The Retrospect Exchange Server Agent provides the ability to back up and restore Microsoft Exchange servers (2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019). Without the agent add-on, Retrospect cannot back up the databases and mailboxes of Exchange stores.
You can back up an Exchange server locally, running the Retrospect application on the server itself, or you can back up the Exchange server as a Retrospect client, running the Retrospect application on a different computer.
Retrospect displays Exchange 2010+ Databases under the Exchange Server container in Configure > Volumes, in a similar fashion to Storage Groups that belong to Exchange 2003 or 2007.
Retrospect requires a separate Exchange Server Agent license for each Exchange Server in a DAG that you intend to back up or restore.
Retrospect supports mailbox protection for Exchange 2003 through 2013. Due to Microsoft’s API changes, Exchange 2016 and higher are not supported for mailbox backup.
Beginning with Exchange 2007, Microsoft does not install the Messaging API (MAPI) client libraries or Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) 1.2.1 as a part of the base product installation. Retrospect requires that these libraries be installed on the Exchange server in order to backup Exchange 2007 and 2010. For information on installing MAPI and CDO, please see the Microsoft web site.
Retrospect also requires components in the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x64) be installed on machines running Exchange Server 2007 or 2010 in order to successfully back up the server. To install these components select the Install Exchange 2007/2010 Support button in the Retrospect installer. For more information, please see the Microsoft web site.
Retrospect supports backing up and restoring an Exchange server in a cluster environment with the following limitations:
The cluster can only have two nodes.
You can only back up one Exchange resource group that is shared between the two nodes.
Nodes must be backed up and restored as Retrospect Clients. The Retrospect backup computer cannot be one of the nodes in the cluster.
You can only back up Exchange data on the node that owns the Exchange resource group. Likewise, you can only restore Exchange data to the node that owns the Exchange resource group.
Retrospect does not back up and restore cluster configuration information. In a disaster recovery scenario, you will have to manually recreate the cluster before restoring the Exchange data with Retrospect.
If you want to make sure your Exchange data gets backed up regardless of which node currently owns the Exchange resource group, you must have a separate Exchange license (and a client license) for each node. If you only want to back up your Exchange data when a specific node owns the Exchange resource group, you only need an Exchange license (and a client license) for that node.
If no Exchange mailboxes are displayed, make sure you are running Retrospect as a user with mailbox privileges. In most cases you should be running as with domain administrator privileges, not just local administrator privileges. See the Retrospect User's Guide and online help for more information.
If you get Retrospect error -3401 and Windows error 0x81002746, as well as no mailboxes, you cannot run Retrospect as “administrator.” Create an account with the necessary privileges and name it something other than “administrator.”
If you get Retrospect error -3401 or -3402 and Windows error 0x80040115, as well as no mailboxes, select the Exchange container in the Volumes Database, then click the Login as button. If there is no login information, enter it now and try again. If there is login information, there may be problems with the account. In that case you should make sure the account has not been deactivated or had its permissions revoked. You can also create a new account and use it to login instead.
The Knowledgebase includes detailed articles on Exchange disaster recovery.
Retrospect 8 for Windows requires Microsoft .NET 4.0 or later in order to access Exchange and Exchange mailboxes. In some cases you will be unable to even open Retrospect if you do not have .NET 4 installed on your exchange server. .NET 4 is found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24872.
Some users with Exchange 2010 have reported authentication problems connecting to Exchange if they have installed PowerShell 3.0. We recommend uninstalling 3.0 and install version 2.0.
Numerous security measures prevent an unauthorized user from simply launching Retrospect on the backup computer and backing up an Exchange server. Because Exchange can only be backed up and restored by a domain administrator, you must prepare Retrospect to run in the correct security context. This involves configuring preferences in Retrospect so that the application or Retrospect client software runs as a certain user with sufficient privileges for the Exchange server.
Regardless of whether you have yet installed or run Retrospect, and regardless of how you previously set its security preference, follow these instructions to ensure you can work with Exchange.
You must create a special login for use by Retrospect and identify human users of Retrospect as Backup Operators. These steps, which use Active Directory Users and Computers, are described below.
Within the Exchange server’s domain, create a login dedicated for use by Retrospect, such as RBU (for Retrospect backup user account).
Make this account a member of Domain Users, Administrators, Backup Operators, and Domain Admins. Also give it an Exchange mailbox.
Send an e-mail message to this Retrospect backup account to initialize it in Exchange.
Make the accounts of human users of Retrospect members of Backup Operators. Any login to be used with Retrospect on the backup computer must be a Backup Operator or Administrator.
After configuring the Retrospect backup user account, you must configure Retrospect to use the new account. Although you could configure Retrospect to run as a different domain user for each Exchange server, it is easier and better to configure a particular preference so Retrospect runs as the Retrospect backup user for all Exchange servers.
Log in to the backup computer using an administrator-privileged login.
If you have not already done so, install Retrospect on the backup computer as described in Getting Started.
Launch the Retrospect application.
If this is the first time you have run Retrospect on the backup computer, the Getting Started Wizard displays. It includes a screen on which to enter user account information.
If this is not the first time you have run Retrospect on the backup computer, click Configure on the Retrospect navigation bar, then click Preferences. In the Execution preferences group, click Security.
In both the preferences window and the first-launch user account window, the two radio buttons determine the user login under which the Retrospect application executes.
“Run Retrospect as the logged-in user” does so when you launch Retrospect manually (from the Start menu or Windows Explorer). When Retrospect automatically launches (to execute a script), it runs under the Local System account. Neither is ideal for use with Exchange, because backups will likely fail due to lack of privileges. Therefore, do not select this preference.
“Always run Retrospect as the specified user” is the preferred setting for use with Exchange. See Auto Launching Retrospect for more information. Click the radio button to select this preference. Enter the Retrospect backup user name, password, and domain.
When you click OK to accept the security preference change, Retrospect may ask you to confirm your entry; click OK.
If Retrospect tells you the login is invalid, you may have mistyped the domain user name or password. Re-check the name and follow the above steps starting at Create a Retrospect Backup User Account.
When it verifies the specified domain user, Retrospect tells you to exit the application and re-launch for the change to take effect. Exit now and log off the administrator before taking the next step.
Log in to the backup computer as a user who is a member of Backup Operators. Launch Retrospect and take note of its application window title, which includes the user the application is running as. Though you are logged in to the backup computer as a different user, the “user” running the application is the Retrospect backup user account.
When you tell Retrospect to always run under a particular login, it assigns local administrator privileges to the login if it has none.
With the security preference set as described previously and a member of Backup Operators or Administrators logged in to the backup computer, Retrospect always runs with local administrator privileges, at minimum.
This means a backup operator could exploit administrator privileges in Retrospect to manipulate files on the local computer.
To provide additional security, consider using Retrospect’s password protection preference to control user access to the Retrospect application.
If you will use an Exchange server as a Retrospect client, install the Retrospect client software on that computer. For details see Networked Clients.
If you are using an Exchange server as a Retrospect client, log in the client from the backup computer. For details see Networked Clients.
Choose License Manager from the Window menu to see licensed components.
If Exchange Database/Mailbox Backup is not listed, or if it is listed with no available licenses, click Add and enter a license code for Exchange Database/Mailbox Backup. (Click Purchase to get a code from Retrospect, Inc..)
After adding an Exchange Backup license, it is listed as available for use. The next step is to use it.
From the navigation bar, click Volumes to see the volumes database window. Under My Computer and Backup Clients are all the Exchange servers known to Retrospect.
Their icons are grayed out because they are not yet licensed, as indicated by the text. Though there is a license available in the license manager, Retrospect does not know with which servers you want to use it. You must apply a license to each server you wish to use with Retrospect.
Click on the Exchange server you want to work with, which makes Retrospect ask whether you wish to use an available license. Click OK. After a moment, the “not licensed” tags disappear from the Exchange Server container and its attendant Exchange Mailboxes container.
If Retrospect does not do anything when you click Exchange Server, the logged in user may not have sufficient privileges to access the Exchange server or the service may not be running. Confirm the service is working and re-read Security and set up security correctly before trying again.
For a server that is a client of Retrospect, Retrospect will let you enter Exchange server authentication information immediately after applying a license.
Have Retrospect use the Retrospect backup user account you supplied in the security preference.
If Retrospect does not display the Exchange server contents, or it tells you authentication failed, the specified user may not have sufficient privileges to access the Exchange server on the client computer or the service may not be running. Confirm the service is working and re-read Security and set up security correctly before trying again.
After licensing an Exchange server as described previously, you can add it to your scripts, working with it in source and destination lists. You can also work with Exchange servers in the volumes database window.
You cannot archive Exchange data.
From the navigation bar, click Configure>Volumes to display the Volumes Database window. Under My Computer and Backup Clients are all the Exchange servers known to Retrospect.
For each Exchange server there is an Exchange Server container and its attendant Exchange Mailboxes container. There is one pair of containers organized under each computer operating as an Exchange server. If you are running Retrospect on the server itself, the Exchange containers are under My Computer.
If you are not running Retrospect on the server, the Exchange containers are under Backup Clients.
If an Exchange Server container’s icon is gray, or nothing is nested beneath it, Retrospect may be running as a user with insufficient privileges to see the Exchange server data. You can use the Exchange Server container in scripts but they will fail when executed, and you cannot use Exchange Mailboxes. Re-read Security and set up security correctly.
If an Exchange Server container’s icon is colored and one or more items are nested beneath it, Retrospect is running as a user privileged to see the Exchange server data. This means you set up the security correctly.
Retrospect has one Exchange Server container per Exchange server. It is under My Computer when Retrospect is run locally on the server itself. For an Exchange server that is a networked client of Retrospect, its Exchange Server container appears under its computer’s client container.
An Exchange Server container includes one or more storage groups or databases. Click the + or – controls of an Exchange Server container to expose or hide its contents.
Selecting an Exchange Server container as a backup source causes Retrospect to back up all of the server’s databases or storage groups.
If you do not wish to back up all stores within a given server, you can select one or more individual databases or storage groups to be backed up.
Individual storage groups appear under the Exchange Server container.
Each storage group includes one or more public folder stores and one or more mailbox stores. These stores are not otherwise visible in Retrospect but you can browse a storage group and see its stores represented as database files.
Selecting an individual storage group as a backup source causes Retrospect to back up all of the group’s public folder stores and mailbox stores. You cannot isolate specific stores to be backed up.
Retrospect has one Exchange Mailboxes container per Exchange server. It is under My Computer when Retrospect is run locally on the server itself. For an Exchange server that is a networked client of Retrospect, its Exchange Mailboxes container appears under its client computer container.
An Exchange Mailboxes container can include:
one or more individual mailboxes
the All Public Folders container
When you license an Exchange Server, Retrospect automatically adds all the mailboxes associated with that server to the Exchange Mailboxes container. If, at a later time, you create new mailboxes or delete mailboxes, Retrospect modifies the contents of the Exchange Mailboxes container.
The All Public Folders container is also automatically added to the Exchange Mailboxes container.
The Exchange Mailboxes container can include mailboxes from multiple mailbox stores and Public Folders from multiple public folder stores.
Selecting the Exchange Mailboxes container as a backup source causes Retrospect to back up all mailboxes. This allows you to restore an individual mailbox, mailbox folder, or even a single message.
Backing up the Exchange Mailboxes container is not a substitute for backing up the entire Exchange server.
In order to back up Public Folders, you must select either All Public Folders, or the individual Public Folders you want to back up. Selecting the All Public Folders container allows you to restore an individual Public Folder or even a single message in a Public Folder.
If you select just the Exchange Mailboxes container, Retrospect does not back up any Public Folders.
Before you can back up an individual mailbox folder or Public Folder, you must add it to the Volumes Database.
To add a Mailbox Folder:
Choose Configure>Volumes from the Retrospect navigation bar.
In the Exchange mailboxes container, select a mailbox, then click the Subvolume button.
+ Retrospect displays a list of all the folders available for that mailbox.
Select one or more folders from the list and click Define.
Retrospect adds the folders to the Volumes Database.
To add a Public Folder:
Choose Configure>Volumes from the Retrospect navigation bar.
In the Exchange mailboxes container, select All Public Folders, then click the Subvolume button.
Retrospect displays a list of all available Public Folders.
Choose one or more Public Folders from the list and click Define.
Retrospect adds the Public Folders to the Volumes Database.
Once you have added mailbox folders and/or Public Folders, they appear in the Volumes Database. Click the + or – controls of an Exchange Mailboxes container to expose or hide its contents.
Defining an individual mailbox folder or Public Folder allows Retrospect to back it up as a unique entity instead of as a part of a larger container.
To back up an individual mailbox folder or Public Folder, select it under the Exchange Mailboxes container.
You can release Retrospect’s license of an Exchange server you no longer wish to back up or restore, making the license available for other use with other Exchange servers.
Select an Exchange container and click the Licensing button on the toolbar. Retrospect asks whether you wish to release the used license. Click OK to release it.
After releasing an Exchange license, Exchange containers, storage groups, and mailboxes become invalid in scripts.
To back up an Exchange server, a storage group, a mailbox, or a Public Folder, you can use a backup script or you can initiate an immediate backup. Each method uses the familiar components of a backup: source, destination, selection criteria, and options.
Exchange 2003 includes a Recovery Storage Group feature that allows you to mount a second copy of an Exchange mailbox store on the same server as the original database. Retrospect does not support backing up recovery storage groups.
For the source, select any one or combination of Exchange Server container, storage group, Exchange Mailboxes container, individual mailbox, individual mailbox folder, individual Public Folder, or the All Public Folders container.
Or, select My Computer or Backup Clients to back up a local Exchange server or client Exchange server, respectively. If you select My Computer or Backup Clients, Retrospect backs up everything in the container, including all mailboxes and All Public Folders.
If your sources include Exchange mailboxes or Public Folders, as well as non-Exchange volumes, make sure to group mailboxes and Public Folders together. This results in faster performance when backing up to tape Backup Sets with verification on.
For the destination, select any one or combination of Backup Sets.
Retrospect ignores selectors when backing up Exchange databases. If your sources include both non-database volumes and Exchange databases, Retrospect applies the specified selector to the non-database volumes only.
When backing up Exchange mailboxes, Retrospect does apply selectors. Retrospect includes two conditions that are especially useful for creating custom selectors to apply to Exchange mailbox backups; the Sender condition (from the Mailbox group) and the Date condition (from the Universal group). For more information, see Using Selectors.
When backing up an individual mailbox, you can set the file selection criteria to back up messages based on mailbox sender and universal date conditions. In a scripted backup, create a custom selector. In an immediate backup, mark items to back up in the preview browser. You can use its Find command to search for messages. Choosing up a subset of messages helps lessen the performance degradation associated with backing up mailbox messages.
The Exchange Server options group lets you determine the type of backup Retrospect should attempt for the source. Choose Full Backup, Differential Backup, or Log/Incremental Backup.
Retrospect cannot do a differential backup or log/incremental backup of data unless it has previously had a full backup. In this case it automatically attempts a full backup.
When implementing a scripted backup strategy, you will have separate scripts for the different backup types. For example, you might have a full backup script scheduled to run on Fridays and a differential backup script running daily.
For details on the available options, see Windows Exchange Server Options.
You must ensure a given Exchange server does not use circular logging if you wish to do differential or log backups. For example, Retrospect will report an error trying to do a differential backup of a Exchange server that uses circular logging.
Circular logging is disabled by default.
Unlike backups of other data, database backups are not necessarily self-contained within a single Backup Set.
You are not assured you will be able to restore a database Snapshot from one set of media, as is the case with restoring files. Retrospect may require media from multiple Backup Sets to restore a given database, depending on your backup strategy and backup history.
Retrospect tracks each backup session of each database or storage group. You can view the history of these backups from Reports>Database Backup History.
The window lists all of Retrospect’s database session Snapshots of each Exchange database or storage group. (SQL databases are also listed in this window.)
Using the buttons at the bottom of the window, you can view the properties of a Snapshot, add a database session from a Backup Set, or remove a Snapshot from this list.
Viewing the properties of a Snapshot shows you the Backup Set media required to restore the database.
To restore an Exchange server, a storage group, a mailbox, or one or more messages, you can use a script or you can initiate an immediate restore. Each method uses the familiar components of a restore: source database or mailbox Snapshot, destination server or mailbox, chosen files (messages and folders from mailboxes only), and options.
Exchange 2003 includes a Recovery Storage Group feature that allows you to mount a second copy of an Exchange mailbox store on the same server as the original database. Retrospect does not support restoring to recovery storage groups. In addition, to restore data to an Exchange 2003 server that includes a recovery storage group, you must either delete the recovery storage group before restoring, or create a Recovery SG Override registry key on the Exchange server as described on Microsoft’s web site .
To restore a storage group or database from an Exchange server backup, click Restore>Selected Database (to initiate an immediate restore) or create a Restore Database script.
For the source, select a database Snapshot.
You can add and remove database Snapshots from this list with the Add and Forget buttons.
Set the destination for the database to be restored by selecting an Exchange Server container.
Notice how multiple sessions are listed below the source database Snapshot if its most recent backup was not the full backup type. This is because Retrospect has an execution option that causes it to restore each session needed to completely restore the source.
Once your database restore operation is set up, you can click Schedule to save the settings as a script, or proceed with the immediate restore.
To restore an individual mailbox, an individual Public Folder, all Public Folders, or one or more specific messages, click Restore>Mailbox from the navigation bar.
For the source, select a Snapshot for a mailbox, Public Folder, or All Public Folders.
Set the destination by selecting an individual mailbox, an individual Public Folder, or the All Public Folders container. Set the list box to Retrieve Messages & Folders or Retrieve Just Messages.
In an immediate restore, choose items to restore in the browser. You can use the Find command to search for messages based on mailbox sender and universal date conditions.
In a scripted restore, you can only restore an entire mailbox or Public Folder.
Click Options to specify execution options.
Once your restore operation is set up, you can save the script or proceed with the immediate restore.
After completely backing up an Exchange server (system volume and databases), you can recover from a disastrous data loss.
First, follow the appropriate steps under Restoring the Backup Computer.
After restoring the rest of the computer, restart the Exchange services but make sure the databases are not mounted. Delete everything from the storage group folder or folders. This ensures the log files match the databases and allows you to remount the stores after restoring the databases.
After everything is deleted, restore the databases. (For more information, see Restoring an Exchange Storage Group or Database.)
After restoring, the databases should be mounted and ready for use.