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MS Exchange Backup in a Virtual Environment Using MSP360 Backup

MS Exchange Backup in a Virtual Environment Using MSP360 Backup

This article will explain why and how to back up the virtualized MS Exchange server instance with MSP360 Backup.

To back up the Microsoft Exchange server correctly, you need to install MSP360 Backup for Exchange directly on the virtual machine that hosts the Exchange Server.
We do not recommend backing up an Exchange database with the MSP360 Backup for VM edition. Since the transaction database system of the Exchange, we do not guarantee consistent database backup. We do recommend to use MSP360 Backup for Exchange Edition as a separate solution on a VM to achieve stable results.

Here are some key points to consider for why you should use MSP360 Backup for VM along with MSP360 Exchange Backup to get the most out of your backups.

  • Exchange databases are always changing: Microsoft Exchange uses a transactional database system that requires a different approach to backup and involves Exchange VSS Writers.
  • Log truncation, along with the mailbox database, must be performed in order to truncate circular logging data correctly. This process could lead to the usage of a lot of disk space and make your backups grow in size exponentially.

Further reading Microsoft Exchange Log Truncation Guide

  • Restoring from Image-Based Backup/Snapshot is not supported by Microsoft, and you might not be able to recover the mailbox and transport databases to a consistent state.
  • Running an Exchange-aware backup allows you to control the backup process separately from VM backup, perform item-level restores, and take a more flexible approach to the data storage.

Further reading Expanded Item-Level Restore for MS Exchange Server

  • Ability to test Disaster Recovery scenarios for each product separately. It is of the utmost importance to preserve the three main components on which Exchange operates: The mailbox database, the configuration of the server itself, and the external components that are used by Exchange (such as IIS).

Further reading Whitepaper: Disaster Recovery Planning: Best Practices and Template


We are aware of these complications and are currently working on our long-term goal of making our VM Backup product application-aware. Feel free to post a comment if you want this configuration to be supported in the future.

Exchange Server Backup and Recovery
  • Overview of Microsoft Exchange architecture
  • Backup types and destinations
  • Tips and best practices for MSPs
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