There are lots of reasons why you should 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 be argued that no application details as numerous elements of a company as Exchange. From the shipping room towards the professional boardroom, nearly every working job function has some level of dependency on e-mail. Hence, when the e-mail server is unavailable, the organization that is entire affected.
* With laws like Sarbanes-Oxley, also those regarding financial and healthcare organizations, the retention of e-mail is now an ethical responsibility of one’s career. Other laws, such as E-SIGN, bind electronic agreements with the same validity as penned contracts.
* And finally, even though the above two examples are “internal”, most companies rely on e-mail as part of doing business, externally today. From distributing information between time zones, to coordinating a lunch location, e-mail is now often the most business that is critical for some companies.
Therefore, the relevant question becomes “How can I effectively and affordably protect Exchange?” Before considering solutions, one should understand the difficulties first around protecting Microsoft Exchange.
* Exchange data is held in numerous directories with exceptionally interdependent that is large. In even the most simple configurations, tens to hundreds of mailboxes can be stored in a single “information store” file.
* Exchange data files are constantly in usage and stay open by the application form. Regardless if the files could be sporadically closed, the 24X7 use of e-mail requires them to be accessible all of the time.
* the aforementioned two facts combined require a “email server hosting” and specialized, and typically expensive, software (called backup agents) to appear within the declare conventional back-up.
* And to make matters more complex, the current variations of Microsoft Exchange (2000 and 2003) are determined by Windows directory that is active. This necessitates other information that is external also be protected so that you can ensure the resilience of the e-mail system.
Collectively, its safe to state that Microsoft Exchange is perhaps one of the more difficult applications to back up. For that explanation, many IT administrators have started evaluating different choices for Microsoft Exchange security and accessibility.
From a “protection” perspective, tape back-up is assumed. However, as you steps the time and energy required to backup windows and restore tapes, we’re forced to concede that tape backup alone is insufficient–when you think about that tape backup occurs just nightly, which could result in up to an entire day of data loss should a failure occur. In the instance of e-mail, a lot of that information loss is unrecoverable. Then, during times during the crisis and restoration, data recovery from tape is usually measured in hours.
For many, the assumption is that the only real other available technology is synchronous storage hardware that is mirrored. 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 same functionality, and never limit ourselves by “agents for Exchange” or any other application.
The negatives of synchronous storage space revolve mostly around price (like the cost of the two storage arrays) plus the fabric, controllers and synchronization pc software. You can add the expense of a “storage space supervisor” or other specific with specialized storage skills. And on top of the, for just about any degree of real distance, one must also add the price of bandwidth–which is considerable when pushing blocks around and being influenced by a acknowledgment that is fast to your nature of synchronous replication.