This blog is part two of three of how you can make a back-up and more importantly of how you can recover items from a mailbox. In part one I described which setting to set for a exchange 2010 back-up job. In this part I will explain how to configure the virtual lab and application group that are necessary for restoring exchange items from a specific mailbox. I will also show how to make a surebackup verification job. The virtual lab and application group are part of the surebackup option of Veeam.
SureBackup is technology in Veeam Backup & Replication which can be used to have a automate and simplify backup verification process. Within surebackup the virtual machine runs directly form the back-up in a isolated environment and I will test if all the depended services are up and running. For exchange it will test if all ports are are up and running like port 25 for example. Within the surebackup section of the software you can make a job to test the back-up automatically. In the picture below you see the the SureBackup section and below this there is a member called Jobs here is where you will make the testing job.
Before you can make a Job there must be a Virtual Lab. An virtual lab requires a host to run the VMs on from the back-up and a datastore to store temporarily disk changes that are produced while running the VM of the read-only back-up file. While creating the virtual lab you make a network section that is responsible for the isolation of the VMs running form the back-up and will be responsible for the accessibility to and from the production environment. This is what you will build for your exchange restore functionality. When going trough the wizard you will give SureBackup the data it will need to build the virtual appliance and how it will be used when the restore is necessary. In my case the back-up server is in another vlan than the exchange environment but this is not a problem. I the picture below there is a overview of what is build in the SureBackup section and how it is set up for a restore action.
This is how you will set this up.
Go to the Virtual Labs section within SureBackup and right click the section en click Create virtual lab.
In this part of the wizard you can set the name of the proxy appliance (this is the virtual machine you create by this wizard) and the resource pool and folder name where the lab is placed in. By default the lab is configured to use DHCP for connection but you can configure these setting by clicking configure
This is the section where the connection setting for the virtual appliance for the production side of the environment is made if you will not use DHCP.
Choose the basic (automatic configuration). You only need the advanced (manual configuration) when VM that are used for restore are placed in different network segments.
My back-up server is in another network but able to communicate to the segment where the exchange severs are (this is necessary to make a back-up 🙂 )
The Virtual lab is create now it is time to make a application group. In a application group you will define the application dependency by specifying the boot order for the required VMs. An application group typically excised out of a Domain controller and a DNS server a in some cases a DHCP server. All the virtual machines that are specified in this application group are started in the isolated network and will run until the job stops. Keep this in mind for the number of available resources on your esx(i) host/ Cluster.
Within this part of the wizard you will add the virtual machines that are required for the restore. This can be done from the Virtual infrastructure or from the back-up job view I did it from the back-up.
In this case (Exchange 2010) you will need A Domain controller with the global catalog role, DNS server, Exchange server with the CAS role, the server with the FSW (File share winess) role and one of the mailbox servers form the DAG. In my case one Domain controller (DNS, CG an FSW) two exchange servers one with the (CAS and HUB role installed) and one with the Mailbox role.
For each server you can set verification options. At the first tab of the verification options you will select the role of the server. With this selection you determine what will be checked for the server. In the screen shot I Selected my Domain controller with the DNS, and Global Catalog option.
At the start-up Option tab you can determined the amount of memory in present that the VM may use in the isolated environment. The start-up time has a default setting for the boot time of 2100 seconds this is enough (for my case) and a 120 seconds for the application initialisation this was not enough for me and the resulted was the the job stop at this point. So I increased the 120 sec seconds in small steps (try and error) and ended with a value of 600 seconds. The second thing i got errors on was the VM responds to ping on a network adapter in my case I configured the network settings wrong for the virtual labs appliance. For each error you get the job will not finish there is no on error resume next ;).
This is the roundup screen noting to adjust here.
Now it is time to combine the virtual lab an the application group in a SureBackup job. All virtual machines linked to this job will be run and be verified one by one.
In this section you may select additional VMs. This is handy for applications that depend on a working exchange environment. You can select the back-up for that application here to do a restore test or restore environment for this application including the exchange back-up
Roundup and finished
The environment is build and a job is made to automatically test if the environment you will need for restore will be functioning if it is necessary. In Part 3 I will show you how to restore a mailbox or a agenda item while using the virtual lab and application group.
If you have any questions here is how you can contact me!