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 touches as many areas of an organization as Exchange. From the delivery space towards the executive boardroom, almost every job function has some level of dependency on e-mail. Hence, when the e-mail server is unavailable, the entire organization is affected.
* With regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, along with those pertaining to monetary and healthcare institutions, the retention of email is now an ethical responsibility of one’s career. Other laws, such as E-SIGN, bind electronic agreements with the validity that is same penned contracts.
* And finally, while the above two examples are “internal”, many companies today rely on e-mail as part of doing business, externally. From distributing information between time zones, to coordinating a lunch location, email server hosting 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 first understand the difficulties around protecting Microsoft Exchange.
* Exchange data is held in multiple directories with incredibly large interdependent files. In even the most simple configurations, tens to hundreds of mailboxes can be stored in a”information that is single” file.
* Exchange data are constantly in usage and remain open by the applying. Even when the files could possibly be occasionally closed, the 24X7 use of e-mail requires them become available all of the time.
* the aforementioned two facts combined need a “backup window” and specialized, and typically expensive, software (called backup agents) to check in the file for conventional back-up.
* And to make matters more complex, the present versions of Microsoft Exchange (2000 and 2003) are dependent on Windows directory that is active. This necessitates other external information to also be protected to be able to ensure the resilience of one’s e-mail system.
Collectively, it’s safe to express that Microsoft Exchange could very well be probably one of the most difficult applications to back up. For that explanation, many IT administrators have started considering different choices for Microsoft Exchange security and accessibility.
From a “protection” perspective, tape backup is thought. However, as you steps the time and effort required to backup windows and restore tapes, we have been forced to concede that tape back-up alone is insufficient–when you consider that tape back-up happens only nightly, which could bring about up to an entire day of data loss should a failure occur. In the full situation of e-mail, much of that information loss is unrecoverable. Then, during times of restoration and crisis, data recovery from tape is usually measured in hours.
For a few, it is assumed that the only other available technology is synchronous mirrored storage hardware. 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 functionality that is same rather than limit ourselves by “agents for Exchange” or other application.
The negatives of synchronous storage revolve mostly around cost (including the price of the 2 storage space arrays) plus the textile, controllers and synchronization pc software. Adding the price of a “storage space manager” or other individual with specialized storage space skills. And on top of the, for just about any degree of genuine distance, one must also add the cost of bandwidth–which is considerable when pressing blocks around and being dependent on a fast acknowledgment due towards the nature of synchronous replication.
So the most of us find ourselves stuck somewhere in between. We recognize that nightly tape back-up just isn’t sufficient for protecting certainly one of our most significant applications, but we cannot afford synchronous hardware. Perhaps this is why a continually growing number of companies are deploying replication software that is host-based.
* In contrast to tape backup, which occurs just nightly, host-based replication computer software transmits changes to any or all the Exchange files in real time. The target copy is obviously only seconds behind.
* It offers comparable benefits to hardware that is synchronous that it really is application separate.
Because it is a software-only solution, one might say that replication software “protects like synchronous disk, with costs comparable to or less than tape”. There is probably a little license that is literary both edges of that expression, you have the concept.