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Exchange backup retention best practices

I'm fighting storage issues on our data domain after 8 months in operation. Some things I have identified like additional servers that weren't part of the initial assessment that helped with the increase. My highest offender in terms of change rates are my exchange backups. I wanted to see how everyone else is doing their exchange backups and how long they have their retention policy set for them. I think that's part of my problem with the storage is because I am effectively backing up exchange and emails in 3 different methods.

VM backup of one of the Exchange servers. 4 day retention and is 1.1 TB. 4 day retention.

DAG setup with the Exchange VSS plug-in backing up the passive data bases. 7-800 GB 31 day retention

Barracuda Message Archiver - Emails themselves - 1.6 TB 7 day retention.

I am thinking the VM backup of one of the Exchange severs I can get just get completely taken out of Avamar entirely. I also think that the 31 day retention on the DAG is high. Working with the SQL admin for a similar space issue with his stuff in Avamar he was saying that his SQL database backups are worthless after 2 weeks because of the constant changes to them.

I wanted to see how everyone has their configured since my work is still new to Avamar and working on fine tuning so I have enough storage while my work looks into another Data Domain Shelf or two.

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Re: Exchange backup retention best practices

Not sure any body wants to touch this question.

1) retention is based on what your company lawyers say to you need to keep it for.

2) I don't have an exchange server that is a VM  so cannot answer on that one, mine are physical servers and I only backup the C drive on those

3) how are you backing up just the emails?  I cannot think how to do that.  if you are backing up the DAG and all the datastores in the DAG you are backing up all the mailboxes and what is in them.

4) make your own decisions.  This is just what I do.