Backup and Restore by Zextras

Have a Question?

In many circumstances, restoration procedures are necessary, which may vary depending on the actors involved, the breadth and extent of the restore, and the objective. Here are some instances of these scenarios:

  • the unintentional loss of emails as a result of an end-user error, such as emptying the Trash can folder
  • a file system issue that may cause reading and writing failures, rendering some elements of an account inaccessible
  • Administrative mistakes, such as those that occur during the undelete procedure
  • An account has been hacked as a result of credentials being stolen or obtained fraudulently.
  • An account is being investigated, and the whole history of the account is required by law enforcement.
In all of these scenarios, data in a mailbox can be restored, and restoration procedures are classified into two types based on the destination of the recovered data: recovery on the same server—or same infrastructure—and recovery on a different infrastructure.
Restore the same infrastructure
These solutions are intended to be used when only a portion of an account on the same server as the origin server has to be restored. Restore Deleted Account, Single Item Restore, Restore on New Account, and Time-range Undelete are all included in this category.
Various infrastructure restoration
When the restoration procedure is not practicable or practical on the same infrastructure as the original, the External restoration approach can be used.
It is crucial to note that objects in Zextras Backup are tagged as deleted only after they have been removed from a mailbox as a result of a Backup Purge operation; they are still visible to Zextras until that point.

Finally, all restoration methods:
  • retrieve objects at a certain point (or interval) in time, implying that their state at that point is likewise recovered
  • retrieve an item from a folder other than the original
  • Always send an email to the restore operation’s initiator and the administrator at the start and completion of the procedure.
Restore Deleted Account What exactly is Restore Deleted Account?
The Restore Deleted Account technique allows you to restore the contents and settings of a deleted mailbox into a fully new account.
What is the procedure?
When you initiate a Restore Deleted Account, a new account (the Destination Account) is established, and all of the objects that were in the source account at the time of the deletion are restored in the destination account, including the folder structure and all of the user’s data. Unless the Obey HSM Policy box is ticked, all recovered items will be generated in the current main store.
Using the Zextras Backup tab
To open the Zextras Backup tab, select Zextras Backup in the Administration Console’s left pane.

Push the Restore Deleted Account button in the top bar.

Select a restoration date. The day/month/year may be chosen from a calendar, the hour from a drop-down menu, and the minute and second from two text fields. Next, click.

Look through the list and select the account to be restored (Source).

In the text box, type the name of the new account (Destination). You may then choose whether or not to Hide the new account in GAL. When you’re finished selecting, click Next.

In the Operation Summary window, double-check all of your selections. You may optionally provide other email addresses to be alerted when the restore process is complete. Please keep in mind that the admin account and the user who initiated the Restore operation are automatically alerted.

To begin the Restore, click Finish.

Single Item Restore What exactly is the Single Item Restore?
One of the Restore Modes offered in Zextras Backup is Single Item Restore, which allows you to restore one item at a time, regaining its state even if it was deleted.
What is the procedure?
The itemID is used by Single Item Restore to restore the associated item from the backup to the owner’s account. This method may be used to repair any sort of object.
What exactly is the Restore on New Account feature?
The Restore on New Account and Account Restore methods allow you to restore a mailbox’s content as it was at a certain point in time. While they both have the same CLI options, the variations are in the account’s state and how the mailbox will be restored: If the account was deleted, it may be restored using the same accountID-Account Restore; if the account is still in use, it can be restored into an entirely new account, i.e., with a completely new accountID.
Because the source account is not altered in any way, it is feasible to retrieve one or more deleted items in a user’s account without reverting the whole inbox. As a security safeguard, you can select to conceal the newly formed account from the GAL while doing this type of restoration.

What is the procedure?
This process is beneficial in numerous instances, including when a whole account has been erased or is no longer usable as a consequence of an external fault (hardware or disc failure) or a human error (such as a user or system administrator launching an incorrect delete/purge operation).
When a Restore on New Account operation is initiated, a new account named the destination account is established. All things in the source account at the time the destination account is selected are replicated, including the folder structure and all user data. Unless the Obey HSM Policy box is ticked, all recovered items will be generated in the current main store.
Time-range Undelete What exactly is Time-range Undelete?
Time-range Undelete, also known as Undelete Restore, is a Restore Mode that allows an administrator to restore from a mailbox any objects that were deleted from the Trash folder during a specified time period and restore their status to the most recent change of status.
What is the procedure?
During a Time-range Undelete, the Zextras Backup engine searches the backup datastore for objects marked as DELETED in the given time range and restores them to the mailbox’s source folder. All restored objects will be labelled with the string undelete_DD_MM_YY, where DD_MM_YY is the date of the undelete.

The undeleted objects’ structure is kept, with each subfolder rebuilt using the most recent attribute available in the time range being restored. If there is no information available, the folder will be named unknown_XX.
Cases from the margins
There are two aspects worth emphasising:

If an item or folder had the trash bin as its initial place for any reason and this was its sole position, it will be reinstated in the trash bin.

If you have a folder called Conference 2021, erase everything in it and rename it Conference 2022. You later do an Undelete Restore on the mailbox on November 15th, 2021. All objects and information will be recovered under the folder Conference 2021 and labelled undelete_15_11_21.
External Restore What exactly is the External Restore?
External Restore allows you to import backups created on a separate infrastructure, which is beneficial for creating a test environment that is similar to the production environment, as well as for sophisticated operations like account or domain migration or catastrophe recovery. Furthermore, it is the only technique in which the source and destination servers cannot be the same.

External Restore is an intriguing and valuable feature in that it restores all of an account’s shares in addition to the data.
What is the procedure?
The External Restore reads data, information, and configuration from the source server’s Backup Path and replicates it to a new server. The technique is broken into three phases and comprises of a workflow with a number of steps.

A common scenario in which External Restore is useful: you need to relocate a server from your Rome infrastructure to your Milan infrastructure. The fundamental access requirement is that you have access to the Backup Path on the Rome server (the source) from the Milan server (the destination) in order to do the External restoration on your Milan infrastructure.
Ignore Domain Provisioning
While the External Restore is typically used on an entire infrastructure, it can also be applied to individual or multiple accounts: in this case, only the data and metadata associated with those accounts will be restored, while domain-level customizations (such as COS, GAL, quota, and so on) will not be restored. This operation may be completed by using the skip_domain_provisioning argument, as shown in the example below, which restores just the accounts john and alice in domain example.com:
When utilising the skip_domain_provisioning option, the procedure described below does not apply: because entire domain settings will not be impacted, just the Restore all Accounts’ attributes step will be run in Phase 1.
Folder restoration
Assume you established a folder named Inbox/Zextras (which is also its Backup Path) and subsequently erased some messages from there that were in a backup. When an External Restore is performed, the messages, along with any existing messages, are restored to the Inbox/Zextras folder. In other words, because the restored folder shares the same Backup Path as an existing folder, the restored messages are saved in that folder.

More specifically, the following occurs:
Local directory
If a filter already generated a folder with the same path, the backup folder id will be mapped to the existing folder id. Furthermore, all things in the original folder will be returned to the same location.

Mailbox located somewhere
If a filter previously generated a folder with the same path, the mountpoint will be restored. Furthermore, all things in the folder (made by the filter) are relocated to the mountpoint target; also, the filter to write to the recovered mountpoint is updated.
Before You Begin
It is expected that you have already established a fresh vanilla infrastructure; that is, a new Zextras instance with no previous operations or settings other than a normal installation.
Indeed, the first duty is to specify a Backup Path on the new infrastructure, unless you wish to use the default one (/opt/zextras/backup/zextras), and to start Zextras Backup.

Furthermore, you can use the following tips to decrease the total cost and burden on the server during the External Restore.
  1. Disable the RealTime Scanner if Zextras Backup is already installed on the destination server to enhance memory utilisation and I/O performance.
  2. Advanced users can tune or disable Zimbra’s RedoLog for the length of the import to decrease I/O overhead and disc space use.
  3. Before beginning the import, you may activate compression on your current main volume to further minimise the amount of disc space consumed. If you do not want to utilise a compressed primary disc after migration, you may create a new uncompressed primary volume, set it to Current, and move the previous one to Secondary. Using the Zextras Powerstore module, this procedure is feasible.
  4. If you want to utilise the CLI, see also the section Accelerating the Restore using Multithreading.
Executing an External Restore
Multithreading accelerates the restore
The concurrent_accounts argument allows you to restore several accounts at once, substantially speeding up the restoration process. This functionality is only available through CLI.
Following the Restore: Message DeduplicationAfter an External Restore, doing a volume-wide deduplication using the Zextras Powerstore module is strongly advised, as the native deduplication mechanism may be unsuccessful while consecutively importing accounts.