But I only want to restore a single mailbox…


I'm using DPM to backup my Exchange data and I want to restore a single mailbox only. Is that possible?  This is a pretty common question at the moment and the answer is of course Yes.  However DPM takes volume snapshots using VSS and so you will need to restore an entire volume set (i.e. database and transaction logs) to a point in time, to a recovery storage group or recovery server, and then extract the relevant mailbox data from this restored database.  There is a good article that was posted recently on this subject - 'Recovering Mailboxes'.

It is of course essential to have to the ability to recover entire mailboxes or individual items within a mailbox, however if this should be a last resort regardless of the backup solution in place.  Traditional 'bricks-level' type backups are expensive in terms of performance and storage and are not very common in my experience because of these limitations.  If you are restoring mailboxes regularly then consider planning to increase the deleted mailbox and item retention periods but probably the most successful approaches will be to try to talk to the people generating the requests..  What are they doing wrong? Do they understand what the request entails for support staff? Could they be charged directly for support staffs time for each request?  There is likely to be a proactive approach to ensuring that these types of requests are reduced...

In my opinion a good messaging design should incorporate a backup solution that is only ever used for firedrills...

Comments (14)
  1. rosen says:

    So how does using the restore mailbox option differ from just doing a restore SG/DB?  It sounds like it does the same thing..so whats the difference?

  2. In effect the only difference is that the retore mailbox option will restore the database and log stream to the recovery storage group whereas a database recovery could be over the top of the original database or to the recovery storage group..  There is no concept of a bricks-level type restorable backup of individual mailboxes. It is a VSS snap of a volume.

  3. rosen says:

    Does the restore mailbox option

    1) create the RSG

    2) recover the mailbox

    or do I  (the admin) still have to do all of this via powershell?

  4. Have a look at the steps ‘How to Recover an Exchange 2007 Mailbox’ at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb795895.aspx .  It is series of manualpowershell steps.

  5. Some useful related links….

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997260.aspx (about recovery storage groups)

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb809007.aspx (step-by-step instructions to recover a mailbox)

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997694(EXCHG.80).aspx (includes the command to create the RSG)

  6. Brian says:

    Using other tools (i.e. Ontrack Powercontrol or quest Recovery Manager for Exchange) can expedite this process esp if one is using SAN based snapshots (i.e. CLONES) …and discovering the mailboxes can be done on a standby server.  EMC has dozens of customers doing this today.

  7. I agree – there are a lot of choices out there..  I really do believe that DPM is one of the best on the market especially when you consider the cost…

  8. Sam says:

    Is it possible to build a DPM Cluster that will handle backup for 40 separate Exchange/AD Domains. Can you see a way of doing this i.e. if a trust is set up between each of the Exchange/AD envioronments and a separate Resource Domain that contains a cluster of DPM servers?

  9. DPM can protect servers in different domains but they need to be part of the same forest.  You will need to deploy a DPM server in each forest. Might mean you can get away with less than 40 but probably not one. You could consider an Exchange resource forest, move all the Exchange resources into it (move-mailbox in E2K7) and put DPM for Exchange in there..?

  10. Sekou Page says:

    DPM can support cross-forest protection.  So, you need to create two-way cross forest trusts in order to protect multiple Exchange/AD environments using a single DPM infrastructure in a "DPM domain".

  11. Olive Pattionson says:

    Great Tips!! The article explained entire recovery convert excellently. For the automated recovery of mailboxes go for: http://www.pcvita.com/edb-converter.html

  12. Tim-Horton says:

    Great article, I found very good information about how restore exchange mailbox database by using SCDPM but I found a helpful solution from http://www.lepide.com/exchange-manager to restore a mailbox database. It allows to export or import mailboxes/pst/ost files and  fix all kinds of exchange server corruption issues and migrate single or multiple mailboxes from offline edb, live exchange public folder.

  13. Deviddevanto says:

    Easily restore single and multiple mailbox from corrupt or damaged exchange server with the help of edb recovery software. The software  easily repair corrupt exchange edb and convert into outlook pst files.  Read recovery-files—exchange-recovery.en.softonic.com

  14. admoranphilip says:

    Exchange recovery application is another way to restore deleted or lost exchange server mailbox. It can easily fix exchange server database issue and convert corrupt edb into healthy pst files. Read more http://www.edbrecovery.convertexchange.com

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