Archive for backups

Backup Exec and Exchange 2003

So I had a bit of a panic attack over the weekend after our VP of IT called Friday to ask me to send him over a copy of our backup procedure.  I had the procedure ready (in my head at least, just needed to put it to keyboard and paper) but I also realized that in our backup of our Exchange server, we were not doing mailbox backups.

We use Backup Exec version 9, and we are backing up the drives and the Information Store and the Shadow copy Components, but not the mailboxes and public folders.  So, I started worrying and reading as frantically as I could.  What I found after reading quite a bit and trying (and failing) some test backups was that I didn’t need to backup the mailboxes.

According to the Help, “mailboxes and public folders are already included in the Exchange server database backups, but if you want to make the restore of a mailbox or folder easier, you can also select one or more mailboxes or public folders for backup seperately from the database.”  Now, ideally, I do want to backup the mailboxes seperate.  However, until I get that figured out, I am still backing up the data and can restore it in the event of a failure.

Now, back to getting the account setup correctly so I can backup the mailboxes individually. . .more on that later.

Backup Change Note

I added a local directory to backup in tonights backup of the file server here.  If for some reason my backups tonight don’t work, the first thing I need to do in the morning is to remove the backup of the local drive from the current backup configuration.

 We installed ShipWorks on the server and I am sharing it out and setting up backups for it today.

Backup Changes on Graphics Server & Spooler changes

Backup Changes

I was studying for my 70-290 this weekend by reading through some chapters in my Microsoft Press book. As I was reading and actually beginning to understand some of the backup information, I realized I need to make a couple of changes to my backup schedule here at work. I was again convinced that I need to do a bi-weekly normal/full backup of the main graphics server, and then run Differential backups each night for the next two weeks. This insures that I need only the full backup tapes (of which there are 2) and the differential tape in case of a system failure. I thought I had set this, but it turns out I was running incremental backups and so I switched that today.

I also turned off the verify switch. I had sort of thought before that I didn’t really need to do it, but with the new tapes I just got, it seems silly.

Spooler Changes
I changed the location of the spooler on the main server. It was on the C drive, it is now on E:\spool\PRINTERS.

Backup Exec, Mac Troubles, and Exchange Size Limit

Backup Exec
I have spent a couple of pretty darn frustrating days trying to figure out what in the world happened to one of my servers to make my backups stop working. I am using Backup Exec 9 with an internal tape drive on one server to backup files on another server. Suddenly, and without warning, my backups started failing. I tried everything I could think of, including Symantec’s advice of redoing the login admin account. Nothing. So what had changed? Well, I had installed IIS to beging testing VMWare on that box, so ok, I figured uninstalling IIS couldn’t hurt. Reboot. . .Nothing. I tried every iteration of backup, incrementals, differentials, copies. . .Nothing. Noticed VMWare had added some network adapters, so I figured what the heck, may as well disable them while I am thinking of it and at that moment happened to realize that the windows firewall was turned on for my main nic. . .odd. . .I don’t remember that being on. I decided to look at my other nics on my other servers, and sure enough, it wasn’t turned on anywhere else. Of course. . .rebooted. . wallah. . backups working!! ARRRGGGGHHHH!!!

MAC Note

In addition to backup fun, I have been helping one of the graphics guys get his new Mac Pro up and running. I don’t think that there is too much I want or need to say about that. We also did some Webway work/tweeking while we were at it, and I do want to note that we had some minor issues with viewing proofs that seem to have something to do with login accounts and permissions. ALSO TO NOTE: As the admin down south suggested, I have removed the oldes mac from the network and will now monitor the switch in the Graphics room.

Exchange Note

I did notice yesterday, while I was checking all the server logs to see what had changed, that we were getting a warning on the Exchange Server that we were running into out 18 GB size limit for our DB. A quick note the admin down south confirmed that this needed to be fixed. He said he changed a registry setting to give us 70 GB and that the MS limit was actually 75 GB, so we had some wiggle room if we do get close to the edge. Another registry fix would allow us to continue working long enough to have folks delete much and be operational once again.

A Switch in the Certification Plan and Circular Logging


A month ago, I had been planning to pursue my CCNA. However, after talking it over with the boss, he “highly recommended” reconsidering and instead begin work on my MCSA or E. Since I am counting on work to foot the bill, at least in part, I decided the boss must be right, and since both are on my longer list of goals, I decided to follow his advice.

Well, the day after I began studying for the 70-290 test (ins and outs of Win2003 Server) I needed to replace a failing SCSI drive in one one of our 2000 Server PCs. And wouldn’t you know, I did indeed use what I had just been studying. . .dynamic disk management.

I have to say that most of what I am learning is directly applicable to my job, and is much easier for me to get my head around than a lot of the networking details I was trying to master while studying the CCNA material.

I have high hopes that someday in the future, in the long away future I am afraid, I will have both my CCNA and MCSE, but for now, I am studying hard to take the 70-290 test in the early fall.

Circular Logging

For some reason, the server here had circular logging enabled on our Exchange 2003 Server. Yet, our backups keep failing since it was enabled.

From postings all over the web, and from my trusty Exchange Bible (Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 24Seven by Jim McBee) I see that our problems most likely stem from circular logging being enabled on our server.

So, today I turned it off and am anxious to see if my mailbox backups again run tonight without trouble. Shoot, it is lunchtime, I guess I am off to try that backup.

Storage Learning Fun

I have to delve into the world of storage now, and I have to say that it is all VERY confusing. I have a book, The Holy Grail of Data Storage Management, by Jon William Toigo that seems to cover most of what I am looking for, but I need to find the time to actually read the book!We have about 300GB of data that we need to backup, but we also need to be able to restore that data quickly, and also keep some snapshots.

A consultant we have been working with has recommended an external Apple XServe array, but I have to say that I am VERY hesitant to go down that lonely Apple road. Everyone I know has Windows based systems, and God knows I often need to call those I know for help/advice when I get stuck here. Bottom line is that in the business world. . Apple still has a long way to go.