How to Manage Critical Data Stored in Microsoft Exchange Server By Hitachi Data Systems

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1 W H I T E P A P E R How to Manage Critical Data Stored in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 By Hitachi Data Systems April 2012

2 2 Table of Contents Executive Summary and Introduction 3 Mission-critical Microsoft Exchange Server 4 Data Protection beyond Microsoft Exchange Server Capabilities 4 Enterprise Data Protection beyond Database Availability Groups 5 Diverse Data Protection Requirements 5 Hitachi Data Systems Protection Strategy 6 Adopt Service Level Protection 6 Reduce the Volume of Data Copied around for Protection 8 Enable Application Intelligence 9 Data Protection Solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 10 Hitachi Data Protection Suite 10 Hitachi Content Platform 10 Hitachi In-System Heterogeneous Replication Bundle and Hitachi In-System Replication Bundle 11 Hitachi Application Protector 11 Hitachi VSS Hardware Provider 11 Virtual Tape Library Solutions from Hitachi Data Systems, with FalconStor 11 Summary 11 Appendix A Resources 13

3 3 Executive Summary and Introduction As organizations of all sizes rely on more than ever before to conduct daily business operations, Microsoft Exchange Server has become a mission-critical system. The release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 added significant data protection capabilities for enhanced resiliency, addressing many of today's high-availability and recovery demands. However, some enterprise organizations may have unique protection requirements that go beyond Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 capabilities. These may include streamlined administration and ease of use, protection for both active and passive data, and complete support for virtualized environments. To help you protect, manage, archive and recover mission-critical data stored in Microsoft Exchange Server repositories, the Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) protection strategy focuses on 3 key data protection tenets: adopting service level protection, reducing the volume of data copied around for protection, and enabling application intelligence. With this approach, you can decide which recovery tier and services to implement beyond the native capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server This white paper discusses how Hitachi Data Systems data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 can help you get the most from your Microsoft Exchange Server system investments while ensuring the robust data protection your organization needs.

4 4 Mission-critical Microsoft Exchange Server Regardless of your organization's size, if it has come to rely on more than ever before to conduct daily business operations, then Microsoft Exchange Server has become one of its missioncritical systems. must be available continuously or for extended periods of time with minimal interruption. In the event of a failure, databases must be restored in as short an amount of time as possible. The more critical the , the more quickly it needs to be restored. Built to deliver the security and reliability most businesses require, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 includes a new, unified approach for high availability and disaster recovery. The Microsoft Exchange Server Database Availability Groups (DAG) capability makes it easier to implement site resilience and provides automatic failover at the database level without the complexity of traditional clustering. Using DAG, your organization can protect against logical data corruption and recover from deleted mailboxes. DAG enables your administrators to group sets of mailbox servers that use continuous replication to update database copies, communicate to manage failures affecting individual databases, and provide automatic recovery from a variety of failures on the disk, server and data center levels. With DAG, a database-level disruption such as a disk failure no longer affects all users on a server. Because DAG eliminates the strong tie between databases and servers, administrators can more easily move between database copies in the event of corruption or disaster. This change, coupled with faster failover times (as little as 30 seconds) can dramatically improve your organization's overall uptime. However, databases in enterprise organizations can be extensive and may run on virtualized servers, requiring longer periods of time to back up and restore. Although DAG is an excellent disaster recovery mechanism that protects against entire mailbox deletion, some enterprise organizations may require greater flexibility and more granular backup and restore functions for their enterprise systems. This document provides details on how you can achieve better backup and restore granularity for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 environments. Data Protection beyond Microsoft Exchange Server Capabilities Enterprise organizations face unique data protection challenges that can go beyond what Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 provides by itself. With large numbers of users distributed across multiple global locations, today's organizations create more data than ever before. The typical corporate user sends and receives about 110 messages daily and the number of worldwide accounts is projected to increase to over 3.8 billion by This explosive growth and sprawl of data, combined with the ever-shrinking backup window, can make it impossible for enterprise organizations to meet recovery time objectives (RTO), recovery point objectives (RPO), or even the backup window. 1 The Radicati Group: Statistics Report, Statistics-Report Executive-Summary2.pdf

5 5 Enterprise Data Protection beyond Database Availability Groups To address enterprise data protection objectives, organizations often require solutions beyond the DAG technology in Microsoft Exchange Server These solutions include streamlined administration and ease of use, protection for both active and passive data, and complete support for virtualized environments. Protecting data using DAG alone can be a manual process. IT administrators often must do the math to determine which backup jobs need to run at what frequency and from which source to which target. Because of these ease-of-use challenges with DAG, administrators typically need to have a high level of storage expertise or fluency with data protection best practices. Furthermore, data is protected in a way that is different from the context in which users would access it, adding to the complexity of DAG backup and restore functionality. With DAG alone, organizations may also face difficulty protecting both active and passive data. If a server hosting the data that is being backed up is a member of a DAG and hosts both active and passive database copies, the operation will fail. In addition, DAG copies on different nodes within the cluster cannot be protected by different protection servers. Because Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 does not support running a DAG copy of Microsoft Exchange on a Hyper-V cluster, the DAG member cannot be virtualized. Without this important capability, organizations are unable to leverage virtualization to achieve reductions in the number of physical servers or increases in utilization of each server. This can result in higher costs for server floor space, power and cooling. Organizations also miss the backup and recovery advantages that virtualization can provide; virtual machines are easier to back up online in their entirety and more portable to restore to dissimilar hardware. Diverse Data Protection Requirements With continuous growth and sprawl of data, each enterprise organization also faces increasingly diverse data protection requirements. For example, as more organizations seek to run their systems on virtualized servers to reduce infrastructure capital costs, floor space and power consumption, they can face higher complexity associated with protecting virtualized environments. This is primarily due to a lack of available physical resources in the servers. Traditional data protection solutions deploy resource-intensive backup agents in the physical server, which copy and move data from production storage to a back-end disk or tape target. Although this approach can work well in a limited storage capacity and on servers with excess processing cycles available, virtual environments reduce the number of available resources. This makes excess CPU cycles and network bandwidth scarce, or even unavailable. Organizations may also wish to use deduplication techniques in order to move data to backup targets within a shorter window, but the limited CPU cycles in a virtualized environment often prohibit deduplication processes. Managing increasing volumes of enterprise data also requires granular backup and restore capabilities, particularly in industries with specific archiving needs for meeting compliance or legal mandates. Executives may need recovered faster than standard employees. Healthcare organizations, financial services firms or public sector agencies may need to recover data from a single date or on a specific topic quickly, rather than retrieving entire mailboxes. An enterprise organization may need both local and remote recovery protection, particularly in disaster scenarios. Providing this granular level of backup, recovery and archive capability without significant IT effort or disruption to end users can be extremely challenging.

6 6 Each organization needs to decide how critical systems are to its business, and what corresponding recovery tier and services are appropriate beyond the native DAG capability in Microsoft Exchange Server Archiving and compliance requirements for certain industries may demand granular restore capabilities rather than an entire database restore. Operational recovery requirements may necessitate restoring a specific service, instead of restoring a whole location. Other organizations may have unique disaster recovery requirements for restoring a whole location in the event of a natural disaster, or malware or virus protection requirements for restoring a corrupted service in the event of an infection. Hitachi Data Systems Protection Strategy HDS understands the critical role Microsoft systems play in organizations today, as well as the diverse data protection requirements each enterprise has. Hitachi Data Systems data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 are designed to address the specific business issues unique to government and enterprise-class systems. To help you protect, manage, archive and recover mission-critical data stored in Microsoft Exchange Server repositories, the HDS approach focuses on 3 key data protection tenets: adopting service level protection, reducing the volume of data copied around for protection and enabling application intelligence (see Figure 1). Figure 1. Hitachi Data Systems focuses 3 key data protection tenets. Adopt Service Level Protection By creating data protection service levels (or protection tiers) to meet protection objectives, you can optimize protection while lowering overall costs (see Figure 2). Depending on the criticality and

7 7 unique protection requirements for each tier of data, a different technology can be implemented for each service level. For example, you might use snapshot technology to meet protection objectives for operational recovery from corruption, hardware crashes or deletion. For disaster recovery from catastrophic site disasters, you might utilize replication technology to meet protection objectives. With enhanced ease-of-use and automation techniques in HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, your IT administrators can focus on service level agreements instead of individual backup jobs. Figure 2. Use data protection tiers to leverage appropriate technologies for each service level to meet protection objectives. Within service levels, HDS provides a range of tools to help you reach your required recovery time objectives (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPO) (see Figure 3). For example, because data can be recovered almost instantaneously from snapshots, the tools minimize RTO. Similarly, replication can make instantaneous (sync) or near-instantaneous (async) copies of data, thereby reducing RPO. Newer continuous data protection (CDP) solutions can combine both technologies and provide the ability to recover from any point in time, including periodic application-consistent points. This

8 8 is especially valuable for high transaction rate financial institutions and other critical areas. These point-in-time copies can be created as frequently as every 15 minutes and mounted as standalone Microsoft Exchange Server databases for greater recovery flexibility. Figure 3. Using disk as the backup target (B2D) in a tape emulation mode (virtual tape library or VTL) is least disruptive, while snapshots and replication can minimize RPO and lower RTO. Reduce the Volume of Data Copied around for Protection Moving inactive data to a content storage platform can reduce the amount of data that needs to be protected (see Figure 4). With less data, less time is required for protection and recovery. This minimizes the protection or backup window required and the protection or backup infrastructure needed. By choosing a content platform that has built-in data protection, the archive target becomes more secure. With HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, you gain the flexibility to protect both active and passive data. For example, Hitachi Data Protection Suite (HDPS) is aware of both active and passive copies and will perform a successful backup of both copies. Multiple DAG copies on different nodes within the cluster can be protected by different HDPS servers. More importantly, this protection approach also allows simplified protection of large Microsoft Exchange Server configurations by multiple HDPS servers.

9 9 Figure 4. Moving inactive data to a content storage platform minimizes the amount of data requiring protection, reducing the protection or backup window. Enable Application Intelligence By enabling intelligent, application-aware protection, you can more efficiently protect only what has changed and recover only the essential data needed. Using application integration for applicationspecific protection, you gain more administrative control over when and how applications are protected. Because application integration enables replication of only the absolutely necessary information, this approach reduces the protection window and related infrastructure, while making it easier to meet RPOs as copies are made at higher frequency. You can restore only the essential pieces of information you need, even to the granular level of individual mail messages, while also making copies at a higher level (using snapshots of the entire Microsoft Exchange Server database). Application integration also allows your administrators to capture changes as they occur, enabling recovery from any point in time, with application consistency that minimizes the protection window. By automating recovery of applications, this approach further minimizes RTOs, going beyond the protection offered by replication, conventional backup or clustering products alone. With support for running mailboxes on virtualized servers, you can leverage virtualization to reduce the number of physical servers and increase utilization of each server, lowering costs for server floor space, power and cooling. You also gain the backup and recovery advantages that virtualization can provide: virtual machines are easier to back up online in their entirety and more portable to restore to dissimilar hardware.

10 10 Data Protection Solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server The HDS approach incorporates a consistent data protection strategy across a portfolio of data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server. The range of solutions includes archiving, backup and restore, and replication capabilities to help you protect, manage, archive and recover mission-critical data stored in Microsoft Exchange Server repositories. HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 not only support full DAG implementation for typical deployments, but also go beyond Microsoft Exchange Server to address the unique requirements of enterprise organizations. Hitachi Data Protection Suite Providing high-performance data protection, data management and universal data availability for complex heterogeneous storage networks, Hitachi Data Protection Suite offers enterprise-class backup and restore for Microsoft Exchange Server. HDPS delivers reliable data recovery and lowcost retention, and integrates global, embedded deduplication to reduce backup by up to 90% and archive Microsoft Exchange Server data stored on disk and tape. You can archive and reduce mailbox growth, and administer compliance options designed to meet e-discovery and government oversight requirements. Your administrators gain control with a unified, easy-to-use graphic user interface for centrally managing servers, networks and storage and for shared handling of backup and archive . Tight integration with Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) provides intelligent policy-based data movement that enables seamless tiering to the cloud as part of your tiered architecture. This provides a robust backup system with the option to connect Hitachi In-System Heterogeneous Replication bundle, Hitachi In-System Replication bundle or Virtual Tape Library Solutions by Hitachi Data Systems with FalconStor. Hitachi Content Platform Hitachi Content Platform is a hardware product that provides a robust and highly scalable solution for Microsoft Exchange Server archiving requirements, either as a direct target for Microsoft Exchange Server journaling or in concert with Hitachi Data Protection Suite. As a virtualized distributed object store, HCP offers advanced storage and data management capabilities that can help you address challenges posed by the ever-growing volume of unstructured data. HCP can be divided into a number of virtual content platforms, each of which can be uniquely configured for a particular workload. This allows your administrators to manage a single infrastructure that supports a wide range of data types, applications, and users with the specific level of service each needs, eliminating storage silos. Hitachi Content Platform is ideal for preserving data over long periods of time. Whether for legal, compliance, business or IT practices, Hitachi Content Platform technologies including data integrity checking, RAID-6, replication, encryption, WORM, audit logging and more ensure that data remains accessible and in its original form for years.

11 11 Hitachi In-System Heterogeneous Replication Bundle and Hitachi In-System Replication Bundle Point-in-time copy using Hitachi In-System Heterogeneous Replication bundle (for enterprise systems) or Hitachi In-System Replication bundle (for modular systems) allows you to retrieve data from a specific point in time before data corruption happened. It can also be used to run tests or utilities to proactively determine if a problem may be likely to occur. The bundles provide the option of Hitachi ShadowImage Heterogeneous Replication or ShadowImage Replication software clones, which are full-copy clones, or simple snapshots for space-efficient storage. Hitachi Application Protector Hitachi Application Protector (HAPRO) was designed from the ground up to use pointer-based snapshot technology that leverages Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). It provides backup, recovery and data protection services that are application consistent. Hitachi Application Protector understands how and where the primary data stores and supporting files (such as log files) are stored on the system. Application consistency ensures that all application-related data changes are being tracked and backed up at the requested point-in-time so that recovery is guaranteed. By using pointer-based snapshot technology, backup images are quickly and easily created, while efficiently using storage space to maintain changes to the data stores and files for easy and fast recovery. Hitachi VSS Hardware Provider Hitachi VSS Hardware Provider takes near-instant volume snapshots that allow the backup server to access data over the SAN and minimize the impact over the application network. Server optimization also improves performance for data transfers, reducing backup windows. Virtual Tape Library Solutions from Hitachi Data Systems, with FalconStor FalconStor is a Hitachi Data Systems partner that provides disk-based data protection, including virtual tape storage with built-in deduplication capability. The Virtual Tape Library Solution delivers proven, comprehensive data protection that facilitates the continuous availability of business-critical data. Summary Because Microsoft Exchange Server systems are mission-critical to your business, HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 help you protect, manage, archive and recover mission-critical data stored in Microsoft Exchange Server repositories. To address the specific business issues unique to government and enterprise-class systems, the HDS approach focuses on 3 key data protection tenets: adopting service level protection, reducing the volume of data copied around for protection and enabling application intelligence. With HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, you can decide which recovery tier and services to implement beyond the native capabilities of Microsoft Exchange Server

12 HDS solutions help you reduce the amount of Microsoft Exchange Server backup data and available backup window requirements by archiving to Hitachi Content Platform, meet RPO and RTO service level agreements with various back-up-to-disk solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server, and improve critical-application integration and intelligence. To learn more about HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, contact your local Hitachi Data Systems account representative or visit

13 13 Appendix A Resources See how HDS data protection solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and other Hitachi solutions can help protect your infrastructure: Hitachi Data Protection Suite: Hitachi Converged Platform for Microsoft Exchange Server:

14 Corporate Headquarters 750 Central Expressway Santa Clara, California USA Regional Contact Information Americas: or Europe, Middle East and Africa: +44 (0) or Asia Pacific: or Hitachi is a registered trademark of Hitachi, Ltd., in the United States and other countries. Hitachi Data Systems is a registered trademark and service mark of Hitachi, Ltd., in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks, service marks and company names in this document or website are properties of their respective owners. Notice: This document is for informational purposes only, and does not set forth any warranty, expressed or implied, concerning any equipment or service offered or to be offered by Hitachi Data Systems Corporation. Hitachi Data Systems Corporation All Rights Reserved. WP-433-A DG April 2012

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