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Because XOsoft WANSyncHA remains aware of the state of the Exchange database, it constantly introduces checkpoints into its replication process that allow the remote copy to maintain consistency with the Exchange database so it can do a near-real time recovery without using a snapshot and replaying transaction logs. Should a recovery need to occur at the remote site, XOsoft WANSyncHA promotes the standby Exchange server to primary Exchange server and manipulates the DNS lookup table to route client requests to the secondary Exchange site.

The one downside with software-based asynchronous replication is that it requires the installation of an agent on the Exchange server, which some organizations may want to avoid. In that case, a hardware appliance that provides asynchronous replication, such as Teneros Inc.'s Application Continuity Appliance (ACA) for Microsoft Exchange, may be a better fit.

Teneros ACA for Microsoft Exchange is installed into the same network where the Exchange server resides. After it receives the Exchange IP address and appropriate security permissions, it creates an exact replica of the Exchange mail store and then goes into standby mode, monitoring the status of Exchange while continuously replicating the Exchange database. If an Exchange failure occurs, Teneros ACA takes over for the Exchange server in a few seconds and provides users with uninterrupted access to their email services.

Archives
Archival software provides

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three critical functions:
  • Reduces the size of Exchange message stores and speeds up backups
  • Lets companies quickly search and produce emails for legal discoveries
  • Preserves emails for specific time periods
Now that archival software is an integral part of Exchange data protection, some backup software vendors are starting to integrate the management of archival software with their traditional backup software.

For example, Symantec has integrated its Veritas NetBackup software and Enterprise Vault archival software in three key areas: data migration, recall and restore, and policy. Veritas NetBackup lets admins set a policy to migrate data from disk to tape under the management of Veritas NetBackup. However, data remains visible, searchable and accessible for Enterprise Vault users even if it's on tape. Requests for specific emails are passed from Enterprise Vault to Veritas NetBackup, which recalls data from whatever media it resides on.

This was first published in September 2007

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