Creating Exchange backup jobs

This article describes how to configure an Exchange backup job to create a local backup of your Office 365 or on-premises Exchange mailboxes and public folders.

Important

Since SharePoint mailboxes are hosted on Exchange servers, to back them up you will also need to use this type of job.

To find out how to back up your other SharePoint content, please go to the article on creating SharePoint backup jobs.

There are two ways to open the wizard that will guide you through the backup job configuration:

  • on the Dashboard tab, click the Create a new Exchange backup job link on the How to start card, or
  • go to the Jobs tab and click New > Backup Exchange (Fig. 1.).

Backup create Exchange job
Fig. 1. Creating a new Exchange backup job.

Keep in mind that the How to start card is only available if you haven’t configured any backup jobs yet. In either case, the New Exchange backup job wizard will appear (Fig. 2.). It will guide you through the following steps of creating a backup job:

  • Job name, where you define the name of your backup job.
  • Job continuity, where you choose to run the backup job continuously or only once.
  • Activity periods, where you can configure the backup job to start and stop automatically.
  • Server connection, where you set up or select a connection to your Exchange server (Online or on-premises).
  • Mailboxes, where you select user, shared or resource mailboxes that you want to back up.
  • Site mailboxes, where you select SharePoint site mailboxes that you want to back up.
  • Office 365 group mailboxes, where you select Office 365 group mailboxes that you want to back up.
  • Public Folders, where you select Exchange public folders that you want to back up.
  • Target storage, where you select or create a storage that is used to keep your backed-up data.
  • Time filter, where you choose which items will be backed up depending on their age.
  • Folder filter, where you decide which special folders to exclude from the backup process.
  • Job summary, where you can review your backup job settings.

Backup Exchange backup job wizard
Fig. 2. The Exchange backup job wizard.

Tip

You can navigate between the wizard’s steps freely and configure them in any order you want.

Job name

In this step (see Fig. 2. above), enter a unique name of your backup job. You will not be able to finish the wizard if the entered name has already been used.

Job continuity

Here (Fig. 3.) you can decide if a job should run in multiple cycles (continuous backup) or in a single cycle (one-time backup) during its activity periods.

Backup Exchange backup job continuity
Fig. 3. Selecting the type of backup.

Select the first option, Continuous backup, if you want to back up your Exchange data infinitely, in cycles. The first cycle backs up all your data, while each subsequent cycle is an incremental backup, meaning that only changes in your data, including new items, are backed up. The Idle time between cycles functionality allows you also to specify how much time needs to pass before the next cycle can start.

If you select the One-time backup option, the backup job will run only once (one cycle). However, once finished, you can restart such backup job manually in order to perform an incremental backup.

Learn more about the backup model used in CodeTwo Backup.

Activity periods

This feature allows you to specify the time ranges during which the program will automatically start and stop your backup job. To enable it, select the Enable activity periods checkbox (Fig. 4.).

Backup Exchange backup job enable activity periods
Fig. 4. Enabling the activity periods feature.

You can now schedule your backups on a daily, weekly, monthly or custom basis, or define the end date for the backup job (Fig. 5.). 

Backup Exchange backup job configure activity
Fig. 5. Configuring activity periods for the backup job.

Learn more about the activity periods feature.

Server connection

This is where you select an Exchange server from which you want to back up the data. If you haven't defined any connections yet, click Manage > New (Fig. 6.) to open the Exchange Server connection wizard where you can configure a connection to Exchange Online (Office 365) or to an on-premises Exchange server. Learn more about how to configure an Exchange connection

Backup Exchange backup job new connection
Fig. 6. Creating a new Exchange connection.

If you have already configured an Exchange connection, simply select it from the drop-down menu (Fig. 7.).

Backup Exchange backup job server connection
Fig. 7. Selecting an Exchange server that you want to back up.

Mailboxes

CodeTwo Backup allows you to back up either all mailboxes existing within your server or only selected ones.

Backing up selected mailboxes

First, select one of the available options:

  1. Back up mailboxes from the list below
  2. Back up all existing and future mailboxes except the ones from the list below

and click Add. The Select mailboxes window will open. Depending on which option you have chosen previously, select the mailboxes that you (a) want to back up (Fig. 8.) or (b) exclude from the backup. 

Backup Exchange backup job selecting mailboxes
Fig. 8. Selecting the mailboxes that you want to back up.

You can use the search box (Fig. 9a) to find a particular mailbox or filter mailboxes by their type (Fig. 9b).

Backup Exchange backup job filtering mailboxes
Fig. 9. Limiting the number of mailboxes shown in the mailboxes selection window.

The type of a mailbox is represented by an icon shown next to the mailbox name:

Backup - user mailbox icon – user mailbox

Backup - shared mailbox icon – shared mailbox

Backup - resource mailbox icon – resource mailbox (room or equipment)

Backing up all mailboxes

To back up all mailboxes from your Exchange server, simply select the Back up all existing and future mailboxes except the ones from the list below option and don't add any mailboxes to the list (Fig. 10.). The number of mailboxes that will be backed up is shown below the table.

Backup Exchange backup job all mailboxes
Fig. 10. Backing up all mailboxes.

Site mailboxes

Select which SharePoint site mailboxes you want to back up. Just like in the case of regular mailboxes, there are two options available:

  1. Back up site mailboxes from the list below
  2. Back up all existing and future site mailboxes except the ones from the list below

This step is very similar to the previous step of the Exchange backup job wizard, so for more information on how to select specific site mailboxes refer to the Mailboxes section above.

Office 365 group mailboxes

Office 365 group mailboxes are only available in Office 365. To back them up, select either:

  1. Back up Office 365 group mailboxes from the list below, or
  2. Back up all existing and future Office 365 group mailboxes except the ones from the list below

option and proceed as specified in the Mailboxes section above.

Important

Office 365 groups may be connected to modern SharePoint team sites. To back up such sites with CodeTwo Backup, you need to configure the SharePoint backup job.

Public Folders

In this step, you can decide which Exchange public folders to back up. Click Add to open the Select Public Folders window. Next, select the checkbox next to the public folders you want to back up (Fig. 10.).

Backup Exchange backup job public folders
Fig. 10. Selecting public folders to be included in the backup job.

If any of these folders have subfolders and you want to include or exclude them from the backup, use the Back up subfolders checkbox (Fig. 10. above). Keep in mind that if you leave this checkbox selected, any future subfolders created in this public folder will be also backed up in subsequent backup cycles.

Licensing information

When backing up mailboxes and public folders in one job, be aware that licenses are assigned first to the mailboxes, and then to the public folders. If you don't have enough licenses to back up all your data and you wish to back up public folders first, we recommend creating two separate backup jobs: one for mailboxes, the other one for public folders. Run the public folders jobs first. When it's finished, run the mailbox backup job. Learn more about licensing regarding public folders

Target storage

A storage is where your backed-up data is kept. In this step, you can either click New to open a storage creation wizard or select an existing storage from the drop-down menu (Fig. 11.).

Backup Exchange backup job target storage
Fig. 11. Selecting an existing storage.

Time filter

In the Time filter step (Fig. 12.) you define which items from the source mailboxes will be backed up depending on their age.

Backup Exchange backup job time filter
Fig. 12. Setting up a time filter.

You can configure the program to back up:

  • all items regardless of their age – when a backup job processes mailboxes, all items will be backed up, no matter if they were modified or not.
  • only items older than [period of time] – the program will examine source mailboxes and back up only those items that were created or modified before a specified period of time.
  • only items not older than [period of time] – the program will back up only those items that created or modified within a specified period of time.

There is also an option to override the time filter for contact items, allowing you to back up all contacts, no matter when they were created or modified.

Assessing the age of items

The age of appointments, meetings or similar items (including a start/end date or another time property) is calculated based on the time when these items occur.

Example: today is 1 June 2018 and you decided to back up only items from the last 6 months. Over a year ago, in May 2017, someone created an Outlook appointment which starts on 15 April 2018 and sent the notification email. In such a case, the appointment will be included in your backup, as it occurs within the defined time frame. However, the email sent in May 2017 does not contain any start or end date, so it will not be backed up.

If an item does not contain a time value, its age is calculated based on its last modification date. The list below shows which properties are taken into account when defining the item’s age:

  • Contacts – Last Modified Date
  • Calendars:
    • if you select the only items older than option – Start Date; if missing, then End Date
    • if you select the only items not older than option – End Date; if missing, then Start Date 
  • Emails – Received Date, then Sent Date, and then Created Date (if the program cannot find the Received Date property, it searches for Sent Date, and so on)
  • Tasks:
    • if you select the only items older than option – Start Date; if missing, then Due Date
    • if you select the only items not older than option – Due Date; if missing, then Start Date 
  • Notes – Last Modified Date
  • Journal:
    • if you select the only items older than option – Start Date; if missing, then End Date
    • if you select the only items not older than option – End Date; if missing, then Start Date.

Folder filter

Here you can define a filter that excludes special folders, such as RSS Subscriptions or Drafts, in source mailboxes from the backup process (Fig. 13.). To do so, select the checkbox next to the folder type you want to exclude. 

Backup Exchange backup job folder filter
Fig. 13. Excluding special folders from the backup job.

Job summary

Here you can verify if you have configured the backup job according to your requirements (Fig. 14.).

Backup Exchange backup job summary
Fig. 14. The summary of the backup job. 

In case you want to make any changes, click the name of any of the previous steps of the wizard and adjust your settings accordingly. If everything is correct, click Finish.

If you did not specify the job's activity periods, you need to start the job manually. However, as soon as you finish the wizard, a pop-up window will appear, allowing you to start the backup job immediately (Fig. 15.). Click Yes to do so.

Backup Exchange backup job pop up
Fig. 15. A pop-up asking to start the backup job automatically.

Otherwise, use the Start button on the Jobs tab to start the selected job.

See also

Monitoring jobs – find out how to monitor and manage existing jobs.

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