Overview - Microsoft Exchange Server Agents

Table of Contents

Introduction

The Exchange Server Agents provide a unified protection and recovery vehicle for all Exchange data in your enterprise. In addition to complete protection of entire Exchange databases for disaster recovery, more granular backup and recovery options are available for mailboxes and public folders. Added options for Outlook integration, deduplication, content indexing, and advanced reporting help ensure all your Exchange data is easily traceable and retrievable whenever the need arises.

Key Features

The Exchange Server Agents offer the following key features:

Database Protection for Disaster Recovery

The Exchange Database Agent backs up each Exchange database, which includes the following key components:

  • Information Stores containing individual user mailboxes
  • Public Folder Stores containing data shared among multiple users
  • Transaction Logs

In the event of a serious system failure, such as the breakdown of hardware, software, or operating systems, the Exchange Database Agent provides point-in-time recovery of a given database, ensuring that the state of the Exchange Database as it existed at any given time is ready for use whenever necessary.

Granular Protection of Messages and Mailbox Items

The Exchange Mailbox Agent backs up individual mailboxes for quick retrieval of individual mailbox data, such as messages and attachments, that may have been lost from a user's Outlook mailbox. Regular backups of mailboxes also provide the facility to quickly restore entire mailboxes without requiring restores of the Exchange database.

Granular Public Folder Protection for Shared Information

The Exchange Public Folder Agent backs up public folders for quick retrieval of shared data between Exchange users, such as group documents, messages, attachments, and calendars. As with the Exchange Mailbox Agent, regular backups of mailboxes also provide the facility to quickly restore any number of public folders without requiring restores of the Exchange database.

Add-on Components

SnapProtect Backup

SnapProtect Backup enables you to create a point-in-time snapshot by temporarily quiescing the data, taking a snapshot, and then resuming live operations. SnapProtect backups work in conjunction with hardware snapshot engines.

Outlook Add-In

Outlook Add-In fully integrates with Microsoft Outlook to provide users with a convenient way to browse, search and restore mailbox items directly from Outlook. All mailbox entities, including messages, attachments, calendar items, and notes, are retrievable from either the locally installed Outlook application or the Outlook Web Access web browser application.

Offline Database Restore

Offline Database Restore using the Exchange Offline Mining Tool provides Exchange users with the ability to restore mail messages, attachments, and other mailbox entities from an offline copy of the Exchange database. This capability is especially useful in environments where the Exchange Server experiences significant day-to-day overhead. By providing users with an offline copy of the Exchange database to retrieve their data, the Exchange Server does not experience the reduction in performance it otherwise would if users retrieved their data from it directly.

Content Indexing and Search

Content Indexing and Search enables users to content index their data and later search the data from a user-friendly web interface. The users can also perform restore operations or other advanced actions on the searched data.

Terminology

The Microsoft Exchange Server Agent documentation uses the following terminology:

Affinity An association between two entities used in Automatic Discovery scenarios. For example, automatic discovery of mailboxes by database affinity implies the mailbox is included in the selected database.
Database Includes all operational elements of the Exchange Server, such as Stores, Transaction Logs, Patch Files, and Exchange Organizational Data.
Non-Exchange Server A computer other than the Exchange Server on which the Mailbox and Public Folder Agents can be installed. Using a non-Exchange Server often results in less overhead on the Exchange Server during backup and restore operations.