Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Fast, cheap, off site and easy Exchange backup and disaster recovery using Yintersync.NET and Kernel for Exchange

Before we started creating Yintersync.NET one of our customers Exchange Server failed.

The backups were stored in a proprietary database which took around 30 hours to extract, the first attempt of which failed while we were sleeping. The users had to go without an Exchange Server for more than 2 days before we finally got things up and running again. Perhaps we shouldn't have slept!

This slow recovery was a low point for our reputation so something had to change. We started experimenting with using rsync to do offsite backups of the mdb files which lead to the development of Yintersync.NET

The things we wanted most from Yintersync.NET were the following:

  • No Database.
  • Fast Transfer.
  • Low bandwidth.
  • Many Systems.

For the last 6 years, we have been using Yintersync.NET to backup our customers Exchange Servers.

Yintersync.NET replicates the Exchange 2007, 2010 and 2013 MDB files. We then robocopy weekly and monthly to 3.5" SATA hard drive in a tray-less hot-plug bay and stored in a Fire Proof Safe. To recover a historical mailbox we simply plug the hard drive into a computer start up Kernel for Exchange Server to pull the necessary PST file out of the MDB.

These archives are useful but we would rather not re-build an Exchange Server. To avoid this we virtualized all our customers Servers on Hyper-V and use Yintersync.NET replicate the VHD's to our Disaster Recovery site.

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