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Granular restore of application is usually a complex and long task that may require also good knowledge of the application itself. This because most backup programs just restore the application files and then using specific application procedures you can restore specific objects from those recovered files.
This also apply for Microsoft Exchange where you may have the restored EDB files and then you can use a recovery database or ExMerge to gain your data back. But it takes time, space (usually you have to store an entire database file also for recover a single email) and enough skills to do the right things without mistakes.
Using Veeam Backup & Replication the entire procedure could be simpler and faster, but depend also by the tool and the restore procedure that you can use:
- historically the application level restore is handles by the Exchange Application Item Recovery (E-AIR)
- starting from Exchange 2010 you can now use Veeam Explorer for Exchange (VEX)
- VEX is new, simpler, faster and could be use also with the free edition (and also for just restore Exchange item, not necessary stored in a VM backup)
- E-AIR require Enterprise Manager, a Virtual Lab environment, some more steps and could be used only with Enterprise (or Enterprise Plus) license edition
So if you have an Exchange 2010 or higher just use VEX, is much simplest and will save you a lot of time.
In order to run it you can start a VM restore and then choose “Guest files (Windows) in order to start the Windows Backup Browser:
At this point you can click on the Exchange Items and run VEX.
Otherwise you can simple run from programs menu or from the file system (the application file is Veeam.Exchange.Explorer.exe, by default stored in C:\Program Files\Veeam\Backup and Replication\ExchangeExplorer). This could be really useful for physical Exchange server or if you already have the database file. Note that you can also start it by simple double click on a .EDB file.
At this point you have to specify the database file and start using VEX to restore your items.
Important: When you extract the .EDB file from your backup, don’t forget to put ESE.DLL at the same location. This file is used to query the Microsoft Exchange database (.EDB) and it’s included in the Microsoft Exchange distribution. For more infomation see the reference page in helpcenter.veeam.com.
Veeam® Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange gives you instant visibility into your Exchange backups. You can browse, search and selectively export items (emails, notes, contacts, etc.) directly from Veeam backups of your Exchange 2010 and 2013 VMs—even compressed, deduplicated and incremental backups.
There’s no need to provision storage or restore entire mailbox stores—just choose the Exchange Servers and restore points you’re interested in, and Veeam Explorer will present the contents of those mailbox stores for browsing, searching and export. You can use Veeam Explorer for Exchange to find and retrieve information for internal or external investigations. The Advanced Find feature lets you zero in on exactly the items you need.
The overall process restore process is really easy and simple and there are a lot of resource that explain it, like this video:
Restoring scenarios could be various and you can restore the items or also:
- Exporting folders and items as Personal Folder Files (.pst)
- Saving items as Microsoft Exchange Mail Documents (.msg)
- Sending items as email attachments
Apart the restore scenarios, there are lot of other different use scenarios, like for example:
- Legal discovery: Some countries’ require that records about money, people and data specific to the company should be retained for 3 years. Others require 5, 10 or even 15 years. To be able to meet your countries’ mandatory court or compliance requirements, sysadmins should consider legal department requests to find messages or attached files for a selected user by specific search criteria as top priority requests.
- Internal investigations: In addition to the legal department, any manager in the company can ask sysadmins to find a message in the Exchange database for internal investigation.
For more information see also:
- Veeam Explorer for Exchange page
- Veeam explorer for Exchange – an operational review
- How-to: Free Exchange discovery tool helps admin
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