Recovering a single Exchange 2007 mailbox using DPM 2007

by Shijaz Abdulla on 07.05.2008 at 16:25

In this post, I explain how you can use System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (hereafter DPM) to recover a single Exchange Server 2007 mailbox to a Recovery Storage Group (hereafter RSG) and ‘merge’ the restore with the actual mailbox.

On our production environment, we have Exchange Server 2007 SP1 SCC running on a Windows Server 2008 failover cluster.

Before continuing, make sure you have created a Recovery Storage Group on your Exchange 2007 mailbox server for the mailbox database that you want to restore to. This can be done via GUI (Toolbox > Database Recovery Management) or via Powershell.

new-storagegroup -Server <Server_Name> -LogFolderPath path_to_Logfiles> -Name <RSG_Name> -SystemFolderPath <Database_Path> -Recovery

On the DPM server, click on the Recovery tab, and navigate through the hierarchy and locate the storage group that contains the mailbox that you want to recover. Double clicking on the mailbox database, shows a list of mailboxes. Right click on the mailbox  you want to restore and click Recover. You can also select a date and time of the recovery point from which you would like to restore.

DPMrecovery1

In the Recovery Wizard, review the recovery information click Next and select the recovery type. Click browse to select your mailbox server. You will have to manually type the Storage Group Name (specify your Recovery Storage Group name here) and your Database Name (the mailbox database name inside your RSG). DPMrecovery2

Click Next, review the options and begin the restoration process.

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Once the recovery process is complete, go back to the Exchange 2007 mailbox server. Open Exchange Management Console –> Toolbox –> Database Recovery Management.

Mount the Mailbox database that you just restored in the Recovery Storage Group. This shouldn’t require more explanation.

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After mounting the database, come back to the above menu and select Merge or copy mailbox contents.

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Select the mailbox database that contains the mailbox you want to recover and click Gather Merge information. On the next screen, review the merge options and click Perform pre-merge tasks.

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Select your mailbox and click Perform Merge actions. Once the process completes, review the result.

DPMrecovery10

The restored mailbox on the RSG database is now merged with the production database.

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8 Responses to Recovering a single Exchange 2007 mailbox using DPM 2007

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this article. I have been searching for over a week for the restore procedure without using commandlets. Microsoft web site was no help at all. I have printed this article out and will make sure that it is included in our recovery documentation.

  2. Shijaz says:

    Glad I could be of help!

  3. Looker says:

    Am I correct that DPM is quite cumbersome regarding *individual* mailbox restores? It appears to me that, though I select *one* mailbox, the *entire* mailbox store is, in fact, being restored to the recovery storage group. That seems highly inefficient given that my test mailbox is about 5MB but the mailbox store (50 GB) is what was restored and required 20 to 30 minutes to restore.

    Do you suppose MS has plans to fix this problem? Our other backup program — EMC’s Retrospect — restores only the mailbox itself and does so in seconds, and to the location of our choice.

    Dan J.

  4. Shijaz says:

    @Looker, that is correct.

    The same applies to a SharePoint restore. If I want to restore a single document or a document library, the entire SharePoint farm is restored to the recovery farm, and then the individual items are picked up from the recovery farm and restored to production.

    No idea yet if MSFT will enhance this process.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can i do the smae through powershell.
    Because we can’t recover the mailboxes at this moment.

    While clicking on the recovery tab DPM UI crashes.

    I though maybe can i recover the mailbox through PowerShell

  6. Sarbjit Singh Gill says:

    you forgot to mention that to restore the whole database from dpm, it is going to take a long time depending on your mailbox size. then it also depends if you have the free space on your exchange. if you had a design where all mails are kept on a single db the size of 500GB, then you have to have some 700G free on your exchange to restore the 500GB db from DPM.

    All this are nice and straight forward, but in the live environment, there are many elements which make this article look like a honeymoon.

  7. Sarbjit Singh Gill says:

    I don't understand why you said the Microsoft website was not helpful at all, when i found this http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb795895.aspx.

    Maybe you were looking for screen shot kind of help?

  8. Kusuriya says:

    @looker,
    The issue was fixed for DPM2010, so far in the release candidate it will let me reach into a backup and pull one, a few, or all Mailboxes from it. It also introduced Auto growing backup volumes, and the ability to shrink DPM volumes.

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