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Backup and restore for Exchange 2013

Published: February 26, 2013

Find information about creating backup and restore applications for Exchange 2013.

Applies to:  Exchange Server 2013 

In this article
Backup technologies in Exchange 2013
VSS writer in Exchange 2013
In this section
Additional resources

Exchange Server 2013 provides Database Availability Groups (DAGs), which help to keep stored data secure and available, and reduce the need for custom backup and restore applications. DAGs enable off-site data redundancy to help ensure that you won't lose data. However, many disaster recovery plans continue to include more traditional backup and restore methods and systems, including custom applications, for redundancy with the DAG. To help ensure data availability and redundancy in your organization, you can create custom applications that use Exchange Server and Windows Server operating system technologies to back up and restore your Exchange data.

Exchange 2013 includes a plug-in for Windows Server Backup that administrators can use to make VSS-based backups of Exchange data. Administrators can also use Windows Server Backup to back up and restore Exchange databases. If you are creating a backup and restore application for Exchange 2013, you need to create an Exchange-aware application that supports the VSS writer for Exchange 2013, and use the CHKSGFILES API to validate the consistency of that backup. For more information, see How to: Validate backup integrity by using the CHKSGFILES API in Exchange 2013.

Exchange 2013 introduces a significant change to the VSS writer architecture in Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2007. Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 include two VSS writers: one inside the Exchange Information Store service (store.exe) and one inside the Exchange Replication service (msexchangerepl.exe). In Exchange 2013, the VSS writer functionality is located in the Exchange Replication service. Your backup and restore application uses the new VSS writer, called the Microsoft Exchange Writer, to back up active and passive database copies, and to restore backed up database copies. Although the new VSS writer runs in the Exchange Replication service, the Exchange Information Store service must be running in order for the writer to be available. As a result, both services are required to back up or restore Exchange databases.

Although the VSS writer architecture was updated in Exchange 2013, the underlying functionality has not changed. If you created a backup and restore application for Exchange 2010, you do not need to make any changes to your application for Exchange 2013. Be sure to recompile your application with the latest files to ensure compatibility. For backup and restore applications created for Exchange 2007 or earlier versions, you will need to rewrite your code to use the latest CHKSGFILES API.

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