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Microsoft recommends that you include your backup and restore (disaster recovery) strategy in your Exchange 2000 deployment planning. Whether your company is a small organization that has only a few hundred users or a large organization that has thousands of users, the deployment choices you make affect your backup and restore options. This article describes what to consider when you create your deployment plan for disaster recovery.
Acceptable DowntimeIt is relatively easy to assess the costs of replacing lost hardware and data. However, it is more difficult to assess the costs of server downtime. Too much downtime can result in loss of sales, loss of customer goodwill, loss of productivity, loss of competitiveness, missed contractual obligations, and additional costs to correct these losses. Therefore, you and your management team must agree in advance on the acceptable limit of downtime for your Exchange 2000 organization. This agreement is called a service level agreement. After you establish a service level agreement, you can determine which Exchange 2000 deployment and server configurations are best suited for this agreement.
Hardware Requirements for Backup and Restore ProcessesTo meet your service level agreement, you must make sure that you have the hardware (such as hard disks, disk controllers, and backup devices) that you require for your deployment of Exchange 2000. It is also important that you understand the performance benefits and risks of the hardware you select. For example, tape devices are faster streaming devices than disks, as long as the data streaming speed is maintained. Tape devices can also provide built-in data compression, which increases backup speeds.
If you select hard disks and other hardware that use the latest technology to maximize performance, you can significantly reduce the time that it takes to back up and restore your servers. Make sure that your hard disks have enough capacity to handle future Exchange 2000 database growth. Before you select a specific combination of hardware to run your backup and restore operations, view the hardware specifications to determine whether the selected hardware can restore your server in the time allotted by your service agreement.
Note To help reduce the time it takes to back up and restore Exchange 2000 data, Microsoft recommends that you establish size limits for your mailboxes and public folders and that you store your Exchange 2000 databases across multiple storage groups. If you do so, you can perform backup and restore operations simultaneously.
AdministrationThe deployment strategy you implement for Exchange 2000 must be based on your company's available administrative resources and the way in which those resources are distributed and aligned.
Single Points of FailureDisasters can range from the loss of data in a single user's mailbox to the loss of all data in every computer on a site. Therefore, you must consider how your deployment strategy influences your ability to recover from various types of disasters. When you plan your deployment strategy for Exchange 2000, consider the benefits of reducing the impact that a single disaster can have on your Exchange 2000 organization. For example, if you use disk mirroring for all the hard disks on your servers that are running Exchange 2000, you can protect your data if a single hard disk fails.
For more information about Exchange 2000 deployment strategies and their impact on disaster recovery strategies, see the Exchange 2000 Server Resource Kit and the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kits. To obtain the Exchange 2000 Server Resource Kit, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Resource KitTo view the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kits, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource KitsIn the Exchange 2000 Server Resource Kit, see Chapter 11, "Administration and Maintenance," for information about how to develop a successful administrative plan, and see Chapter 12, "Server Design for Backup and Restore," for information about how different types of hardware can help you meet your Exchange 2000 organization's service level agreement.
Additionally, review the "Disaster Recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server" document for detailed information about how to plan and implement a backup strategy for your Exchange 2000 deployment. This document includes step-by-step procedures that you can use to help you back up and recover data on your servers that are running Exchange 2000. To view the "Disaster recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server" document, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Disaster recovery for Microsoft Exchange 2000 ServerFor more information about Exchange 2000 database recovery, view the "Exchange 2000 Server database recovery" white paper. To view the "Exchange 2000 Server database recovery" white paper, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Exchange 2000 Server database recovery