By Niyaz Mohamed, Microsoft Solutions & Integration Group, NetApp
Many organizations have come to rely on Microsoft Exchange Server to facilitate critical business e-mail communication processes on a 24x7 basis. System failures may result in unacceptable operational and financial losses. Because of the increasing importance of Microsoft Exchange Server for any business, Exchange data protection, disaster recovery and high availability are of increasing concern. As the importance of Exchange within the organization increases, companies expect quick recovery times with little or no data loss. With Exchange databases growing rapidly in size every day, it is increasingly difficult to complete time-consuming backup operations in a reasonable amount of time. When an outage occurs, it can take days to restore service from slower media such as tape, even assuming that all of the backup tapes are available and error free. NetApp offers a comprehensive suite of hardware and software that enables an organization to keep pace with the increasing data availability demands of an ever-expanding Exchange environment, as well as scale to accommodate future needs while reducing cost and complexity.
We are happy to announce NetApp SnapManager 7.0 for Microsoft Exchange software with support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. SnapManager for Exchange 7.0 provides an integrated data management solution for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 that enhances the availability, scalability and reliability of Exchange databases. SnapManager for Exchange provides rapid online backup and restoration of databases, along with local or remote backup set mirroring for disaster recovery. SnapManager for Exchange uses online Snapshot technologies that are part of NetApp’s storage OS, clustered Data ONTAP. It integrates with Exchange backup and restores APIs and the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). SnapManager for Exchange uses SnapMirror to support disaster recovery.
SnapManager for Exchange 7.0 provides the following data management capabilities:
SnapManager for Exchange 7.0 highlights include:
SME 7.0 Features
Support for Exchange 2013
SME 7.0 provides support for the newly released Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. Exchange Server 2013 enhanced many existing features that help customers achieve flexibility in their deployment scenarios and provide built-in high-availability features. SME 7.0 is tightly integrated with these new features, providing a complementary feature set for Exchange 2013.
Support for clustered Data ONTAP 8.2
NetApp enables its customers to move to a fully virtualized compute and storage platform to provide the best consolidation platform with the highest level of service level agreements (SLAs) and operational flexibility and efficiency for the Exchange Server environments. Benefits include the following:
Gapless Database Availability Group (DAG) backup feature
The gapless backup feature is designed to make sure that a Snapshot copy that is older than the most recent full backup, which truncates the transaction logs, can utilize up-to-the-minute restore (roll-forward recovery). The ability to perform Up-to-the-minute restore in recovery scenarios always complements to most of the companies restore requirements.
Backup retention management enhancements
The backup retention refers to the duration of time the backups would be retained. SnapManager provides backup management groups for designating various levels of backup retention.
Rapid reseed using the Netapp Snapshots
The standard Exchange reseed function can be slow with larger databases. SnapManager normally uses a more rapid method to reseed databases using Snapshot copy created for the databases using the Restore functionality or by using PowerShell scripts. Gapless backup or Node level backups would be used to accomplish this scenario.
Copyless Transaction Log Archiving
SnapManager archives transaction log files using NTFS hard links, which enables conservation of disk space in storage systems and improves the system performance. During a backup operation, SnapManager archives transaction logs on the live file system to the SnapInfo directory. To optimize backup operations in which the database transaction logs and the SnapInfo directory are on the same NTFS volume, SnapManager archives transaction logs to the SnapInfo directory by creating NTFS hard links instead of performing a file copy operation.
This conserves the disk space of the storage system and improves system performance during the transaction log archival phase of the backup operation. When an SME backup operation completes, Exchange truncates its committed transaction log files. However, the actual files are not deleted. NTFS detects that other hard links still exist and the physical files are retained. The original NTFS hard links to the live transaction files are removed, and the links to the SnapInfo directory remain intact and available for access for SME restore operations.
The ability to recover Exchange databases when necessary is a critical operation for an Exchange administrator. With SME Restore you can recover your Exchange databases and transaction logs from backups that it created, or from archive. There are two types of restores in SME: up-to-the-minute restore and point-in-time restore.
NetApp SnapManager 7.0 for Microsoft Exchange is an integral component of the NetApp data management solution for Microsoft Exchange Server environments. By reducing backup and restore times, minimizing Exchange outages, and consolidating Exchange storage, SME delivers a cost-effective solution for managing critical Exchange data.
For more information, please stop by the NetApp booth #1101 at Microsoft TechEd this week.