Snapshot and offhost backups with the Exchange Agent


The Exchange Agent supports the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), a snapshot provider service only available on Windows Server 2003 or later. Using VSS, a point-in-time view of the Exchange database is snapped and then backed up, leaving the actual Exchange database open and available for users.

Offhost backup enables the backup operation to be processed on a Backup Exec server instead of on the Exchange Server. Moving the backup from the Exchange Server to a Backup Exec server enables better backup performance and frees the remote computer as well.

If the Advanced Disk-based Backup Option (ADBO) is installed on the Backup Exec server, you can use the Backup Exec Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) option when you create an offhost backup for the Information Store.

See Setting default Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) options.

The Exchange Agent snapshot does not support the following:

  • NAS configurations

  • Mixing snapshot backups and non-snapshot backups

    Due to a Microsoft Exchange limitation, if non-snapshot backups are run as part of a backup strategy, then snapshot backups should not be run. If snapshot backups are run, non-snapshot backups should not be done.

You can find a list of compatible storage at the following URL:

The type of backup method that is available when using VSS with the Exchange Agent depends on the version of Exchange Server:

Table: Available backup methods for Exchange snapshot versions

Exchange version

Available backup methods

Exchange Server 2007/2010/2013

The following backup methods are available:

  • Full

  • Copy

  • Differential

  • Incremental storage group level snapshot backup

  • Individual database restore

Exchange Server 2007

LCR/CCR - Back up from the passive copy or the active copy.


You cannot back up the passive copy of the Standby Continuous Replication (SCR) database with Exchange Server 2007. The SCR is not available for backup selection.

Configuring a snapshot backup for Exchange data

You can run a snapshot backup for Exchange data.

Table: Configuring a snapshot backup for Exchange data



Step 1

Symantec recommends that you perform consistency checks before running a snapshot backup.

See Backing up Exchange data.

Step 2

Create an Exchange backup job.

See Backing up Exchange data.

Step 3

If data that is not supported for snapshot backup is included in the backup selections, check Process logical volumes for backup one at a time to allow the job to complete with errors.

This option is on the Advanced Disk-based Backup options on the Backup Job Defaults dialog box and on the Options dialog box for a backup job.

Step 4

Schedule or start the backup job.

See Backing up data

Troubleshooting Exchange Agent snapshot and offhost jobs

An Exchange Agent snapshot job fails on the following conditions:

  • The Exchange Agent snapshot fails.

  • If incremental or differential backup methods are selected, and Exchange Server 2007 or later is not installed.

  • If circular logging is enabled, and incremental or differential backup methods are selected.

  • If an unsupported version of Exchange is installed. To verify supported versions of Exchange, see the Backup Exec Software Compatibility List at the following URL:

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices.



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