Categories Exchange 2003Tools

Exchange 2003 - Disaster Recovery Analyzer Tool (ExDRA 1.0)


Get your copy of the German language "Microsoft ISA Server 2004 - Das Handbuch"

Let's begin

The Exchange Server Disaster Recovery Analyzer collects configuration data and header information from your Exchange databases and transaction log files. ExDRA analyzes all database headers and creates a list of problems with your database and how to resolve problems with your Exchange databases.

ExDRA requirements

Component

Requirement

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP, Windows 2000 Server family, or Windows Server 2003 family required; Windows XP recommended

Computer and processor

Personal computer with 133-megahertz (MHz) or higher processor; 1.0-gigahertz (GHz) or higher processor recommended. Dual processors for topologies with more than 100 Exchange servers are recommended

Memory

256 megabytes (MB) of RAM required; 256 megabytes (MB) for every 50 Exchange servers in the topology recommended

Hard disk

10 MB of available hard disk space for tool installation; 2 MB of free space per server, per scan required for the data output

Display

VGA or higher-resolution monitor

Input device

Mouse or compatible input device

Messaging system

Mixed-mode or native-mode Exchange Server 2003, Exchange 2000 Server, and Exchange Server 5.5 system; Exchange Server 2003 recommended.
Note: Pure Exchange Server 5.5 topologies are not supported

Dependencies

Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1
IIS Common Files

Download and installation

You can download ExDRA from here. After downloading you must install the package. Installation is easy. Simply follow the installation instructions.

Using ExDRA

Before you can use ExDRA you have to dismount the concerned Exchange Information Store if it is not already down under other circumstances.

If you want to check for ExDRA updates on every startup, select the option Check for updates on startup. Next click Go to the Welcome screen and start the wizard.


Figure 1: ExDRA start screen

The Exchange Server Disaster Recovery Analyzer Tool scans your dismounted Exchange databases and transaction logfiles for shutdown reason and other problems. ExDRA is supported for Exchange Server 2000 Service Pack 3 and later and Exchange Server 2003.


Figure 2: ExDRA Welcome screen

Select Auto Detect to let ExDRA discover available databases and transaction logfiles in their default location on Exchange Server (C:\program filesexchsrvrmdbdata).

Select Manual Input (Advanced) to manually enter the path to the databases and transaction logfiles.


Figure 3: Select Auto Detect or Manual Input for examining the database location

Enter the Exchange Server Name (in this example LONDON) and as an optional component the name of a Domain Controller. If your currently logged on account doesn't have enough permissions to read the Exchange Server configuration, you can specify an account with proper permissions.


Figure 4: Enter Server and User Information

If your Exchange Server has multiple Storage Groups, you must select the Storage Group where the Exchange database to be checked is located.


Figure 5: Select the Exchange Storage Group

Next you must select the Exchange Server database to be analyzed. Only dismounted databases can be selected.


Figure 6: Select the Exchange Server database to be analyzed

It could take a while for ExDRA to inspect the selected database and transaction logfiles.


Figure 7: Take a short break until ExDRA has checked the database and transaction logfiles

The following page shows the analysis results of the ExDRA check. Because I only dismounted the Exchange database, ExDRA stated that the Database is in a Clean ShutDown state. There is some additional information to handle if you are unable to mount a database, even if the database is in a Clean Shutdown state.


Figure 8: ExDRA analysis results

After you clicked Next ExDRA will display some very useful information about the database like Log- and DB-Signatures and many more.


Figure 9: Detailed information about the database state

Now let's make the work a little bit harder for ExDRA. For the following example I dismounted the Exchange database named Crashtest and deleted the associated STM database file.


Figure 10: Select the Crashtest database

After some Database and transaction logfile processing ExDRA tells us that it could not find the Crashtest.stm file and shows us some possible solutions to locate a copy of the STM file if it is lost or to run Eseutil.


Figure 11: Detailed information about the database state

On the following page you can select a report to view Exchange Server Disaster Recovery Analyzer results.


Figure 12: exDRA Reports page

Conclusion

ExDRA 1.0 is the first version and has alot of potential to be a single place for administrators for disaster recovery purposes. The Exchange team plans to use ExDRA as an all in one place where an Administrator can handle disaster recovery, from recovery storage group management through to actually getting mailboxes back online.

Related Links

Microsoft Exchange Server Disaster Recovery Analyzer Tool v1.0
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C86FA454-416C-4751-BD0E-5D945B8C107B&displaylang=en

Microsoft Exchange Server Performance Troubleshooting Analyzer Tool v1.0
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4BDC1D6B-DE34-4F1C-AEBA-FED1256CAF9A&displaylang=en

System Requirements for Microsoft Exchange Server Analyzer Tools
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/downloads/2003/analyzers/sysreqs.mspx

New additions to the 'Analyzer' Tool Family
http://blogs.technet.com/exchange/archive/2005/11.aspx

Marc Grote

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Marc Grote

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