It’s a cold reality for IT: One short-circuit and all that work is down the tubes. Unless of course, you have a backup.

Server backups are nothing new for admins. So we’d better make sure Lync Server is included too.

NextHop offers an excellent white paper on this very topic: Backing Up and Restoring Lync Server 2010 – NextHop

Or, go straight to Microsoft Downloads for the white paper.

They’ve done a better job than I could hope to here. So I’ll post some things to remember from it (and our own observations) for today’s “20 Tasks” entry.

Backing Up/Restoring Lync Server: Things to Remember

  1. Have a strategy in place. Consider how often you want to backup, where backups should be stored, what situations merit a restoration, where you’ll get replacement hardware if needed, when/how to test backups, and so on.
  2. Make sure you’re backing up data AND settings.
  3. Group Chat is NOT backed up with standard cmdlets.  See Backing Up the Group Chat Database, Compliance Database, and File Repository for that.
  4. First backup priority is the Central Management Store database (Xds.mdf). It contains the Lync Server topology. Essential.
  5. Include Active Directory Domain Services in this backup. AD DS has the user SIP URIs, contact objects for Response Group and Conferencing Attendant, authentication accounts, etc. Very important stuff.
  6. The cmdlets for backing up Lync Server components:
    • Topology Data :: Export-CsConfiguration
    • Location information service/E-911 :: Export-CsLisConfiguration
    • Response Group configuration data :: Export-CsRgsConfiguration
    • Persistent user & Conference ID data :: Dbimpexp.exe (It’s in the Lync installation media)
  7. Use SQL Server Management Studio to backup the Archiving and Monitoring databases.
  8. A standard backup system (the white paper lists RoboCopy) will work for backing up the Lync Server file store.
  9. The cmdlets for restoring Lync Server components:
    • Restore the Active Directory pointer to the Central Management store :: Set-CsConfigurationStoreLocation
    • Import topology, policies, and configuration into the Central Management Store :: Import-CsConfiguration
    • Republish the topology :: Publish-CsTopology
    • Enable the republished topology :: Enable-CsTopology
    • Restore location information/E-911 :: Import-CsLisConfiguration
    • Restore persistent users :: Dbimpexp.exe
    • Restore Response Group :: Get-CsApplicationContact (available on the Lync PowerShell blog) AND Import-CsRgsConfiguration
  10. Don’t change any of the following between a backup and a restoration:
    • DNS configuration
    • DHCP configuration
    • Domain names
    • FQDNs
    • File store paths

    Restoration won’t work properly if you do.

  11. Include Lync’s SQL databases in the nightly backups.

The white paper’s based on recovering from a failure in the Lync Server topology. Personally, I like the comfort that comes from having a good backup routine in place. But if “avoiding the panic of a horrible crash with no backups” is better motivation for you, then stick with that!

We’ve only got a few more posts left in this “20 Tasks” series. Anything I haven’t covered yet you’d like to know?

Backup and Restore Lync Server: 20 Tasks Every Lync Administrator Must Know
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