Beta 2 of the 'System Center Data Protection Manager 2007' was released recently and is available for download from microsoft.com It's Microsoft's backup and recovery solution and will be tightly integrated with Exchange 2007 and 'System Centre Operations Manager 2007' (currently MOM) so that you can quickly sort out a backup rotation based on your 'Recovery Time Objective' via online streaming backups to tape, VSS snaps to disk etc... and make sure that all DPM activities are properly monitored.
It looks as if you can very quickly configure (which can all be scripted through powershell) a combination of continuous replication in E2K7 and VSS snaps of the copy of the replicated data to disk in DPM. The best bit though is that from my very brief read of the whitepaper and a look at the beta, the recovery process is incredibly simple... The following simple example is taken from the 'Protecting Exchange Server with DPM 2007 White Paper';
"At 12:57 in the afternoon, the Exchange server loses a database due to hardware failure of the drive. After replacing the drive, DPM 2007 can restore the Exchange data to any previous recovery point, including the most current from 12:45.
With a single mouse-click in the DPM administrator console, one can choose "latest" which instructs DPM to first restore to the last recovery point and then roll forward the surviving transaction logs beyond that. So, in this example, after the Exchange database is recovered to 12:45, the additional committed transaction logs up thru 12:57 are also applied - resulting in near zero data loss when the recovery is complete."
The ' near zero data loss' need stressing but really think this will be a fantastic solution for Exchange administrators to feel confident about their ability to quickly and simply recover their Exchange data. ..and a real chance I think to break down some of the barriers that can exist between exchange teams and backup teams. In my experience too many exchange teams have no idea about the intricacies of their backup solution and backup teams rarely have the time to understand all the different backup and recovery options for each of the solutions they are responsible for backing up. Will write more when I have had a proper go with it in a lab...