?

Would Active Directory know that the exchange server in question is a week old and populate all changes such as send and receive connectors, newly accepted receive domains, additionally created user mailboxes to the restored Exchange Server, time and date difference?

Also, with SQL, would the correct procedure be to restore the SQL server in question and simply detach existing database and attach the most recently backed up ones? (gMSA accounts are being used so I assume no SPN registration is required)

Thank you.


I’m not familiar with SQL, but about Exchange server, do you mean restore the server with a previous snapshot (a week ago)?

I think it is not supported by Microsoft, and it would cause something lost and inconsistent. Please refer to this similar case: “However, virtual machine snapshots are not application-aware, and using them can have unintended and unexpected consequences for a server application that maintains state data, such as Exchange Server. As a result, making virtual machine snapshots of an Exchange guest virtual machine is not supported.”

  • We are not using snapshots - They are Full backups using WSB (Windows Server Backups). – dqnet Mar 21 '19 at 10:21

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