5
SmarterMail Backup
Question asked by Derrick Kluyts - 2/18/2019 at 2:43 AM
Unanswered
Hi Everyone,

Our SmarterMail mail data has reached 400GB. We currently have no failover server. I have an archive application that archives all mail every night at 20:00. However, I was hoping that someone could give some advise as to what is the best solution for backing up 400GB worth of mail data daily. I am currently just backing up the domain folders to an smb share or external drive. (Using 3rd party application to only backup changes)

I have the mail server installed on an VM so, if total server failure occurs I am able to restore the entire server almost instantly. I have the server data stored on a seperate VM disk.

Any thoughts or advise?

18 Replies

Reply to Thread
3
Steven Belsha Replied
A FREE solution that works well for us to to use ROBOCOPY.  The script we use is below.  We store our copy's on a 4TB external drive.

Modify as needed to a .bat file and then schedule it to run at a time of your choosing with Task Scheduler.
This script as posted will copy any new files and sync any deletions with your external drive. A 4TB drive should last you a long, long time.

@echo off
f:
echo Copying Image files...
robocopy f:\smartermail\images z:\smartermail\images\ /MIR /R:6 /W:10 /ZB
f:
echo Copying Log files...
robocopy f:\smartermail\logs z:\smartermail\logs\ /MIR /R:6 /W:10 /ZB
f:
echo Copying mailboxes...
robocopy f:\smartermail\domains z:\smartermail\domains\ /MIR /R:6 /W:10 /ZB /XF *.grp

0
Rod Strumbel Replied
I use similar... good habit to get into using  \\  instead of a single \ in your paths.
Robo gets pissy about that sometimes interpreting it as an escape char.

Question Steven... what is this "images" file you are backing up?
I don't see one of those in my enterprise installation.

Thanks!
0
Steven Belsha Replied
It is and old directory from SM 13 or 14 that holds custom images for the webmail login I believe.  We store a copy of our company logo there and did not want to lose it to an upgrade.
0
Linda Pagillo Replied
If you are looking for a paid solution, I am using CrashPlan Pro for one of my personal SM servers and I love it. Only $10/mo per device for unlimited storage. It makes everything so easy to back up and restore. Here is a link to their site if you want to check it out... https://www.crashplan.com/en-us/
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
1
Carlos Flores Replied
Hi, crashplan works with the smartermail service running?

thanks

Carlos
1
Nathan McKAy Replied
Robocopy your data to a different device (Nas/File Server/ect....) then to cover yourself, setup something like Crashplan to copy from the backup location out to the web.


Robocopy will only copy the changed/new files and Crashplan will give you a budget off site backup solution. Robo usually takes less then 20 minutes a night and crash plan is a bit slower, but thats because of our terrible ISP options.

1
Linda Pagillo Replied
What Nathan said is exactly what we do. We use a script to make a local backup then have CrashPlan run on the local backup. Each night the local backup runs and backs up anything that has changed. Then Crashplan runs and picks up the changes from the local backup and sends them to the cloud. Works beautifully for us.
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
0
Rod Strumbel Replied
We have a large structured backup system at the office that manages backups for all our VMs (Avamar as I recall).  Aka expensive.

If you are running a smaller server though and on a VM (these may handle larger loads too, not sure) I've used the following successfully.  

I run on a HyperV VM (Windows 2019 Server) at the house with SM 7817 on a VM with some other IIS stuff.

Altaro VMBackup - free for up to 2 VMs, must purchase full version for offsite storage capabilities.  I run this as one option on my home LAN.  Have restored a crashed SM VM from this and it worked perfectly to restore.

Vembu BDR Suite - easy (but slow) UI, free for up to 10 VMs, incremental backups, can perform full VM or file level recovery, offsite requires Standard or Enterprise version.  Supposedly this can do general windows file level backups of servers as well (as opposed to VMs) but I could never get that piece to work.  I am just starting to experiment with this one but have it performing a 2nd set of VM backups for me on my home LAN.  Have done a VM restore from this as a test and it worked perfectly.

Iperius Backup - this is an Italian product I just ran across while looking for a solution to backup my NAS device.  Then discovered it was capabile of HyperV and VMware backups too.  The full version that supports all the VM capabilities is CHEAP... but... I still have not been able to get the VM solution to work in the "full trial".  Pending ticket with them.   The backup of my NAS device though works perfectly.  IF I can get the HyperV stuff working for  this, I will likely switchover to using this for everything.  I really like their UI.

There are other options too, but those are the ones I have had experience with.

As mentioned, this testing is on a very small home HyperV implementation, your mileage may very on larger installations.  
0
A free solution can be Veeam Backup Community Edition.
It works really well.

You can use it both for VM or for Phisical Server or even for simple folder backup.

Never had an issue with it recovering data...

0
Linda Pagillo Replied
We also use Veeam over here (paid licenses) and it works quite well!
Linda Pagillo
Mail's Best Friend
Email: linda.pagillo@mailsbestfriend.com
Web: www.mailsbestfriend.com
Authorized SmarterTools Reseller
Authorized Message Sniffer Reseller
 
0
echoDreamz Replied
We use Macrium and it's always been rock solid. My concern with the backups is around data-consistency. SM has a ton of moving parts and files changing (especially on a very busy server like ours). So when a backup of the data is called up, SM is still writing files, so there is no way to confirm that the data is in a consistent state.

Exchange integrates into VSS for example, as does SQL Server to signal the service to write/commit all required changes to disk and hold until the snapshot or whatever is completed.

Altaro is also a rock solid product, we use it for all of our Hyper-V installs, backup around 5000 VMs with it and it is beautiful. Never had any issues with recovery of full VMs as well as file-level recovery. Highly recommended.
1
@echoDreamz: file consistency is good if you consider past GRP files (form yesterday and back) that are consolidated.

For that reason, I have scheduled my backup at 4 o clock in the morning, so I have "yesterday" data backupped consistently.

P.S.: we also are using Altaro side by side with Veeam, so we can have 2 different backup technology to to rely on... If one fails (very rare case, never appened till now), there's an alternative to try.
2
echoDreamz Replied

Zimbra for example has a utility to handle backups that does it in a fully consistent way. There is no way to guarantee SM backups are consistent, especially with SM caching stuff in memory, constantly writing changes to files etc.

Our Macrium setup does not do a file-level backup, we do block-level backups of our SM data array and then Macrium only backs up the blocks that have changed. We do not backup only the GRP files, but the entire SM data structure.

And yes, daily backups does cause the previous days GRP files to be consistent, but as far as a full recovery of an account beyond just the grp files, SM has tons of other data including json files, cfg files, xml files for EAS, the MailProcessing folder for each user etc.

Though, SM does appear to do a backup of the user's settings around midnight for our installation automatically.
0
JerseyConnect Team Replied
We're using Veeam to do hourly storage snapshots and daily backups.
0
@echoDreamz
Best way to do a fully consistent backup (using Veeam in Hyper-V enviroment):

1 - stop SmarterMail service
2 - start VM Backup in Veeam (this make a VM snapshot that's used to do the VM backup)
3 - start SmarterMail service while the Veeam is working on the snapshot to backup consistent data

This will cause a few seconds (maybe minutes) of non working service for SmarterMail, but it make a real fully consistent backup of the entire SmarterMail data and configurations.
1
echoDreamz Replied
We do not run SmarterMail on a virtual machine, as well, stopping SmarterMail nightly or even multiple times a day is not a solution, maybe for smaller mail servers this works, but not for an ISP.
1
I agree, echoDreamz

I was only speculating to find a good way to do a fully consistent backup
1
Matthew Titley Replied
If you're already running SmarterMail virtualized I say, hands down with no ifs, ands, or buts, Veeam. The free edition is outstanding but the full version has many additional features. With Veeam you can create secondary backup jobs that run at your discretion to just backup certain folders. It's incredibly fast and reliable. Zero downtime during backups, failover, migration, secondary backup locations, backup to AWS (et. al.) truly instant recovery, granular backup options for so many different scenarios, I just can't recommend it highly enough.

Reply to Thread