Friday, September 23, 2005

Remote Hosting of Mail During a Crises

Case Study 2
New Orleans software development company (requested anonymity) running Exchange 2003 Enterprise on an IBM Netfinity Server. EDB size 39GB aprox. 60 users. The server was submerged for 2 weeks along with backup tapes. The tapes were damaged beyond repair. The drives were removed out of the server. Their configuration was Exchange running on the boot drive (C) and the Information Stores were on a RAID 1 (D). Not a bad set up if the IS was also backed up outside the server on something other than tapes.

We took the mirrored drives and was able to pull off the EDB and STM files after soaking the platters in a solution to remove the corrosion. The question is what to do with them.

Disasters aside we see this type of situation constantly. Veritas or Arcserve fail for whatever reason or backup corrupted edb files and the customer is out of luck. We all know that ESEUTIL is useless for most recovery situations. This year alone we have recovered over 9000 corrupted databases. These do not include failures due to viruses or exceeding the 16gb limit (about 3500 of those types of failures).

This company was hurting big time. Everything was in their employee's email and public folders (9GB BTW). They didn't have any offices to operae out of and most of them are still homeless. The owner was able to get a couple of suites in Oklahoma and set up a few machines so her top programmers could finish their main projects and the accounting dept. could do some billing.

We decided to approach one of our solution partners Rackspace and asked them for some pro-bone server space running Noteworthy a quick and fast email system. The complied and we had them up and running in a matter of hours. The cool thing about Noteworthy was they could have a shared folder so all the PUB1.edb files were accessible. We had to split them into 5 1.7GB pst files, but they were still able to get organized.

Thanks go out to Rackspace for stepping up to the plate on this one. Our policy has been to recover first and get paid when these people are back on their feet again.

Exchange Data Recovery

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