When overseeing an Exchange Server we all know that businesses can live and die by their timely and reliable correspondence.
From losing important client information, losing calendar events, or missing an attachment from an email from months ago that is suddenly needed, there's never a way to really predict in a month or two what will be needed or might go missing.
It's questionable if even a well liked IT tech could survive a full loss of all these important things because they didn't have reliable backups!
More on the side of technical mishaps, databases can become corrupted, the Exchange server can go down totally and require a complete install, or significant updates that break some of your functionality, forcing you to start all over.
That is, unless you've got your backups at hand!
Here is our list of the best Exchange Server Backup Software:
- N-able Cove Data Protection – FREE TRIAL A SaaS platform that offers backup management for on-site systems, providing secure transfer mechanisms and secure storage space. The service also includes a replication and restore system. Start a 30-day free trial.
- ManageEngine RecoveryManager Plus – FREE TRIAL This on premises package is available for the protection of a range of Microsoft products, including Exchange Server. Runs on Windows Server. Access 30-day free trial.
- Acronis Cyber Protect – FREE TRIAL This is a cloud-based service that will monitor all of your data as well as specific processes for backing up MS Exchange Server. Start a 30-day free trial.
- StorageCraft ShadowProtect Add on an Exchange module that needs to be installed on machines running Outlook. Available for Windows and Windows Server.
- Veritas Backup Exec This tool can backup both physical and virtual systems and includes a special plugin for managing Exchange backups. Installs on Windows Server with agents for Windows and Linux.
- Veeam Backup & Replication This service installs on Windows Server and can be subscribed to as a cloud service. It is particularly adept at backing up virtual environments, such as Hyper-V and VMWare.
- NovaSTOR NovaBACKUP A great choice for all backup systems offered in two versions with the higher option, Business Essentials, including Exchange Server backup and restore capabilities. Runs on Windows Server
- Ontrack PowerControls This backup service for Microsoft 365 and Exchange Server includes an eDiscovery service for sensitive data protection and fast incremental backup. Runs on Windows or Windows Server.
- BackupAssist A system-wide backup, restore, and replication service that can be enhanced by a special plugin to manage Exchange backups. Available for Windows and Windows Server.
Keeping consistent backups helps out your Exchange users, but it also keeps your Exchange Server healthy by being sure that you've got a hold of logs, server states, and plenty more with regards to the server itself, and all of it makes sure you've got yourself covered no matter what goes down with your environment!
Whatever the case, having extensive backups of your Exchange can be especially valuable.
We all know that almost any email environment is going to have a mixed bag of users, too.
Much like anecdotes of people ‘storing' files in their recycle bin on their desktop, some folks just don't quite fully grasp the nuances of Exchange functionality, meaning that when the big wig upstairs comes stomping into your office wondering where her email went you've got yourself covered!
There's also the fact that some businesses require extensive backup for legal or compliance reasons, which is all the more cause to be well informed on your choices in this realm and be sure you've got a solid solution.
It's easy enough to use Windows' built in EDB backup capability, but you unquestionably lose a lot of time with this method having to restore more than you need, or being forced to mount the EDB to a secondary Exchange server to peruse and find what you need by hand.
You need the ability to backup, and restore, with a great deal of flexibility and granularity – sometimes you only need to restore or backup a small period, or only one users mailbox was compromised/deleted and needs to be replaced, or you want to restore a single email from a mailbox.
Here's some especially useful tools that can dramatically speed up recovery time and assist in making, searching, and managing backups for your Exchange Server!
Here's the Best Microsoft Exchange 2003/2007/2010/2013/2016/2019 Server Backup Software for Full/Incremental Backups
We've broken down some of the Best exchange server Backup software solutions on the market with Compatibility (or in other words, do they work on Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013), Price, and feature sets.
Our methodology for selecting Exchange backup software
- We reviewed various Exchange backup solutions and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- Support for multiple versions of Exchange
- Ability to automate and schedule backups
- Support for various backups (incremental, full, ect)
- The ability to monitor Exchange backup status and jobs
- Graphical interpretation of data, such as charts and graphs
- A free trial period, a demo, or a money-back guarantee for a risk free assessment
- A good price that reflects value for money when compared to the functions offered
N-able Cove Data Protection is a cloud-based service offered by a provider of a range of systems that are aimed at MSPs. This tool is suitable for use by IT operations departments as well as managed service providers.
This system will backup all disks in bulk or incrementally and it is also able to perform targeted backups for Microsoft 365 and MS Exchange Server. The tool will copy over the database for the mail server system. There is also a specialist tool for archiving individual email systems managed through Exchange Server, which is called N-able Mail Assure.
- Cloud-based backup solution
- Can backup the individual VMs, or the entire server
- A simple console helps highlight important issues
- Supports multiple vendors and backup locations
- Designed for larger networks and system administrators
All data transfers are protected by AES encryption with a 256-bit key. Data at rest is protected by the same encryption service and all backups are mirrored on a second site to backup your backups. The service includes a managed restore service and the backup can also be used to replicate Exchange Server implementations. N-able Cove Data Protection is available for a 30-day free trial.
Compatibility: All versions of Exchange Server
Price: Contact N-able for a quote.
ManageEngine RecoveryManager Plus is available with a number of specializations, which are for Active Directory, Azure Active Directory, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online, Google Workspace. Each flavor has a separate price, so you could just get the system to backup all Exchange Server or buy the whole suite.
This is a self-hosted system, so there is no cloud storage included for the backup repository – you have to sort that out yourself. The system can be set to age out backups, removing stored files once a given period has passed.
The service copies over Exchange mailboxes or gives you the option to export mailboxes to PST format files for backup. It is possible to define an incremental backup strategy that only stores changes since the last backup or periodically takes full backups and stores a series of restore points. Recovery can be made for all mailboxes, a single mailbox, or a mailbox item.
- Detailed reporting, can generate compliance reports for all major standards (PCI, HIPAA, etc)
- Supports virtual and bare-metal environments
- Supports delegation for NOC or helpdesk teams
- Back settings are easy to understand and get started with
- Can take time to fully explore all features and tools in the product suite
Compatibility: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1, 2010 SP2, 2010 SP3, 2013, 2016, and 2019
Price: For 100 mailboxes, Backup and restore from $495; PST format copy $295; Up to 10 mailboxes – Free. To figure out your requirements, start with a 30-day free trial.
Acronis Cyber Protect is a robust program that has a wide range of functionality for Exchange server backup and management. It allows backup and restore from a large scale to small – both individual mailboxes and entire server environments.
Further, the backups can be made and restored from almost any platform due to the image-based design of Acronis' technology.
Acronis also has full support and documentation/support for offline and even VSS backups, and since the backups are image based it is easy to save them locally, via the cloud, remotely, or otherwise, with some ability to do so automatically built into the software itself.
- Covers all recovery scenarios including DBR, file-level recovery, and cloud-storage backup
- Offers products for both home users as well as enterprise businesses
- Supports virtual environment backups with bare metal recovery options
- Would like to see an automated way to test virtual backup integrity
Compatibility: Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016
Price: 1 year sub at $100/month, 3 years for $2,445/server
Download: Start a 30-day free trial.
4. StorageCraft ShadowProtect
ShadowProtect is a powerful backup tool that has a broad ability to search, manipulate, and of course backup and restore EDB files.
It can recover anything from individual or bulk mailboxes to individual messages, to attachments, calendar items, notes, tasks, and more – and even can do so offline!
The base software is somewhat limited in regards to its granularity but, fortunately, they do offer a separate installation for ShadowProtect GRE – Granular Recovery for Exchange.
This part of ShadowProtect is not installed on the Exchange Server itself, however, and must be installed on a client system running Outlook, from where it will access and handle EDB files.
This can be both a pro and a con, but ultimately it means the software gains some flexibility in some situations but can also lose out in others, it totally depends on your environment and circumstance.
Nonetheless, the GRE offering gives you a great deal more power and control with manipulating, searching, and managing your databases for recovery situations.
- A flexible backup tool that includes an exchange add-on
- Supports off-site backups
- Includes both incremental and site-wide backups
- Easy to use and learn
- Not the best option for those looking for a cloud-based solution
Compatibility: Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016
Price: $499 + additional cost for maintenance and support on a per year basis
5. Veritas Backup Exec
Backup Exec is more of a generalized all-around backup solution and can be a little cumbersome for Exchange-specific needs; none the less, all it requires is to install an agent for interfacing with Exchange in order to get it communicating and working with the Exchange server for your backup needs!
In brief, it can handle backups for virtual and non-virtual environments, application databases, as well as Microsoft and Linux based machines, and easily handles backing up onto a variety of media.
But, more to the point of its Exchange capabilities, it can backup utilizing VSS and has some powerful consistency and redundancy checks built into its features.
Since it is geared more to an overall backup solution some of the granularity is missing versus programs more specifically geared, but it can still restore and backup individual mailboxes, manage backups via local or cloud storage, and perform both incremental and full backups and restorations.
- Designed with enterprises in mind
- A solid option for those looking for an on-premise solution
- Can mirror cloud-storage environments locally
- Ample 60-day trial period
- The interface feels outdated, making it tougher to navigate
Compatibility: Exchange 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019
Price: Must contact for pricing, Exchange agent has separate license costs as well per server
Download: Access a 60-day free trial: https://www.veritas.com/form/trialware/backup-exec
6. Veeam Backup & Replication
Veeam has some excellent built-in tools for backing up and restoring parts of your virtualized environments.
When running Exchange servers with a virtual environment you have a lot more flexibility than dealing with a physical server – but by the same merit, being virtualized means that it can be startlingly easy to lose everything if you aren't careful and absent-mindedly re-image or simply click the wrong VM state.
Thankfully, virtualization management software like Veeam often has a lot of backup abilities included.
In regards to Exchange, Veeam supports most any version supported by the VM running the Exchange server, and furthermore Veeam also offers another tool, Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which gives you a much more granular and powerful ability to manipulate and manage Exchange backups!
It allows saving of backups both locally, via cloud, ftp, etc., and boasts a wide range of other backup and restore ability beyond just Exchange.
- Easy to use for both technical and non-technical users
- Supports system-level recovery and backups
- Can run on Windows or Linux operating systems
- Ideal for small businesses and home users
- Would like more integrations into more hardware storage and NAS solutions
Compatibility: Basic backups compatible with most Exchange versions, Exchange Explorer compatible with Exchange 2010 SP1, 2013, and 2016
Price: $780 for Standard license, includes 1yr maintenance and support
7. NovaSTOR NovaBACKUP
NovaBACKUP is a business level backup solution with a reasonable price tag and includes backup and restore capabilities for both Exchange and SQL servers.
On the Exchange side of things it supports full VSS based backup, and also have plugins that can provide a wide range of functionality.
Much of this is basic or included functionality in other software and doesn't require the added configuration of plugins, but NovaBACKUP can go a bit further due to that modularity!
It has a full capability for doing incremental or full backups as well as offline backups to physical media, cloud, or both.
- Simple lightweight tool
- Supports both physical and virtual backups
- Offers compliance checking – great for HIPAA environments
- Utilizes a combination of cloud and on-prem storage solutions
- Could benefit from a slightly longer trial period
Compatibility: Exchange 2003 SP2, 2007 SP 3, 2010 SP1
Price: $299.95 per year
8. Ontrack PowerControls
OnTrack PowerControls‘ claim to fame is a forensically sound solution for backup, search, and restore of Exchange databases, providing both full and partial database restores from any Outlook environment.
It's focus is primarily upon a more rigorously compliant environment, such as legal or security based needs, and to that very end it leans heavily to security and simplicity.
The interface is drag-and-drop friendly, and easily lets you search, backup, or restore individual backups, mailboxes, messages, attachments, or entire databases with ease!
It also offers a slew of additional agents that can be added in for additional functionality such as PST searching, content analysis, advanced searching, and more powerful administrative abilities. Most of all it boasts support for Exchange as far back as 5.5!
- Includes support for Microsoft 365
- Can run in most modern Windows environments
- Easy to use – great for junior administrators
- Better suited for smaller environments
- Could benefit from an updated interface
Compatibility: Exchange 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013
Price: $599 for 30 day license for 100 mailboxes, 100 mailbox perpetual license for $970 + $194 for yearly maintenance and support, ongoing.
Download: Get a 30-day free trial: https://www.ontrack.com/en-us/powercontrols/exchange#free-trial
BackupAssist is another program geared more towards a general back up and restoration ability – without the granular add-on it covers basic database creation and management, both EDB and PST, for mailboxes.
With the add-in, however, BackupAssist opens up the entire breadth of granular backup and restoration capability that you would expect – VSS based backups, cloud and local storage automatically, as well as some ability to search individual mailboxes and databases.
It's ability to restore partial databases is somewhat hit or miss, but functionally it does the job well enough for a price far below other Enterprise level options.
- Simple and intuitive interface
- Offers granular backup controls for administrators
- Supports both EDB and PST mailbox extensions
- Competitive pricing
- Better suited for SMB
Compatibility: Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010
Price: $279 for base license plus various options, Granular Exchange add-on is $199, also offers multi-site remote management licensing options on a yearly basis starting at $289 per year
Whichever software solution you choose you've got to be sure it's robust and reliable.
At the end of each day a powerful backup solution will assure that you've got yourself, and everyone else, covered!
Losing days, weeks, months, or even years of correspondence can be crippling, especially with offices that have a lot of online contacts or employees or clients in the field.
There's just no way to truly recover from a huge loss of information than by being able to bring it back in near perfect mirror to what it was before!
It's easy sometimes to get lax on backups, but without fail the one thing you forget, no matter how obscure, will be the one thing someone will come storming into your office about!
Whether your backup and restoration needs ever pay off is a simple matter of inevitability – they always will, and when they do you have to be sure you've got the most robust and flexible database and restoration abilities you can find for your environment.
Exchange Server Backup Software FAQs
What is an Exchange Server backup?
An Exchange Server backup is a process of creating a copy of the Exchange Server database, including all user mailbox data and configuration settings. Exchange Server backups are critical to ensuring that the organization's email system can be restored in the event of a disaster, data loss, or corruption.
What are the different types of Exchange Server backups?
There are several types of Exchange Server backups, including:
- Full backup: A full backup includes all data in the Exchange Server database, including mailbox data, configuration settings, and transaction logs. A full backup is the most complete type of backup, but also the most time-consuming and resource-intensive.
- Incremental backup: An incremental backup includes only the data that has changed since the last backup, including new mailbox items and changes to existing mailbox items. Incremental backups are faster and less resource-intensive than full backups but require more frequent backups to ensure complete data protection.
- Differential backup: A differential backup includes all data that has changed since the last full backup. Differential backups are faster than full backups but require more storage space than incremental backups.