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Restore Exchange storage groups with DPM 2007

Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 can be used to back up and restore Exchange servers, but how do you restore your backups? Here are the steps to restore a storage group using DPM 2007 and some tricks that will help save valuable network bandwidth along the way.

Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 lets you backup and restore Exchange servers. But how do you restore Exchange Server backups? There are several different types of restorations that you can perform, the first of which is restoring a storage group.

To restore a storage group, open the Data Protection Manager Administration console and select the Recovery tab. The column on the left should list all of your protected resources. Expand the list for the server that contains the data you want to restore.

Next, expand the All Protected Exchange Data container and select the storage group you want to recover. The pane on the lower right-hand side of the console screen should list the databases that reside in that storage group (Figure 1).

Select a storage group
Figure 1. Select the storage group you want to recover.

You'll notice that this screen also contains a calendar. Normally, the days on which recovery points exist will appear in bold type. In this case, I started protecting my Exchange servers on May 17, so no dates will be listed in bold print.

The next step is to select the rate from which you want to restore a storage group. You can configure DPM 2007 to create multiple recovery points for each day. Therefore, you must select the recovery point that you want to use from the Recovery Time drop down list.

Below the Recovery Time option is a Recover From option. I don't have a tape drive connected, so my only option is to recover from disk. If I were using both disk- and tape-based backups, I could choose which medium I wanted to restore the backup from.

Once you've selected the backup you want to restore, verify that the desired storage group is selected again and click the Recover link, which is found in the Actions pane. This will launch the Recovery Wizard.

The wizard's initial screen confirms which recovery point will be restored. Verify that the correct recovery point is listed and click Next.

You'll then be taken to the Select Recovery Type screen (Figure 2), which asks where you want to restore the data to. Since we're restoring an entire storage group, our only option is to recover to the original Exchange Server location.

Choose your recovery options
Figure 2. Choose your recovery options.

NOTE: Pay attention to the warning message at the bottom of the screen. I'm restoring an entire storage group, so this warning doesn't apply. But if you're restoring an individual database, all other databases within the storage group will be dismounted until the recovery operation is complete.

Clicking Next will take you to the Recovery Options screen (Figure 3). I've chosen to mount the databases after the recovery operation is complete.

Choose to have the databases mounted
Figure 3. You can choose to have the databases mounted automatically after the restore operation is complete.

The bandwidth-throttling option appears below the option to mount the databases after the recovery operation is complete. Bandwidth throttling prevents the recovery operation from consuming too much network bandwidth.

You can throttle bandwidth during working hours and either set a different throttle limit or turn off throttling during non-working hours. Click Modify to view the screen shown in Figure 4.

Prevent the consumption of too much bandwidth with throttling
Figure 4. Bandwidth throttling prevents the recovery operation from consuming too much network bandwidth.

More on Data Protection Manager:
Troubleshooting Microsoft's DPM 2007 agent deployment process

Benefits of backing up Exchange Server with Microsoft's DPM 2007

A final option is the ability to send notification messages to your administrative staff once the recovery operation is complete. Once you've finished specifying the recovery options, click Next.

You should see a summary screen that displays the options you've chosen up to this point. Make sure everything is correct and click Recover. When the recovery process completes, click Close.

Remember: This explains how Data Protection Manager handles the recovery process. There isn't much you have to do on the Exchange side. However if you're going to replace an existing database, you must inform Exchange that the database can be restored.

About the author: Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a five-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his work with Exchange Server, Windows Server, Internet Information Services (IIS), and File Systems and Storage. Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal website at www.brienposey.com.

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