A lot has been said in the Exchange community about the decision by Microsoft to remove (or not provide) Exchange Server 2007 awareness from the built-in backup utility shipped with Windows Server 2007. The MS Exchange Team blog explains that a little here :
About 2 years ago, when the Exchange team started testing Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008, we found that the built-in backup application had changed dramatically. Decisions that drove that change by the Windows team are not the subject of this post, but it is fair to say that the Windows team did not make the decision lightly.
When we evaluated the features of Windows Server Backup, it was clear that the backup and restore experience on Windows 2008 would not be the experience that existing Exchange customers have been used to for so long. Because we had feedback from several customers who told us they would rather get a more full-featured backup solution for their Exchange servers, a decision was made not to provide an Exchange-aware backup solution for Windows 2008 in Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1.
This week they announced the following:
Although we can’t share all of the details now, we thought that this issue was important enough to announce a decision we recently made. We have decided to develop and release a VSS-based plug-in for Windows Server Backup that will enable you to properly backup and restore Exchange 2007 with a built-in Windows 2008 backup application.
This is good news for Exchange customers looking for inexpensive backup solutions. I’m a bit curious though about this statement:
While you will be able to backup and restore Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008, you should not expect feature parity with the Windows 2003 NTBackup experience. There will not be the same level granularity and control that NTBackup provides and backups will be limited to the local server only.
NT Backup was about as featureless as you could get when it comes to Exchange backups, so I don’t quite understand how you can take a step backward from that. It will be interesting to see the result when it ships thats for sure.