For years I’ve been using and administering Backup Exec. For nearly all that time I have not used the Exchange agent to it’s full capacity. At my last job we had always just backed up the entire database, and not had it set to be able to do mailbox level restores. Why? I think originally, some time long ago, it was really slow to do those types of backups and I wasn’t the one in charge at that time.
Jump forward almost a decade and I’m now at a new company. I have just setup our new Backup Exec 2010 R2 server, and I decided to see what the performance was with the Granular Restore Technology (GRT) turned on. We have a modest Exchange database at about 27gb with about 40 mailboxes. Not really knowing what to expect I was happy to see that the whole job ran in 24minutes to our LTO4 drive. Not too shabby, and now I can select individual mailboxes, or even specific folders/messages to restore if I needed to! Obviously this time to backup will increase, but I think I can handle it for the foreseeable future.
I’ve been at my new job for two months now, and I already feel like I have tackled many things. There is a long way to go yet, but the progress have been interesting.
One of the bigger projects I have been working on is getting away from Small Business Server 2008. It is a great system for startups, but I’m pretty sure this place outgrew it about a year ago. The server has 8gb of ram with just 1 (mirrored) HD, so it is paging like crazy and runs as slow as I have ever seen. Here are some of the many tasks I’ve been doing recently to take some load off of it and get ready for the Exchange 2010 Transition from the Exchange 2007 that is included on SBS 2008.
* Raise the domain level to 2008
* Transfer FISMO roles to our new AD Controller
* Setup DNS on new AD Controller
* Replicate and Activate DHCP scope on new AD Controller
* Upgrade Exchange 2007 to SP3
All that just to get to a place I felt ready to start the new Exchange 2010 installation. So far things have gone pretty well. Having never worked with Exchange 2010 before I wanted to do a lot of reading before I started any work. I reviewed many blog posts and forums and found lots of good information. There was one site in particular that had an excellent step by step guide. Exchange Geek’s Weblog had an excellent transition guide. While it deals specifically with a transition from Exchange 2003 to 2010, I was most concerned with the Exchange 2010 setup and configuration tasks which are largely the same. I was able to adapt the steps for Exchange 2007 and so far everything is working well. I recommend downloading the guide and giving it a read.
I’ve been working to setup my new LTO4 Changer and was having some trouble configuring it to work via SAS and VMWare. I found this very handy article about how to configure PCI passthrough to your Guest OS which solved my problems.