Last modified: 2020/04/27 (Note: Content written for AhsayCBS v7+v8, and may generally apply to latest product release)
AhsayOBM allows you to back up individual mailboxes in your Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 / 2019 with the MS Exchange Mail Level Backup Module. This module provides a set of tools to protect your mailboxes and public folders on Microsoft Exchange Server 2016. This includes backup and recovery of individual emails, contacts, calendars and other mail items in your mailboxes and public folders, with snapshots / versioning, and retention policy to protect even email that you may have accidentally deleted from your Exchange 2016 / 2019 mailboxes or public folders.
Mail Level Backup must be utilized in conjunction with full Information Store Backup as Mail Level backup for Microsoft Exchange Server is not designed to fully protect an Exchange Server, but to facilitate easy backup and fast restoration of individual emails, contacts, calendars or public folder, etc.
AhsayOBM supports standalone backup option and Database Availability Group (DAG) backup option for Exchange server Mail Level backup.
Exchange Server 2016 Mail Level backup and restore can be performed by installing AhsayOBM either on the Exchange server 2016 hosting the database or on a remote backup machine.
Below is the system architecture diagram illustrating the major elements involved in the backup and restore process among the Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, AhsayOBM and AhsayCBS.
Standalone: The latest version of AhsayOBM is installed on the Exchange server which is connected to AhsayCBS backup server through LAN or internet.
Database Availability Group (DAG): The latest version of AhsayOBM is installed on all the DAG members on Exchange server which is connected to AhsayCBS backup server through LAN or internet, and all the DAG members share the same backup set.
Standalone: The latest version of AhsayOBM is installed on the remote backup machine which is connected to Exchange server and AhsayCBS backup server through LAN or internet.
Database Availability Group (DAG): The latest version of AhsayOBM is installed on the remote backup machine which is connected to DAG members on Exchange server and AhsayCBS backup server though LAN or internet, and all the DAG members share the same backup set.
You are strongly recommended to configure or check all the settings below to confirm all the requirements are met before you proceed with the Exchange Mail Level backup and restoration.
For the list of compatible operating systems and application versions, refer to: Ahsay Software Compatibility List (SCL)
To optimize performance of AhsayOBM on Windows, and to avoid conflict with your antivirus software, refer to the list of processes and directory paths that should be added to all antivirus software white-list / exclusion list.
The bJW.exe process is automatically added to Windows Defender exclusion list for Windows 10 and 2016, during installation / upgrade via installer or upgrade via AUA.
AhsayOBM v22.214.171.124 or above must be installed either on the Exchange Server 2016 hosting the database or on the remote backup machine.
One Microsoft Exchange Mailbox license is required for the backup of each user mailbox. No license is required for public folder.
Make sure the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox feature has been enabled as an add-on module in your AhsayOBM user account and there is sufficient Microsoft Exchange Mailbox license quota to cover the backup of your mailboxes.
AhsayOBM licenses are calculated on a per device basis.
Make sure that your AhsayOBM user account has sufficient storage quota assigned to accommodate the storage of additional Exchange mailbox and public folder items for the new mail level backup set and retention policy. Please contact your backup service provider for more details.
The Continuous backup add-on module is required if you would like to enable the continuous backup feature.
The default Java heap size setting on AhsayOBM is 2048MB. For Exchange 2016 / 2019 mail level backup, it is highly recommended to increase the Java heap size setting to be at least 4096MB to improve backup and restore performance. The actual heap size is dependent on amount of free memory available on your Exchange 2016 server.
Temporary Directory folder is used by AhsayOBM for storing backup set index files and any incremental or differential delta files generated during a backup job. To ensure optimal backup/restoration performance, it is recommended that the temporary directory folder is located on a local drive with sufficient free disk space.
Scheduled backup is required if you choose to back up in DAG option on Exchange server as AhsayOBM on all DAG members will base on the scheduled backup time to start backup on all the individual DAG member at the same time.
Ensure all nodes have mailbox role. This can be checked by accessing the Exchange admin center (EAC).
MS Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 4 (CU4) or above is supported.
The Windows user account used for the backup must be a member of the following security groups.
Login to the Exchange admin center, under permissions, admin roles. Assign the user to be running the backup as member of the following admin roles:
The Windows user account must have an Exchange Server mailbox. Refer to the URL below for more information.
Refer to the following article from Microsoft for more details on how to check if an account is mailbox enabled and how to enable it: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/Exchange/recipients/create-user-mailboxes?view=exchserver-2019
Ensure that the “Hide from address lists” option is unchecked for all mailboxes to be selected for backup. Mailbox hidden from the address list will not be shown in the backup source selection menu.
As Exchange 2016 mail level backup and restore is implemented using Microsoft EWS API (Exchange Web Services), which enables AhsayOBM to access mailbox items such as email message, meetings, notes, calendar, contact, etc, without any additional installation or complicated setup required on the Exchange 2016 Server or remote backup machine, only port 443 must be configured to allow communication between AhsayOBM and Exchange server.
Ensure all MS Exchange related services have been started, particularly the MS Exchange Information Store.
To verify this setting, launch the Services menu by clicking Start then typing “Services” in the search box. All Exchange related services should be started by default, in case it is not, turn it on by right clicking the item and then select Start.
Ensure the MS Exchange Mailbox and Public Folder databases are mounted. This can be verified by Exchange Management Shell or Exchange Admin Center (EAC).
Ensure that Windows PowerShell 5.1 Engine is installed. To install the feature:
Ensure .Net Framework 4.6.2 Features is installed. Please refer to the following URL for detailed information: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/Exchange/plan-and-deploy/system-requirements?view=exchserver-2016
This feature can be enabled by accessing Server Manager > Dashboard > Manage > Add Roles and Features Wizard > Feature Page.
Below are the supported mailbox types of Exchange Server 2016 Mail Level backup.
|Public Folder Mailbox||✔|
Below are the items that you can backup or restore from an Exchange Server 2016 Mail Level backup set.
For backup and restoration of Exchange 2016 Mail Level backup set, there is some limitation:
|Backup source (English)||Action||Destination User with Chinese as default language settings|
|Calendar||Create new folder||Calendar|
|Notes||Create new folder||Notes|
The following are some best practices or recommendations we strongly recommend you follow before you start any Exchange Server 2016 Mail Level backup and restore.
Example-1: There are 100 mailboxes that need to be backup, you can divide 20 mailboxes into one backup set.
|Backup Set Name||Mailbox Number|
|Backup-Set-1||No.1 – 20|
|Backup-Set-2||No.21 – 40|
|Backup-Set-3||No.41 – 60|
|Backup-Set-4||No.61 – 80|
|Backup-Set-5||No.81 – 100|
If there are new mailboxes added, you can create new backup set for the new mailboxes.
Example-2: There are 100 mailboxes that needs to be backup, you can divide mailboxes into backup sets in alphabetic order.
|Backup Set Name||Mailbox Name Start with|
|Backup-Set-1||A – E|
|Backup-Set-2||F – J|
|Backup-Set-3||K – O|
|Backup-Set-4||P – T|
|Backup-Set-5||U – Z|
If there are new mailboxes added, you can add the new mailboxes into the original backup set by the corresponding alphabetic order.