SME 6.0 Backup Schedule Design


i'm new to the forum so i hope this is in the correct place.

We are just deploying SME for our Exchange 2010 build out and i'm ploughing through the install&admin guide and also the best practice paper.

i was wondering if there is recommended standard set up that most people adopt, i'd be interested to hear how others have their backups set.

We have 4 active & 4 passive mailbox servers in a DAG, SME 6.0, SMBR 6.0, SD 6.4 and Snapmirror.

Initially the plan was to have regular (unverified) 15 min snapshots thoughout the day and then have one verified each night.  I have now discovered FRP backups and im wondering if this would be the better option but i dont yet understand the pros/cons of this vs a snapshot - any clarification would be much appreciated.

a high level would be something like this with different retention settings for each management group:

Standard - Every hour (unverified)

FRP - 15 mins

Daily - 10pm (verifed)

Weekly Sat 10PM (verifed) - Snapmirror this backup to other filer for NDMP backup

any feedback on this design/implementation would be much appreciated,


Re: SME 6.0 Backup Schedule Design

Your DAG is in a 2+0 set where you have two copies in the primary site and there is no secondary location? That's the assumption I'll work from.....

I haven't encountered an Exchange 2010 customer use FRPs because the DAG is available. The logs are in two locations and there is the ability to do Copy Mode backups on the copy the Full Backups are not being run against. Those logs are pretty secure without taking additional snapshots of the logs.

Do your hourly snapshots on one copy and then do Copy Mode backups on the other copy on the half-hour. That's a very high number of backups and far more than I've ever seen with 2010 but your business requirements presumably demand it and hey, it's a NetApp snapshot so no problem.

I wouldn't bother with what you describe as the daily snapshot, just create a job to run at 10:30pm to verify the last 1 backup which will capture your 10pm backup. It's administratively simpler.

As for the weekly SnapMirror. I'd actually tell SME to update the mirror as and when a backup happens. You can do the NDMP whenever you want, but at least you can say that, hourly, you have a proper backup (defined as a snapshot that has been sent somewhere else). If you don't constantly snapmirror that backup until once a day or once a week you run all that time with all your eggs in that one basket.

Re: SME 6.0 Backup Schedule Design

thanks marnold,

Currently we have active/passive in the same site but will be building out a 3rd DR site at a later date. 

I'm not sure what copy mode backups are so will look into them later.  There is no hard business requirement at this time regarding the backups except to have as upto date restores available as possible, i guess the trick is finding the balance which is why i posted looking for indications of practical schedules out there in the real world.

i like the point about mirroring each snapshot copy but i have a question regarding the separate verify job.

Q - if the unverified snapshot gets mirrored at 10pm, then the snapshot gets verified at 10.30pm, If we have to restore from the 10pm snapshot backup from the mirror, presumably this will have to be verified again?

or will the verify trigger a mirror?

again thanks for the input!

Re: SME 6.0 Backup Schedule Design

The verification is only for your benefit. It has no bearing on the restorability of a database and is most certainly not mandatory these days. And since you're running a DAG your snapshot is really only there to prevent you having to do a full reseed if the copy gets diverged and as a means to get data off-site if that is a requirement. As you grow your databases up to the 2TB area you're probably going to find yourself wondering why you're bothering and probably end up deleting the verification job.

Re: SME 6.0 Backup Schedule Design

Thanks again for the info marnold.  The verification is a company requirement and something i must configure daily.

in your experience what is a common backup frequency as you seemed to indicate that the schedule outlined above is perhaps a bit excessive?

many thanks