There are lots of reasons to protect Microsoft Exchange. In fact, one could probably devote an entire article to simply building the case for Exchange protection; but instead, let’s simply list a few “whys” and move on to “how”.
* It could possibly be argued that no application touches as many elements of a company as Exchange. Through the delivery space to your professional boardroom, nearly every job function has some level of dependency on e-mail. Hence, when the e-mail server is unavailable, the entire organization is impacted.
* With laws like Sarbanes-Oxley, also those pertaining to financial and healthcare institutions, the retention of e-mail is becoming an responsibility that is ethical of’s career. Other laws, such as E-SIGN, bind electronic agreements with the validity that is same penned contracts.
* And finally, even though the above two examples are “internal”, most companies today rely on e-mail as part of doing business, externally. From distributing information between time zones, to coordinating a lunch location, e-mail is now often the most critical business communication for most companies.
Therefore, the relevant question becomes “How can I effectively and affordably protect Exchange?” Before considering solutions, one should first understand the difficulties around protecting Microsoft Exchange.
* Exchange data is held in numerous directories with incredibly large interdependent files. In even the most simple configurations, tens to hundreds of mailboxes can be stored in a single “information store” file.
* Exchange data are constantly in usage and remain open by the application. Even in the event the files could be occasionally closed, the use that is 24X7 of requires them to be accessible all of the time.
* the aforementioned two facts combined require a window that is”backup and specialized, and typically expensive, software (called backup agents) to check inside the declare traditional backup.
* And to make matters more complicated, the current variations of Microsoft Exchange (2000 and 2003) are dependent on Windows active directory. This necessitates other external information to also be protected in order to make sure the resilience of the email server hosting system.
Collectively, its safe to express that Microsoft Exchange is perhaps very difficult applications to back up. For that explanation, many IT administrators have begun taking a look at various choices for Microsoft Exchange protection and availability.
From a “protection” perspective, tape back-up is assumed. Nonetheless, as one measures the full time and effort needed to backup windows and restore tapes, we’re forced to concede that tape backup alone is insufficient–when you think about that tape back-up happens only nightly, which could bring about as much as an day that is entire of loss should a failure occur. In the situation of email server hosting, much of that information loss is unrecoverable. And then, during times during the crisis and restoration, data recovery from tape is normally calculated in hours.
For a few, the assumption is that truly the only other available technology is synchronous mirrored storage hardware. Instead of attempting to “backup” or protect the Exchange data from an application perspective (which forces all of the complexities that were mentioned earlier), some IT administrators simply protect the storage. The data can be protected by providing a second storage solution and allowing the storage fabric to maintain synchronization.
The positive aspect of protecting the storage (and not the application) is that the solution becomes application independent. By protecting the storage, we can protect every application with the functionality that is same rather than limit ourselves by “agents for Exchange” or just about any application.
The negatives of synchronous storage revolve mostly around cost (including the cost of the two storage arrays) in addition to the textile, controllers and synchronization computer software. You can add the expense of a “storage space supervisor” or other specific with specialized storage abilities. And on top of this, for just about any amount of real distance, one must also add the cost of bandwidth–which is considerable when pushing blocks around and being influenced by a fast acknowledgment due to the nature of synchronous replication.