The Mailbox add-on in BackupAssist does work for Exchange 2007, but it also requires a little more configuration and there are two “gotchas” to be wary of.
I have set up a simple test environment on some VMs in our test lab, and the set up works first time, every time.
Exchange 2007 is a 64 bit application and needs to be installed on a 64 bit computer. However, the two known ways of extracting email messages to PST format (the Outlook/PowerShell method or ExMerge) are 32 bit applications, and they link to 32 bit DLLs. As it’s not possible to call 32 bit DLLs from 64 bit code, it means that extracting mailboxes to PST cannot be done on the Exchange Server itself.
FIRST GOTCHA: You need to do the mailbox backup on a machine other than your Exchange Server (ie. remotely), and on a 32 bit OS.
Why Microsoft didn’t see that coming is beyond me!
SECOND GOTCHA: you need the Exchange 2003 Server Management tools installed on your backup computer. This is only available on the Exchange 2003 CD. [Note: we are working on a version of our Mailbox add-on that will only require the Exchange 2007 Server Management Tools, which is available as a free download off the Microsoft website. We hope to make this available shortly.]
How to set it all up
- Pick a machine on which to run your mailbox backups – this must be a 32 bit machine
- Install the Exchange Management Tools for Exchange 2003 on this machine – follow the instructions outlined in the BackupAssist Exchange Mailbox White Paper from page 7 onwards. Or if your machine is an Exchange 2003 Server then you don’t need to install the management tools (they come with Exchange!)
- On the same machine, install and run BackupAssist, choose to backup Exchange Mailboxes, and let BackupAssist install the ExMerge program (as outlined in the BackupAssist Exchange Mailbox White Paper)
Our test environment
I followed this procedure on the following test environment:
- Windows Server 2003 Standard, 64-bit OS, with Exchange 2007 installed
- Windows XP 32-bit, with Exchange 2003 Management Tools and BackupAssist v4.0.16 installed
After it was all set up, the mailbox backups worked perfectly, with no additional modifications required. There were no warnings or errors.
As always, we expect that although this procedure will work for the vast majority of our clients, there will always be some tricky or unexpected network setups that will cause problems. In that case, it’s best to contact BackupAssist support, and we’ll investigate on a case-by-case basis.